Android gradle 7.1.1 vs 7.0.4 - aar artifact creation is produces vastly different results

Ok… I am not even sure this is the place to ask. If it is not, I would appreciate some guidness on where to post this. Thank you…

I encountered an issue when compiling my library as an aar and importing it into another gradle project.
I’ve been using Android gradle plugin 7.0.4 which works great. To create an aar file from my library I simply call ./gradlew aR and I get an aar file which works perfectly when I add it in another project.

The issue starts when I upgrade to 7.1.1. At that point, I basically lose compatibility and none of the public functions are available.

When I double click to watch the content of the aar files, there is vast differences in the content of the files.
Here is a quick example:

This is a screenshot of one of the classes when compiled using 7.0.4

And here is the same class compiled using 7.1.1

As you can see, its the same file (.class) in the aar, but vastly different. the 7.1.1 file is basically empty, while 7.0.4 has the actual implementation which aligns with the fact that when I use the 7.1.1 aar in the other project, I can’t call any function as it is not actually there.

Here is a screen shot of the actual source code for that class

DriveSdkImpl is the delegate that implements the interface.
All @Keep annotations are stripped in the 7.1.1 version. Actually all annotations are stripped…

Any ideas what I’m missing here?