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Why Silk Sonic is What the Music Industry Needed

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wisconsin chapter.

Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak’s new band Silk Sonic brings a fresh feel to the music industry

Bruno Mars has rebranded himself yet again. From his humble beginnings in the singer-songwriter genre with the album Unorthodox Jukebox to his rebrand as a pop icon with the album 24k Magic, Mars has switched genres yet again with his new band Silk Sonic. Mars’s music was constantly evolving as he tried to find his place in the music industry, but he has now found the music genre that suits him perfectly. 

Silk Sonic is a band consisting of Bruno Mars and his close friend Anderson. Paak, who is also a successful musician. They formed the band in 2017 but did not release music until 2021. They came out with their first single “Leave the Door Open” in March 2021 which became an instant hit. It peaked at #2 on the Billboard charts and spent 71 weeks on the Hot 200 chart. It sparked the viral TikTok sound which became a trend for transition videos. At the 2021 Grammy Awards, they won four Grammys for “Leave the Door Open.” This was monumental because they only had one song released at the time of the awards ceremony, won 4/4 of their nominations and were selected to perform at the award show. Two of their Grammys were also the biggest awards of the night which were “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year.” This is extremely uncommon for a new artist/group.

They released their debut album “An Evening with Silk Sonic” in November 2021. It consisted of eight songs featuring collaborations from Thundercat and Bootsy Collins. The album reached #2 on the Billboard charts. Due to their immense success, Mars and Paak withdrew the album for Grammy consideration in 2022. They bowed out to respect other artists and give artists a chance because they felt that they had won enough awards with “Leave the Door Open.” This was followed by a year-long Vegas residency at the MGM Grand that was given rave reviews, which helped promote their new album.

“An Evening With Silk Sonic” is described as a tribute to ‘70s R&B. This is a different style of music than people associate with Mars. It is a light and fun album that has a timeless feel but with modern aspects. It has Motown production elements and sounds like a grown-up yet nostalgic version of the music my parents grew up listening to. This is a genre and style of music that seems to have been lost with time. Silk Sonic has brought this style of music back into the mainstream charts and radio play. Mars’s voice meshes perfectly with Anderson’s and they seem to have a fun dynamic. This album reminds us that music can be fun and experimental. 

It is clear that due to Silk Sonic’s success, they are filling a gap in the music industry that we were unaware of. There is a need for music that is carefree and fun that doesn’t take itself too seriously. They are also contributing to the re-introduction of the ‘70s R&B and funk genre into popular music. While Silk Sonic has been wildly successful in the two-year span that they have been releasing music, I believe they can achieve even more success to eventually become a household name.

Courtney Shady

Wisconsin '23

Courtney is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying psychology, education, and gender and women’s studies. She is from the suburbs of Milwaukee. In her free time, she enjoys drinking coffee, going to concerts, and loves hanging out with friends.