Brayton Bowman came back from a recent trip overseas with a lot more than just a stamp on his passport. He clearly had a creative streak while he was away, and we’re more than happy to reap the benefits. Having already gifted us with his MNEK-produced “Skin Deep,” not to mention a killer refix of Britney Spears‘ “Baby One More Time,” he now drops “Real” into our laps.
The song, co-written with MNEK and Ryan Ashley, was birthed while at a friend’s studio in the Shoreditch district of London. Bowman elaborates on the song’s meaning, “Everybody got a fake friend somewhere. Whether it’s some wannabe boyfriend, a two-timing girlfriend, your used-to-be best friend or some stranger off the street giving you the stank eye…you can feel it when someone’s not keeping it 100 with you.” Welp.
Crisp production from Jacob Manson keeps the track interesting, with dramatic keys, warm synth, organic finger snaps and futuristic sounds, all punctuated with animated bursts of percussion. But it’s all for naught without Bowman’s impassioned delivery. Like an actual argument, he starts with measured, melodic calm (“Gotta get you off my mind / ‘Cause I can’t keep wasting time.”) before escalating with powerful, soulful resolve (“I’m done with all the lies!”).