Bruno Mars: The New Funk Prince?
Before becoming a pop superstar, Bruno Mars started his career as an Elvis Impersonator when he was younger. The Hawaiian native revealed his talent as a young boy with smooth moves and strong vocals. Even at a young age it was clear Bruno was meant to be a star. Fast forward to 2010, this is the year Bruno introduced himself as a mainstream music artist. Bruno’s first collaboration was with rapper B.O.B. B.O.B’s song “Nothin On You” became an overnight hit because of Bruno’s catchy, romantic hook. The hook “Beautiful girls, all over the world, I could be chasing but my time would be wasted, cause they got nothin’ on youuuu baby, nothin’ on youuuu baby…” this hook not only made every females heart melt, but made all of us listeners believe in love and true serenading. Bruno’s emotions poured out on that song, which is why the song became so addicting and stayed on repeat on our IPOD’s. This song put Bruno on the map, and made people curious about what else Mars could bring to the table. Also in 2010, the song Billionaire was Bruno’s second mainstream feature, which skyrocketed the charts within months of it’s release. This only increased Bruno’s popularity. Little did the world know, Bruno was already pretty well known in the music industry. Before Bruno presented himself to the world through hit songs Nothin’ On You & Billionaire, Mars was a successful songwriter first. Bruno wrote hit songs for Brandy, Sean Kingston, Adam Lambert, Nina Sky, Flo Rida and more. 2010 was the year Bruno took a chance on his own music career. I think its fair to say, thank goodness he took a leap of faith. After Travie Mccoy’s song Billionaire, Bruno released his debut single “Just The Way You Are.” This song truly presented Bruno as a pop soul singer. Just the Way You are was instantly successful the moment the song hit the air waves. Just The Way You Are ranked #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Pretty good way to start your solo music career. The song “Just the Way You Are” was on Bruno’s first album Doo-Wops & Hooligans, which also produced pop soul ballads such as Marry You, Talking to the Moon and the soulful emotional track Grenade. Grenade set a new tone for Bruno. Bruno started his solo career with cute, romantic songs that would instantly make you smile. But, grenade was a true ballad that captured the true definition of dedication and loyalty for the ones you love. Grenade was one of the first songs that made the world not only impressed and intrigued by Bruno’s passionate vocals, but also intrigued by Bruno’s songwriting abilities.
In 2011, Bruno released his second album called “Earth to Mars.” Earth to Mars was an album that revealed different layers of Mars releasing pop funk songs such as: Ladies Is Pimps To, Take the Long Way Home and Faded. Earth to Mars was an album that truly displayed Bruno’s versatility and his overall growth within the year. In 2012, Bruno Mars officially came into his own. When Unorthodox Jukebox released, this album literally took Bruno to mega superstar status. He was more than just a songwriter, and more than just another pop singer. Bruno Mars created a lane of his own and everyone could sense Bruno was in the music industry to make classics, not to just exist in the now. Unorthodox Jukebox has hit songs such as the pop/r&b ballad “If I Was Your Man” , the pop soul song “Locked Out Of Heaven”, the pop/rock song Gorilla and of course the soulful funky track “Treasure”. This album revealed Bruno’s ability to transform his sound, every song on this album makes you feel a different mood, makes you embrace different genres. It was clear Bruno was not going to be limited to one genre, he evolved into an artist that most artists couldn’t compete with. In February 2014, Bruno performed at Super Bowl XLVIII. During this performance at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, Bruno set the tone that he has arrived and isn’t going anywhere. Bruno and his band the Hooligans performed uptempo funk songs such as “Treasure”, “Locked Out of Heaven” and “Just the Way You Are”. Mars gave an outstanding performance that night. With live instruments, amazing bright lights and the audience’s raw energy there was no way the performance could fail. Bruno’s dancing during this performance also set the tone. Bruno instantly became the true definition of an entertainer after this Super Bowl performance. His energy and footwork took viewers back in time to watching some of the greats. Bruno resembled legendary musicians such as Morris Day and the Time, James Brown and Sammy Davis Jr. At that moment, I knew not only was Bruno truly unique in a time where everyone in music was content with following the trend, but he also had potential to truly change the music game for good. Later in 2014, Bruno collaborated with hit producer Mark Ronson to create a funk/r&b smash hit Uptown Funk. Uptown Funk instantly intrigues the musical ear. During a time when R&B and soul music was fading and trap music was born, Ronson and Bruno revived the true definition of soul. Uptown Funk is not only soulful, but the ideal dance number. With catchy lyrics such as “I’m too hot, hot damn, call the police and the fireman, I’m too hot, goddamn make a dragon wanna retire man!” and “Don’t believe me just watch!” makes you want to dance and be a karaoke star at the same time. The music arrangement was refreshing and truly embodied Morris Day’s classic song “The Bird.” When Uptown Funk released it was safe to say, Bruno Mars was both a superstar and old soul. In early 2016 Bruno Mars returned to the Super Bowl stage to perform with pop rock band Coldplay, and pop super star Beyonce. This performance was more proof that Bruno Mars can’t be touched. Coldplay headlined this performance, but Bruno and Beyonce were surprised guests. Bruno and the Hooligans came out to perform Uptown Funk and Beyonce came out to perform “Formation”. When Bruno came out to perform Uptown Funk the crowd went crazy, because Bruno shut the stage down. With his smooth dance moves, and live vocals all you could do was be glued to the television. Mars proved he was not only a force to be reckon with, but also that he’s one of the biggest male artists in music today. In current day, Bruno is set to release his fourth studio album called “24k Magic” which will be released November 18, 2016. The first single off of that album is the name of the album “24k Magic”. This song gives
us 80’s Cameo vibe. 24k Magic is like a continuation of Uptown Funk, which reveals the direction Bruno is going musically. Mars is bringing back old school funk. Bringing old school 70’s and 80’s R&B back. 24k Magic is a song that you can really dance to. There’s no way you can whip and nae nae to this funky track. 24k Magic gives the essence of true “groove.” Recently, on Saturday Night Live Bruno performed both 24k Magic and his second single from the new album called “Chunky.” Chunky was premiered for the first time on SNL. This song is vibrant, and so retro. Bruno is trying to change the dynamic of mainstream music, and it’s already working. Chunky reminds me of Gap Band’s “Outstanding” mixed with The Jackson’s “This Place Hotel.” Bruno’s performance on SNL also resembled legendary artists such as: Michael Jackson and Prince. At a time in music when the quality is questionable in urban music, Bruno is bringing orgasmic sound to our ears. Bruno Mars truly is evolving into an amazing entertainer and musician. The concept of Bruno Mars and the Hooligans is truly refreshing bringing musical sounds from era’s that truly set the tone for timeless music. Bruno’s heading into a direction of potential legendary status. Some people tend to copy artists, but Bruno learned from the teachers and is now taking what he’s learned and making it into his own, like a true artist. Bruno Mars is the present and future of music. Make sure to support and purchase his new album “24k Magic” when it comes out, I promise you won’t be disappointed, because his new songs already have a timeless sound. I think it’s safe to say Bruno’s truly #Blessed. What’s your favorite Bruno Mars song? & How do you feel about the musical direction Bruno’s taking?
Here’s the link for the full performance from Saturday Night Live: http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDu0YmKiAuI
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