The collaboration album between Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak should be filled with grooves packed with inspiration, genre-bending, and funk.
Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak, two Grammy winning, West Coast genre-blending RnB icons, have united to form “Silk Sonic,” a collaborative project that will release an upcoming album this March.
The project was unveiled through both artists’ social media, as well as their debut single, which will be released on March 5th. The album, titled An Evening With Silk Sonic will also feature Parliament Funkadelic member Bootsy Collins as “special guest host”.
An Evening With Silk Sonic will be Mars’ first album since 2016’s 24K Magic, which at the 2018 Grammy Awards won seven Grammy Awards, including “Album of the Year” and “Best R&B Album”.
However, since 24K Magic, Mars has sparsely released, only appearing and releasing on “Wake Up in the Sky” alongside Gucci Mane and Kodak Black, “Blow” with Ed Sheeran and Chris Stapleton, and two songs with female rapper Cardi B, “Please Me” and “Finesse” in 2019.
.Paak on the other hand has been producing and appearing on tracks at a consistent rate ever since his breakout 2016 album Malibu. An Evening With Silk Sonic will mark .Paak’s first full-length album release since 2019’s Ventura, and will be one of the many high-profile and high-quality collaborations he’s been a part of in the past two years.
The Los Angeles native has teamed up with “Cut Em In” with Rick Ross, “RNP” with Cordae, “All Bad” with Nas, “Lockdown” with Jay Rock, JID, and Noname, and “Don’t Slack” with Justin Timberlake for the Trolls World Tour movie soundtrack, all within the last two years.
In 2017, .Paak opened for Mars during the European leg of Mars’ “24k Magic World Tour,” and reportedly spent time in the studio together at Abbey Road with Disclosure and Nile Rodgers. .Paak has released one collaboration album, teaming with producer Knxwledge to make up NxWorries and releasing 2016’s Yes Lawd!.
The potential, and my expectations, for the album is extremely high. On 24K Magic and especially “Finesse,” Mars’ fully embraced his love for 90’s RnB, fusing it with 70’s inspired funk-pop and new-wave neo-soul to create some fantastic and timeless songs.
.Paak has also been known for his wide variety of tracks that bend genres and take inspiration from multiple styles of music. His pure talent to create multi-layered grooves and hooks, matched with his ability to fit his unique style with anyone who decides to join him for a song makes the ceiling for this album extremely high.
Because these two have such an affinity for mixing different eras of different genres, the production on this album should be out of this world. .Paak and his studio band The Free Nationals could have potential guests such as Questlove, Thundercat, Mark Ronson, and Nile Rodgers to help with the production of the record, giving the album a retro progressive feel that pushes .Paak and Mars’ towards their best.
The vocal ability of this duo is fantastic as well. Mars’ Micheal Jackson-style vocal range mixed with .Paak’s borderline raspy yet smooth singing voice could create some fantastic duets when matched with the right backing track. .Paak’s rapping ability is underrated as well, best portrayed in my opinion on “RNP” when he went back and forth with Cordae, and could be used in multiple different ways with a Mars’ hook.
The cover, a 70’s inspired photo imprint of the duo, and Parliament Funkadelic member Bootsy Collins hosting the album both forecast the album having a vibe based in 70’s funk. This means an album filled with moving baselines with fills, complicated drum lines courtesy of .Paaks drumming talents, and fun synths moving the track along, which will surely be a good time.
In terms of guest stars, no official features have been announced, however, due to the two artists’ prominence and connections, they could create a fantastic list of guests to show up on songs if needed. Tyler the Creator, Noname, JID, Ari Lennox Kendrick Lamar, Rick Ross, BJ the Chicago Kid, Pusha T, and Cordae are all artists I could see being a part of the record, adding to the experience with their unique styles.
An Evening With Silk Sonic’s ceiling is extremely high, as both Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak have the potential to create an instant classic. Armed with each other’s talents, connections, and styles, one who expects the record to be spectacular should not be disappointed when it drops this March.
✍🏼 Written by Zach King.