The top 10 music collaborations in The Sims
Over the years, The Sims has become a beloved franchise globally and of its endearing touches have been its signature music. The classical elements that enriched the original game’s introduction, build mode, and Create-a-Sim mode will grip you with nostalgia. It was The Sims 2, however, took it up a notch, introducing original scores in various genres and remixed versions of mainstream songs, recorded by the musicians in the game’s beloved Simlish language.
Some collaborations even expanded from music to in-game characters, items, and gameplay. As we have explored before, music is a key element of gameplay and in the case of The Sims, it adds a realistic touch to hear your favorite music blended seamlessly into the Simsverse. We rounded up our top 10 favorite music collaborations from The Sims to The Sims 4.
The Black Eyed Peas
The top collaboration hands down would have to go to The Black Eyed Peas. One of the top-selling groups of all time had an entire console-only game that centered around their characters, music, and style. The Urbz (2004) featured Simlish versions of “Shut Up” and “Let’s Get It Started” from the group’s Elephunk album.
Along with songs such as “Share The Luv” that were recorded exclusively for the game. The soundtrack was available for download on Last.fm and a physical album planned but sales didn’t do so well despite the game’s cult following.
Similarly, Katy Perry also got her own in-game treatment not once, but twice. A Simlish version of “Hot ‘N’ Cold” was featured on The Sims 2: Apartment Life soundtrack and the pop star had her own character in The Sims 3: Showtime and her song was featured in the trailer.
She also had an entire pack designed after her: the candy-coated The Sims 3: Katy Perry’s Sweet Treats, which featured new venues, items, and hairstyles inspired by Katy’s “California Gurls” music video theme and real-life performance props. Whether you’re a fan of the singer or not, it was a cool collaboration and added playful elements to the game, such as gingerbread houses.
This was one of my favorite Sims collabs. The Simlish version of Lily Allen’s “Smile” appeared in The Sims 2: Seasons with an accompanying video by EA using Sims gameplay. This just brings me back to simpler times of listening to British pop and playing The Sims for hours and days on end while the rest of the world goes by. The song itself is a bit of a dig at an ex-boyfriend, and the Simlish translation takes away the sting, capturing the upbeat lesson of the song: no matter what happens in life, you can still just smile -- and if all else fails, just play it out in The Sims.
Natasha Bedingfield’s “Pocket Full of Sunshine” became the theme of The Sims 2: Free Time, with another Sims animated video to match. It fit the vibe and feel of the expansion pack, which focused on what The Sims do when they are not climbing the career ladder, raising generational legacies, or handling those basic needs. The song preserved Natasha’s stellar vocals in Simlish while setting the mood for the game’s addition of hobbies, items, and interactions that encourage The Sims and its players to kick back and enjoy some of the more recreational pleasures in life.
The scream I let out when I heard Ari Lennox's "BMO" in The Sims 4. Her vocals sound amazing, and the Simlish version sounds just like the original song, which is also a smash hit. The song arrived via a patch that added it to the Hip Hop soundtrack. Ari Lennox has admitted that she is an avid Sims player, so it’s a beautiful collaboration on both ends, one that players highly enjoyed.
Janelle Monae’s “Violet Stars Happy Hunting” in all of its metropolis Afrofuturism glory landed on The Sims 2: Apartment Life soundtrack and made a much-welcomed return to The Sims 4 on the patch update that added it to the game’s Pop station. She also landed a Simlish feature on We Are Young’s epic “fun.”, which was added to the Alternative station on the same patch. The quirky, upbeat vibe of Janelle Monae’s music is a perfect match for the signature gameplay.
This is one of my favorite Sims musical collaborations to date. The divine vocals of R&B singer Jhene Aiko made their way to The Sims 4: Snowy Escape soundtrack with the Simlish version of “LOVE” off her recent Grammy-nominated album, Chilombo. What makes this pairing even more charming is the fact that both Jhene and her teen daughter are avid Sims players. The expansion pack also has an Asian-inspired theme, and the singer is of Japanese descent, so again, this was just a match made in heaven and the music adds a nice, meaningful touch to the gameplay.
It’s also dope to see Rico Nasty as part of The Sims 4 soundtrack, also added to the Hip Hop station via a patch update. The punk and hip hop star’s music is perfect for the game, and the Simlish lyrics make her music family-friendly. Whenever this song comes on, it seems to fit whatever is happening within the game at that moment. It would be equally dope to see a collaboration between the star and the brand as her own style is as unique as The Sims.
Matt & Kim
Matt & Kim’s “Daylight” is a great song on its own, but pairing it with The Sims 3: World Adventures was a spontaneous decision that just made sense. The indie-pop song and accompanying Sims music video celebrated the addition of caves, mummies, hidden treasures in the Egypt-inspired world added to the game, while the actual expansion pack offered even more in lieu of its French and Asian themed worlds. Again, the song was an odd matchup that worked and added a nice Simlish version of “Daylight” to the game’s soundtrack.
While we’re discussing World Adventures, Canadian singer Nelly Furtado also lent her vocals to the game’s soundtrack with a Simlish version of “Manos al Aire.“ The music video for the Sims-version of the song featured all three worlds, giving players an even deeper look into the gameplay at the time. This was also an interesting choice. The original song is recorded in Spanish and the title is derived from the same language (“Manos al Aire” means “hands in the air” or “I surrender”), yet there are no Latin-inspired themes in the game. Still, it adds a worldly feel to the game.
Some of our honorable mentions include collaborations with Hot Chip, Mike Posner, Soulja Boy, Chromeo, Kelis, Toni Braxton, Kelly Rowland, and Tayla Parx. What are your favorite collaborations?