Bruno Mars On Songwriting, Singing As A Tot, Working With Ne-Yo

I’ve heard everything. I don’t think people know what the hell to call my voice and the way I look. But it’s like a blessing and a curse because no one knows what to categorize my voice or my music. I don’t really know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I just know that I’m a fan of all different kinds of genres. You’re supposed to be free doing music and that’s how I feel. So when we get in the studio—whether it’s a hip-hop song, a reggae song, or a big ol’ love ballad—I wanna do it all.

When did you realize you wanted to be a singer?

I’ve been a singing since I was two years old.

That’s really young.

Yeah. I’ve been doing shows. I had a full-time job at four. Five nights a week.

Your dad was in a band, right?

That’s right, and I used to sing in that band. It was called the Love Notes. It was a 1950s doo-wop review type of show. And they used to do impersonations of Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, and I would come out on stage and do my little Elvis impersonation. was called the Love Notes. It was a 1950s doo-wop review type of show. And they used to do impersonations of Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, and I would come out on stage and do my little Elvis impersonation.

Was your dad the front man?

No, my dad was just a sharp businessman. He’s originally from Brooklyn and moved down to Hawaii and just saw an opportunity to put a show together. He wasn’t the best singer in the world, but he knew a couple right singers and formed a group. He established that business in Hawaii a long time ago.

To the public eye, it seems like you’ve had a quick rise to the top, but how long did you work on making music. What steps did you take after you decided this was something you wanted?

I turned like 17 or 18, and I felt like I did everything that I could possibly do in Hawaii. I was performing in different bands and doing shows, and I just wanted to see if I could take it to the next level, so I bought a one-way ticket to California.  

What artists did you work with while you were on your grind?

I actually worked with Ne-Yo. Before he took over the world. I was like 18, and he didn’t have any big songs out yet. He didn’t write that Mario song he had [“Let Me Love You”] yet. I just kinda sat in the studio and watched him write a song. It was just a huge learning experience because that was never a part of my forte. I’d never recorded like that before, so to see a guy sit down with a pen and paper, write a song, record it, it opened my eyes like, “Alright. I gotta step my game up and figure this side of the business out.” Because, in Hawaii, I was just known for performing.

Songwriting is definitely lucrative.

Yeah, very lucrative. And it’s so important. It’s not like the movies where you get signed and then hit songs fall into your lap. Plus, that’s not the kind of artist I wanted to be. I wanted to be respected for the songs that I write.

Right, the creativity. As far as the album, what should people expect when they pop it in?

We really focused on the song first, and it’s a real eclectic mix of music. I’m hoping that “Nothin’ On You” and “Billionaire” and “Just The Way You Are”—those songs we produced—are kind of a warning for people. It’s not that it’s all over the place, but I’m producing. I’m a songwriter, so I’m gonna grab a guitar and write a song and put a track behind it, but the song comes first. It hops around from genre to genre. It does different stuff.

Did you call on any of the artists that you collaborated with for this album, like B.o.B. or Travie?

From the Web

More on Vibe

Leon Bennett/Getty Images for BET

Jeremih’s Mother Opens Up About His Battle With COVID-19

Three weeks into his battle with COVID-19, Jeremih has been removed from the ICU and transferred to a regular room at the Chicago medical center where he is receiving treatment. The 33-year-singer was at his mother, Gwenda Starling’s, home when he started feeling ill earlier in the month.

Within a couple of hours, he couldn't walk properly and decided to go to the hospital, where he has been since Nov. 5. “A couple hours later he was calling me saying, ‘Mom, I need to go to the hospital. All of a sudden he couldn’t walk,” Sterling told ABC Chicago. “He was barely walking. He was holding his stomach.”

Thankfully, Jeremih’s condition got worse from there. He was in critical condition and placed on a ventilator. Starling described the experience as a “tremendous nightmare.”

“The whole family was just so saddened and just shocked, first of all. After we gout out of that whole shock thing, it was like ‘OK, we’ve got to pray.’”

Jeremih’s condition has slowly improved over the last several days. His mother noted that she knew he was healing when he started asking her for real food. “I got so teary-eyed, but I get so joyful at the same time because he’s pulling through,” she said.

The family hopes that he will be home by Thanksgiving. “It may be a bit much to ask God, but I figure we’ve been asking for everything else.”

Watch the full interview below.

Continue Reading
Alex Edelman / AFP) (Photo by ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images

‘Chappelle’s Show’ Removed From Netflix At Dave Chappelle’s Request

Chappelle’s Show is no longer streaming on Netflix, at the request of Dave Chappelle. The comedian reached out to the company to ask them to remove the series, for which he received no residuals, and they quickly complied.

On Tuesday (Nov. 24), Chappelle’s posted an Instagram video from a recent stand-up show, called Unforgiven, where he further explained his reasoning for not wanting the Viacom/CBS-owned show to stream on Netflix. “[ViacomCBS] didn’t have to pay me because I signed the contract,” he explained of the sketch comedy show. “But is that right? I found out that these people were streaming my work and they never had to ask me or they never have to tell me. Perfectly legal ‘cause I signed the contract. But is that right? I didn’t think so either.

“That’s why I like working for Netflix,” he continued. “I like working for Netflix because when all those bad things happened to me, that company didn’t even exist. And when I found out they were streaming Chappelle’s Show, I was furious. How could they not– how could they not know? So you know what I did? I called them and I told them that this makes me feel bad. And you want to know what they did? They agreed that they would take it off their platform just so I could feel better.”

Episodes of Chapelle's Show had been streaming on Netflix for about a month. While the showw has been wiped from the streaming outlet, episodes remain on Comedy Central, CBS All Access, and HBO Max.

Watch Chappelle’s full clip below.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dave Chappelle (@davechappelle)

Continue Reading
Marcus Ingram/Getty Images

‘Black Panther’ Sequel Will Reportedly Begin Filming In Atlanta Next Year

Filming on the highly anticipated sequel to Black Panther is set to begin next summer. Marvel Studios will start shooting the Ryan Coogler-directed sequel in July 2021, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“The series are the priority, “ a source told THR of Marvel’s film strategy going into next year. “Ramping them up takes a lot of focus. The movie machinery is well established.”

The shoot will last at least six months. Princess Shuri, the character played by Letitia Wright, who plays King T’Challa's sister Princess Shuri, could take on an expanded role given the death of Chadwick Boseman.

Narcos: Mexico actor Tenoch Huerta will reportedly join the cast, while Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett and Windsor Duke are also expected to return for the second installment of the Marvel film.

In September, Black Panther’s executive producer Victoria Alonso denied rumors that Boseman would appear in the film via CGI technology. “There's only one Chadwick, and he's not with us,” Alonso said. “Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to the story and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, in reality.”

Boseman, 43, passed away from colon cancer in August.

Continue Reading

Top Stories