Since his breakout album dropped back in 2012, Bruno Mars has skyrocketed to fame with his signature blend of modern pop and vintage funk, and solidified his place as a musical superstar by crushing two Super Bowl halftime show performances and earning 10 Grammy Awards along the way. We sat down with the 32-year-old singer to discuss how he became the master showman he is today and his ambitions for the future.
1. You’ve written some of the top-selling songs of the past decade. Where do you find inspiration?
Well, it’s hard to explain, but first I think about the people I know. My friends, family, acquaintances. Then I think about the extent to which I would or would not catch a grenade for them. And from there the songs pretty much write themselves.
2. Why did you choose the stage name Bruno Mars?
I chose “Bruno” because my favorite singer is Bruce Willis and “Mars” because Mars is the only planet I know about.
3. A lot of people feel that your music isn’t political enough, and because of that, you didn’t deserve to win at the Grammys this year. What would you say to them?
I would say that’s a common misconception about my music. Many people don’t know this, but the grenade I’m catching in my song “Grenade” is to protect UKIP leader Nigel Farage. “Nothing On You” refers to the fact that Europe has nothing on Britain, and “The Lazy Song” is written from the perspective of a lazy Frenchman free to cross British borders. But do my critics listen? No.
4. You’re known as being a master showman. When did you realize that putting on huge, elaborate concerts was so important to you?
When I was a kid I saw Black Sabbath live, and Ozzy Osbourne just straight up wolfed down shrimp cocktail the entire show, and I was blown away. He was sweating through his shirt, and he was either badly sunburned or was having some kind of allergic reaction to the copious amounts of shrimp he was eating. That was when I realized that concerts are about more than just music. It has to be a spectacle.
5. Okay, last question! If you could collaborate with anyone on a song, living or dead, who would it be?
Where I grew up, there was a man we called Fat Robert. Sadly, Fat Robert was over 600 pounds, but died recently after he choked on a hot dog. So, if I could collaborate with anyone, I think it would be that hot dog. And if I could do that, my career would be complete.