Brian Destiny (aka Nathan Saoudi of Fat White Family) has been gigging around London as a solo act since 2019. His debut EP, Brian’s Got Talent, was released on February 4th; expect introspective, up-tempo songs from the melodic mastermind behind Fat White Family’s hits such as “Feet,” and “Tastes Good with the Money.” Featured on the EP alongside Brian Destiny are brothers Dante and Gamaliel Traynor, who produced, recorded and co-wrote much of the material.
The EP opens with, “Is It Gonna Be Love?” a track full of indefatigable optimism, featuring smooth, echoing, vocals from Brian Destiny punctuated by bouncing guitar and distant, droning sax. As the EP’s first single, it’s accompanied by a music video illustrating both the excitement and the emotional pain of the eternal quest for love.
“What If I Told You That,” is an old-school rocker, showcasing Dante Traynor’s fierce guitar, riffs like streaks of blue lightning over buzzing synth. It’s a tribute to the pain of that ironic final stage of growing up, when you’ve been an adult for a while but haven’t really had to take it seriously. Suddenly, you’ve got to go all the way and repress (or in this case, kill) your inner child: “What if I told you that/I killed a child/Thirty years old, so I took his life.” Despite the dark nature of its content, it’s impossible not to dance to. That’s part of the magic of Brian Destiny: inserting truthful, hard-hitting content, into songs that are also supremely danceable.
Songs about duality and self-discovery seem to be a common theme with Destiny. On “Feed the Horse,” distorted, churning rhythms back the tale of a sobering revelation: “I never knew/I never could guess/the shadow of life/is the shadow of death.” The voyage culminates in an outsider intellectual’s increasing discontent with the general population’s blind conformity to societal expectations. “Everyone’s driving/Some people are flying/Where’s my horse?” Destiny sings, segueing into the unforgettable line, “Where’s my motherfucking giddy-up?” It’s a serious, heavy, song, but not so much so as to deny us a laugh. You might not catch that that the heavy backbeat mimics a horse’s galloping hoofbeats until the second listen; the song’s rich layers underscore its genius.
The final track of the EP, “Never Again,” is a gorgeous, haunting melody that kicks off with an ominous chord and melts into a tremulous, rippling keyboard. The lyrics are bittersweet, hopeful: “I know what can be taken/and I know what can be kept /I’m pretty good at math/the answer ain’t regret.” It ends in an orchestral swell of violin and cello à la Sergeant Pepper, courtesy of Gamaliel Traynor, with whispery, ethereal, flute from Alex White, and a bright, rich, trill of brass from Adam Chatterton as a final close-out.
Brian’s Got Talent is ultimately a tale of rebirth, of becoming. It looks to the future with hope, not fear. The cyclical nature of our existence is acknowledged, as is our main purpose—to love, and be loved, and to search for a place, albeit temporarily, in the surging course of it all, in which to simply be ourselves. After all, it takes a hell of a lot of courage to wake up every day and ask, is it gonna be love?
You can find Brian Destiny on Instagram @brian.destiny and @dashthehenge. You can purchase Brian’s Got Talent here: https://briandestiny.bandcamp.com