The 25-year-old Hawaiian-raised singer has a new album out in stores now called Doo-Wops & Hooligans — and it’s getting rave reviews! JustBrunomars.com had the pleasure of interviewing Bruno last week during a blogger event held at Lucky Strike Bowling in NYC.
Bruno Mars Interview — JustJared.com Exclusive
JB: Tell us how you got into music.
BM: My father’s a musician and my mother’s a singer. My dad’s originally from Brooklyn and he was a Latin percussionist so I’ve always had instruments around the house. He used to have a show like a 1950s rock and roll show with Little Richard music. They would do doo-wop songs and stuff like that. My uncle would impersonate Elvis, so I used to watch him and one day I said “Coach, put me in.” So basically I was 2-3 years old and he brought me up on stage.
JB: So young!
BM: Yea, I was a kid — a TYKE!
JB: Who are your musical inspirations right now?
BM: Everybody, man. I got so much love for classical music and I hear so much incredible music. As a producer, I get that question a lot. I would love to work with Coldplay one day. You know, you have to be a little well-rounded. You should know a bunch of music and have respect for all sorts of genres and styles of music.
JB: Any other artists featured on your album?
BM: I have Damian Marley (is the youngest son of Bob Marley) on a song called “Liquor Store Blues”. Being from Hawaii, a lot of people don’t know that reggae is huge out there and I used to be in a reggae band when I was in Hawaii. So once I had the song, I made the phone call to Damian. He was on tour, I hadn’t even met him yet. He heard the song and we got him in the studio and he did his thang.
JB: You grew up in Hawaii but are of Puerto Rican and Filipino descent.
BM: Yeah, my mom’s Filipino and my dad’s Puerto Rican — my dad’s actually a bunch of stuff.
JB: Growing up, did your mom cook for you? What was your favorite Puerto Rican food, Filipino food?
BM: Chicken Adobo of course. My father’s mom would make this thing called Spanish Rice. It’s yellow rice with olives, peppers and a whole bunch of other stuff.
JB: Do you cook yourself?
BM: A little bit. I can get down. I can make pop tarts. (laughs) Actually I can. I learned a lot from my mom.
JB: Who are you listening to now?
BM: Really quickly. I heard a clip just on on iTunes. It knocked me off [my seat] and I was like “what is this?” It sounded like some good old fashioned Rihanna.
JB: How would you describe the feel of your album?
BM: It’s eclectic. I’m hoping that “Nothin’ On You”, “Billionaire” and “Just The Way You Are” — songs that I produced… I hope that it’s a warning for people. I hope it lets them know that I’m a little unorthodox when it comes to genres and styles. So you’re gonna get an eclectic mix of music but I think there’s something for everyone there.
JB: From start to finish, how long did the album take? What were the inspirations?
BM: It took a while … it took years and years and years, truthfully. “Talking To The Moon” was the first song that I wrote after we produced a couple of songs for other people. Then one time, I thought I could write a song for myself. So, I got on the piano and I wrote “Talking To The Moon”.
And then we did “Count On Me”, “Somewhere in Brooklyn”, and “The Other Side”. The songs that you hear on the EP. That was what he had before we submitted “Nothing On You” and “Billionaire” to Atlantic Records.
JB: And now those songs are HUGE!
BM: Yeah — I’ve been workin’ hard man!
JB: What’s your favorite song from the album?
BM: It varies. Right now, it’s “Grenade”. It’s gonna be my second single. You know, I write a lot of songs about being in love, how beautiful women are but I’ve definitely experienced that other side of love where you’re in a situation where you love a girl so much but you just know for a fact that she doesn’t love you the same. “Grenade” is the extreme way of saying “I’d do anything for you and why can’t I feel you would do the same for me?” So I think people are gonna like it. It’s definitely a different side.
JB: What’s the concept of the “Grenade” video?
BM: Oh man. Just know that you’re gonna see me suffer…the lyrics in the song.. I want to bring the emotion to life. You’re gonna see Bruno Mars’ pain.
JB: Have you shot the video yet?
JB: Very exciting! Thanks for speaking with me.
BM: Great talking with you!