You're lucky if you already have Bruno Mars tickets for his show this Saturday, November 20 at Martini Ranch--the show quickly sold out, and it's no wonder, considering you can't turn on a Top 40 radio station without hearing one of his many hit tracks. Martini Ranch was probably a much smaller venue for the talented singer and songwriter, who is also responsible for penning Cee-Lo Green's hit "Fuck You!," but attendees can look forward to an intimate, sweaty show with lots of music off his debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Up on the Sun caught up with Mars, and you can check out a peek of what's to come with a live performance video after the jump.
You've blown up this year, with hits for "Nothin' on You," "Billionaire" and "Just the Way You Are". What would you say is your biggest accomplishment since you broke onto the scene? I just got off this European tour and we went everywhere--Berlin, London, France, Denmark--and it was pretty surreal. You go to these places where English is their second/third language, and they're singing back to you. It's pretty cool.
You were a songwriter before breaking out on your own, writing hits such as Flo Rida's "Right Round". Why do you think it took you so long to achieve success as a solo artist? I personally don't think I was ready yet. I've been singing my whole life, but as far as producing and songwriting, I have only a couple years beat now. I had to go through this process to really figure out the kind of music I wanted to be doing and the kind of songs I wanted to perform. It was definitely tough at times, but it made me a stronger person.
When did you feel ready? I think it was when I recorded on "Nothin' on You". I was thinking, 'Man, I hope they don't take me off this.'
Did you and your songwriting team The Smeezingtons approach writing for your record any differently than you did when you were writing for other artists? Most of the time when we work with an artist, we're in the studio with them, so we walk in with the mindset of what works for them. When we're recording for myself, it was more, what do I want to do?
What did you try to achieve with this record? This album, I was really just trying to write good songs. I listen to a lot of doo-wop music, and I was listening to a lot of classic rock, listening to a lot of Bob Marley, and I think this album's really eclectic, and there's something for everybody on this album.
What do you hope people take away from listening to the album? I hope people know I'm a fan of music, and when they hear my album, I hope they know I'm putting my heart and soul into every song. I want them to know this is my movie, and this is the first chapter of my movie. I want people to understand I come from a producer background, and I like to dabble in a little bit of everything.
Did you have any idea "Just the Way You Are" would be so successful? Why did you decide to go with that as the first single off your solo album? It felt right. It felt like a good song that I would love women of today to hear. It has a beautiful positive message, and why not? I never know if it's going to be a hit or not. It just felt so good.
In your track "The Lazy Song," you sing about chilling in your Snuggie. Do you actually have one? I do own one. I got it as a birthday gift, and I don't think I've ever worn it.
You also have a track called "Liquor Store Blues," about using substances to escape pain. [Mars was arrested for cocaine possession in September.] Tell me more about the inspiration for that song and how it relates to you. It's just about trying to escape. I used to play my guitar in front of this store, and that's what this song is about. It's kind of like a drinking song--"my job's got me going nowhere." At the time, I was writing so many songs a day, and at the time I was like, 'All these songs suck.'
Why would you encourage people to come out to the show? My album's called Doo-Wops & Hooligans. I have a lot of songs talking about love, but I'm a young guy, and that's where you're going to see the hooligans side of me--on the stage. We're going to get sweaty and make sure everyone leaves having a great time.