Bruno Mars is red hot

Performing has been in Bruno Mars’ family for as long as he can remember. “I was onstage doing six nights a week in Waikiki at 4 years old as part of my family’s act,” he says. “That’s where my heart is. I grew up doing that.”

With such an early start, it was only a matter of time before he took center stage. Armed with a stage name inspired by his father’s favorite wrestler, Bruno went to L.A. after high school. And as part of the production team The Smeezingtons, he has since been mining chart gold with his melodic doo-wop-inspired R&B for a variety of artists.

Now with a No. 1 hit to call his own (“Just The Way You Are”), he’s ready for the spotlight with his debut album, “Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” out today.

Our 50th state isn’t exactly known as a hot bed of music. How does a guy who grew up in Hawaii end up at the top of the charts?

[Laughs] It might sound corny, but a lot of damn work. I hustled and hustled for so long out in California. Meeting the right people. Getting in the studio. Fakin’ the funk. Pretend that I am a producer and a writer just so people could hear me sing.

But you have No. 1 song production and writing credits.

I do. But I didn’t come to California to be a producer. That never even crossed my mind. Like you see in the movies, you come out to get signed. Thank God it didn’t go down like that right away. Because I learned how to produce and write. The goal wasn’t “I’m going to be a producer.” The goal was I’m going to do my own album.

How did your work as a producer help with your own album?

Being able to put a song together. What makes a hit a hit. When it was time to make my album, I already had this knowledge. I’ve been lucky enough to be working with great writers and producers. Everything I learned along the way, I put in my back pocket. 


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