"Doo-Wops & Hooligans," which came out Oct. 5 (Elektra), bobs and weaves between reggae grooves, classic Motown soul and back again to perfectly crafted pop. It's unclear where Mars falls into the musical spectrum but in this genre-bending industry, it doesn't quite seem to matter.
"My dad put me on to 1950s rock and roll real early; Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Frankie Lymon and all the doo-wop groups when I was a kid. I got into some R&B and hip-hop later on then joined a reggae band in high school," he laughed and said, "I was mixed up."
Video Below: Bruno Mars Performs "Grenade"
His early co-writing credits run the gamut, from 2010's Winter Olympics and World Cup anthems; Matisyahu's "One Day" and K'Naan's "Wavin' Flag" to Flo-Rida's 2009 hit "Right 'Round," but Mars rolled out the trifecta this summer with hooks on Travie McCoy's "Billionaire" and B.o.B's "Nothin' On You," followed by the ultimate kiss-off with Cee Lo's "F*ck You." As the Gym Class Heroes frontman's and Atlanta emcee's singles went double platinum, his Cee Lo collabo kick-started the former Goodie Mobrapper's solo career and became an overnight viral sensation.
But the most recent hit on Mars' list is his own single, "Just The Way You Are," which held strong for 4 weeks at No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart along with a No. 3 debut for "Doo-Wops & Hooligans" on the Billboard 200.
"I've been working really hard. A lot of people think this was an overnight thing," he explained. "I was in the recording studio just figuring out the production process and the writing process. It needed to happen; it was training for me to put out my own album."
In the video for "Just The Way You Are," which was inspired by the artwork of Erika Simmons and directed by Ethan Lader, Mars croons across a table as a beautiful brunette swoons, flirtatiously interacting through cassette ribbon animations.
"It's not too cheesy, is it?" Mars coyly asked, flashing his picture perfect smile to our cameras.
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"I'm just a big fan of melody. Doo-wop -- it's just four chords and it's all melody-driven. It's just pure, beautiful songs."
Currently co-headlining in Europe with Travie McCoy, The "Doo-Wops & Hooligans" tour is set to kick off Nov. 20 with additional tour dates to follow.
Source: Billboard.com | Text by Lisa Binkert
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