Clarence Liew and Marc Lian of BRB on What Inspires Them

The music duo also talk about what's next for them.
Published: June 20, 2024
Rhythm of a Nation: Top Local Music Acts To Know
Clarence Liew, 32. Marc Lian, 36

There’s no denying the amount of musical talent we have on our shores. But for a truly Singapore-centric playlist, these names—spanning Malay-English rap and chugging guitar riffs, to dulcet, undulating Tamil R&B and Jungle beats—are who you should be bobbing your head to.

Related article: The Girls of Taledrops on the Biggest Inspiration of Their Sound

Who did you listen to growing up?

Clarence: I grew up with the whole acoustic R&B scene on YouTube—people like Jeremy Passion and Gabe Bondoc played a huge role in creating my vocal identity. Then there were artists like Dean, Anderson Paak, Mac Miller and Zico who gave me a fresh perspective on it all.

Marc: I grew up listening to everything from Backstreet Boys to Korn, Dr Dre to The Prodigy, TLC to Blur. That still hasn’t changed for me; I’m massively interested and inspired by the variety of it all.

Related article: Suthasini Rajenderan on Infusing Indian Music With R&B and Hip Hop Elements

How has that influenced your sound?

We often can’t help but pull in elements from different genres and styles that might not feel intuitive at first but somehow turn out cohesive after a period of experimentation. Our style is so varied but, at the same time, we think we have something for everyone. It’s at once emotional, chaotic and calm, and while we aren’t tied to a specific genre, R&B remains the backbone of it all.

Related article: Shazuan Shiraj on Becoming ABANGSAPAU, And The Singapore Music Scene

What inspires you?

The opportunity to perform something you worked hard to create never gets old, so seeing our fans at our shows enjoying themselves keeps us going. Deep down our songs come from somewhere vulnerable and being able to share that and have people relate in some way is inspiring.

Listen to BRB if you like….

JUNNY, PH1, Keshi, Ethan Low, DPR IAN, DPR LIVE, bixby and Hojean

What local music acts would you recommend?

Josh Makazo, Gen Neo, Tengy and Haven to name a few.

What next?

We've been pretty occupied completing our EP and subsequent album. We also have some pretty exciting collaborations in the works and a few shows and festivals around the region, which, sadly, we can't say much about yet.

Photographed by JAYA KHIDIR
Hairstylist GREGO
Make-up Artist RINA SIM using Lancôme

Stay ahead of the latest news, hottest trends, and dopest drops.
Subscription Form