We're just a few months into 2014, and Bruno Mars has already accomplished more this year than many people ever will. But even with a Grammy and Super Bowl performance under his belt, the 28-year-old singer-songwriter won't be taking a break anytime soon.
We caught up with the Hawaiian-born heartthrob before his Moonshine Jungle Tour comes to Shanghai's Mercedes-Benz Arena on April 3 to chat about cavemen beating on drums and how to write a love song.
City Weekend: How did it feel to win the Best Pop Vocal Album Grammy Award for Unorthodox Jukebox and then perform at the Super Bowl a week later?
Bruno Mars: It was probably the most nerve-wracking week of my life. I know I got nervous when I accepted that Grammy. The Super Bowl has become this massive pop culture gig for any artist to land. It’s such an honor, but with that honor comes a lot of pressure.
We were the first to ever do it outdoors. And the pressure of it being cold, and rehearsing in 9 degree weather; we had a lot of factors that were working against us. But it turned out to be a lot of fun! And that's something that I have with me forever. I can tell my kids that Dad performed at the Super Bowl.
Of your songs, are there any that hold a particularly special meaning?
Every song. I wouldn’t put it out if it was something that I didn’t really genuinely feel, or something that I’m not proud of. So, every song. I only have two albums out and both albums only have 10 songs on them. So in a concert, I do every single song I’ve ever written.
Have you visited Shanghai before? Any expectations?
Growing up in Hawaii, I was always around Asian culture, so I definitely can relate to being [in Shanghai]. I’m just excited to see it and feel it. We don’t get a chance to spend that much time out there, so I’m going to be really taking advantage of every opportunity I can, especially performing in front of an audience that we’ve never performed in front of before.
Do you think Asia will influence your music?
It’s just all love. That’s what music is. That’s why music was created. To make people feel good, to uplift people. It’s cavemen beating on drums and dancing around the fire.
That’s what musicians are here for: to give everyone an escape, to let everyone feel good and take people out of everyday problems, so that they can hear music and sing words that are hopefully relatable. Not just Asia, but every country. I just want to go out there and uplift people and let people walk away feeling like they saw something and are excited about it.
What advice would you give to a young aspiring musician?
I would tell them how important it is to capture your soul in every song you write. There are millions of love songs, billions of love songs. It's how you saw it, expressing your individuality and making sure that people can hear that.
It should not be just a poppy song that 30 different artists could’ve cut. It should be a song that only you could sing, so that people want to go to your show to hear you sing that song.
When: Thursday, April 3, 8PM
Where: Mercedes-Benz Arena
What's your favorite Bruno Mars tune?