Shakira and Karol G Combine Their Star Power on Blockbuster ‘TQG’
Fans have been waiting for this moment for years: Colombian heavyweights Shakira and Karol G have finally joined forces, combining their star power for the long-awaited collaboration “TQG.” The track is a biting break-up anthem that raises a middle finger to crappy, unfaithful boyfriends while showing Karol and Shakira at their most unapologetic.
The song is off of Karol’s new album, Mañana Será Bonito, which drops on Feb. 24. On it, the two singers trade lyrics about a guy who’s done them wrong over a down-tempo beat. They each allude to high-profile relationships from their past: Karol, who announced her split from the rapper Anuel AA in 2021, talks about a significant other she helped level up. Shakira, meanwhile, mentions someone who strayed away from her, a reference seemingly about her public break-up with soccer player Gerard Piqué following an 11-year relationship.
Karol tells Rolling Stone that she wrote the song last year when she was in an emotional place. “When I started it, it had a personal meaning to me that evolved over time and though it doesn’t represent things now, it was a particular moment in my life,” she says. She had wanted to collaborate with Shakira for a long time, but hadn’t thought about asking her to jump on “TQG.” Then she heard “Monotonía,” Shakira’s collaboration with Ozuna, and she realized Shakira’s story fit perfectly with what she was doing on her own track. “Listening to that story and where she was at, ‘the song ‘TQG’ made a lot of sense,” Karol says. “I sent it to her and she loved it.”
For the video, which was shot in Barcelona, they rented out an entire building with enough room for six sets. Both teams did their best to keep everything completely under wraps, but that proved difficult, given the profile of each artist. “As much as we tried, it was impossible to keep it a secret,” Karol says. “We wanted to shoot it in a studio so we wouldn’t be out in the streets and have pictures leak out.” Although snippets of the song came out, Karol says she’s happy no one got to see the concept and vision until the big premiere.
Karol’s other collaborations on Mañana Será Bonito include Romeo Santos, Sech, and Carla Morrison, among others. Like “TQG,” the album is a meaningful one that captures a tumultuous period for her. “This definitely represents a specific phase of my life,” she told Rolling Stone earlier this year. “The name of album is a a phrase I kept repeating to myself when nothing felt great. I mean, I was going through the best moment of my career, but personally I was really disconnected from myself and from my friends. I wasn’t unhappy, but I wasn’t happy either. So every day I’d say to myself, ‘It’s okay, mañana será bonito — tomorrow will be beautiful.’”
“TQG” follows Shakira’s mega-viral Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53, which broke the record for the Latin track with the most-streams in a single day on Spotify. The song, which includes several veiled references to Pique, currently has 350 million views on YouTube. Before that, Shakira had dropped “Monotonía” and “Te Felecito” with Rauw Alejandro.