Whilst BUGS R US can technically be classed as brian mantra’s debut single, any from the beginning fans will know of his Soundcloud where he’s steadily been releasing music for the past few years. That profile has become a time capsule where you can do a deep dive into his journey, starting from his humble demo beginnings, seeing the early work that went into this debut (he has a demo of it on there) and building to today where he’s unleashed a sensational debut that’s been years in making. Despite musicality not being at the epicentre of his childhood, one aunts introduction to Celine Dion and a church band found that musical spark in him, soon setting off a firework of creativity that exploded across the nights sky. He was swiftly hand-picked for a K-POP program in Seoul but left as they didn’t match his artistic vision and this debut is proof that it was 100% the correct decision.
Everything about this debut is sublime, making this less of an introduction and more of an announcement on what the future will hold. Seamless storytelling that elegantly weaves through the sonic landscape, impeccable production that forms a warm aura around his introspective lyrics and a rich vocal that’s drizzled with honey, everything here is next level for a debut. Then you’ve got the cinematic blockbuster that is the music video directed by Evers, channelling the digital green colour palette of the Matrix before indulging in our Dune Sci-Fi fantasy that matches the emotional weight of the single. All aboard the hype train because brian mantra has the IT factor.
“Writing ‘BUGS R US’ at the beginning of lockdown was a form of escapism and the result of wanting to travel within borders of love and friendships while being in insolation. The solitude taught me lessons about adaptation and transformation, and this track was an ode to finding peace through the process. The timeline from writing the first lyrics to receiving the final cut of the music video spans over two years, but the record’s meaning is still relevant to me today.”