R&B supergroup Silk Sonic sets the mood with new songs, upcoming album

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Prepare your playlist of seductive songs for the sultry sounds of R&B supergroup Silk Sonic. American singer Bruno Mars and American rapper Anderson .Paak come together to announce the upcoming release of their new project “An Evening with Silk Sonic.”

On Feb. 26, Mars and .Paak announced via Twitter they “locked in and made an album,” presenting Silk Sonic to the world. Both artists received immediate excitement from their fans.

The duo started collaborating in 2017 after touring together for Mars’ 24K Magic World Tour and the project has been in the works ever since. They released the first two songs from the album on March 5, opening the door to a whole new sound.

Opening the album is “Silk Sonic Intro,” inviting listeners to an evening of smooth vocals, passionate instrumentals and lyrics that will make you sweat. The minute-long introduction switches from acapella vocals and handclaps to a full-on brass ensemble.

Special guest Bootsy Collins closes the introduction, saying, “Fellas, I hope you got somethin’ in your cup / And ladies? Don’t be afraid to make your way to the stage / For a band that I name Silk Sonic.”

Collins is a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and a staple of funk music. After finishing the album, Mars and .Paak realized they needed someone to “host” the album and tie all the songs together. They shared mutual respect and admiration for Collins, so they played the album for him and he agreed to join, even creating the name “Silk Sonic” for the duo.

The first full-length song on the album, “Leave the Door Open,” is a different kind of invitation than the intro, one that’s a bit more — personal. This sensual love song is filled with beautiful background vocals, heart-pounding percussion and mesmerizing melodies from Mars and .Paak.

.Paak opens the song by expressing his interest in a woman, telling her, “We should be dancin’, romancin’ / In the east wing and the west wing / Of this mansion, what’s happenin’?” The song then transitions to a chorus where Mars shows off his vocal range and promises to “Leave the door open” for her when she’s ready.

The second verse, again led by .Paak, includes interjections from Mars that reference musicians Jimi Hendrix and Michael Jackson, like the line “If you smoke (What you smoke?), I got the haze (Purple haze).”

The song fades to an end after four minutes of raw emotion and talent, leaving listeners begging for more from the duo.

“Leave the Door Open” was released alongside a studio jam-session music video, with Mars on piano, .Paak on drums and everyone having a great time. It’s clear from the video that everyone involved in this project exudes talent, emotion and absolute love for the craft. Not to mention amazing style.

While there is no set release date for “An Evening with Silk Sonic,” listeners should expect it sometime within the next few months. However, Mars and .Paak curated a Spotify playlist showcasing their combined and individual artistry to ease the wait. The duo will also perform at the 2021 Grammy Awards on Sunday, March 14.

Jared Shuff is the Collegian culture editor and a junior in secondary education. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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