PTSD treatment for military veterans doesn't seem like an easy inspiration for a pop song. But that was indeed the impetus for Broke Royals' new single, "Bad Chemicals," and its accompanying video, premiering exclusively below.
The Washington D.C. group's Philip Basnight tells Billboard that he got the idea for the song from reading Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, in which he documents biotech research into using Artificial Intelligence to help treat post-service trauma. "He talks about how the military and private sector companies are all working on PTSD treatments that are going to be fueled by Artificial Intelligence," Basnight says. "Right now they're working on a microchip you can put in somebody's brain and monitor their levels and, in an ideal world, adjust (chemical) levels. Reading that, it all came together for me." But if that conjures up images of AI going wrong, Basnight is quick to add that Broke Royals are just writing about the issue, not advocating it.