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Limelight Spotlight: Bruno Mars

With the amount of success singer/songwriter Bruno Mars has experienced, it is sometimes hard to believe he is a new artist. It is even harder to believe how quickly that success has come to him.

In less than a year, Bruno Mars has seen three different singles he’s been involved in land in the Billboard Hot 100 chart’s top 10:  the collaborations Billionaire with Gym Class HeroesTravie McCoy, Nothin’ On You with hot ATL rapper B.o.B, and his very own single Just The Way You Are.

But Bruno isn’t scoring this success and these hit singles by following today’s flashy radio gimmicks. He’s determined to take a risk and make music on his own terms. Whether it’s doing a light pop song or a dark and grimy rock tune, he’ll do it his own way. He’s taking this approach on his debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans.

Get to know more about this blazing hot newcomer in this Limelight Spotlight Q&A.

You grew up in a pretty musical family. What’s your earliest musical memory?

I remember being in Japan with my father’s doo-wop group — I think I was 2 or 3 years old — and I was begging him “Please! Let me go on stage,” like crying, throwing a fit. I could barely even talk. I said “could you just throw me up there?” And I started dancing. The audience freaked out because they thought it was a joke because I was like 2 feet tall. And that was it!

Did your parents push you in that creative direction?

Not at all. It was just what I wanted to do

So you took it on on your own?

Yeah. I mean, everything in my house was music…when I thought of being a musician, there were so many instruments around the house. It was just natural, you know? That was my habitat basically.

Did you always want to be a singer or did you think you would be more of a behind the scenes type of person?

It was always the frontman. Always!

What’s the most valuable thing you think you’ve learned as a songwriter?

That there’s no rules in writing songs. That there is no formula. It’s really writing something and performing it like you believe in it and making other people believe in it.

You went from this relatively unknown guy to a singer with two pop hits on the charts in a span of months. Were you surprised at how things worked out?

I was surprised at how quick it was. I always believed…after we recorded “Nothin’ On You” I was just like “If this song doesn’t go, I don’t know what I’m going to do” because I feel this is great, you know? Like I think this is awesome but it’s [about] if the people will like it. And thank god it did what it did. And “Billionaire” is the same thing.

How important is the fame portion of being a pop star?

That’s what I’m getting used to (laughs). It’s like, I do music and you don’t sign up to be a…I didn’t sign up to be famous. That’s not my intention. I know that that comes with the bag and that comes with the gig but I want to do music for a living. I enjoy creating music. That’s my passion. I’m getting used to the cameras and stuff.

Do you enjoy that part of it now or is it still really weird?

It’s a little weird for me. I enjoy the fact that people take interest in me and they want to know my story.

Let’s talk about the album for a bit. How far along are you with the recording process?

I got one more song and then I’m done!

Awesome!

Then it’s ready to go.

And “Just The Way You Are” is kind of taking off now and it’s pop music gold. I absolutely love it.

Thank you! And I’m glad because, you know, I was a little nervous about it because it’s a simple song. But you know, I think that’s what makes it special. It’s not concept heavy. It’s not talking about anything crazy.

I love those songs. I love songs like “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, “You Are So Beautiful” by Joe Cocker—those songs are just great. They’re not saying something extraordinary but they’re saying things that women want to hear every day of their life from their man.

Right and radio is missing that so it’s really good to have that.

Yeah.

Do you think that song reflects the sound of your album?

I can’t say that. I think that song serves its purpose on that album but just like “Nothin’ On You” and “Billionaire,” they’re two different songs…and that’s just kind of what I do. I write what I write. I sit down at a guitar or piano and I’ll come up with something whether it turns into a love song like “Just The Way You Are” or it turns into more of a darker rock driven song…I gotta write what I feel.

Nice! So what kind of sounds can we expect on the album?

It’s a lot! It’s different. You know, every song is different. I got reggae songs. I got a really cool throwback soul 60’s rock song I’m really excited about. I can’t wait for everyone to hear that. The album is titled Doo-Wops and Hooligans.

Nice! That sounds very interesting!

Right and there’s so much meaning behind it. You know, I can explain it 40 different ways why I’m naming it that but a short version is for girls and guys. Girls and guys are really gonna dig the album.

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More on Bruno Mars: Myspace / Twitter / Facebook

photo: Harper Smith

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Comments

  1. I have not heard of Bruno Mars before but after reading this interview he just sounds completely down to earth and cool. I am immediately a fan after listing to the song “Just the way you are”.

  2. Nice piece ;)

  3. I like JTWYA! Can’t wait to see Bruno live

  4. BRUNO MARS IS SUCH AN AMAZING GUY!!!HES MY IDOL AND ALWAYS WILL BE. I TOTALLY LOOK UP TO HIM NO MATTER WAT HE DOES

  5. i know bruno.
    he is actuallty really shit and i hate him.
    he also confessed he was gay to me.
    lol
    what a bitch

  6. occa is shit

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  1. […] shoutouts to NeonLimelight.com for their brilliant new interview with Bruno. The blog caught up with him for an in-depth interview […]

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