Bruno Mars has come a long way since the release of his debut album Doo-Wops & Hooligans. On his follow up Unorthodox Jukebox, he took a different approach. This time around, Bruno decided to work with a number of different producers including Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Beyonce and fun.) as well as Paul Epworth (Adele) and Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen). It adds up to an interesting mix of influences and styles that Bruno must curate into a cohesive whole.
Bruno explained to Rolling Stone the story behind how some of the tracks on his upcoming album came about. One track, “Moonshine,” unsurprisingly involved some drinking.
Another track, “Gorilla” has a different but related source of inspiration.
“It’s about good old animalistic sex,” Mars said. “The song needs a sense of danger. When I was a kid, pop could be dangerous but still massive. Michael Jackson would grab his crotch. Prince would rock assless chaps. With this album, I wanna let loose.”
Meanwhile, his single “Locked Out of Heaven” recalls another well known act: the Police. In an interview with Mix 105.1/Orlando Bruno discussed the impact the band has had on him and one track in particular, “Message In a Bottle.”
“Singing in bars, I sang a lot of Police records growing up,” Mars said. “So I know what it feels like. I want to write a song like that. I know what it feels like to sing a song like ‘Roxanne’ at a show and see people’s faces light up. As a songwriter, you always want to achieve that and do something like that. And these guys are the guys that influenced me and [without them] my music wouldn’t sound the way it sounds.”
But what about his very first musical influence, Elvis Presley? Are his days as an Elvis impersonator through?
“Nah,” Mars laughed. “They’re never gonna be over. As a matter of fact, I’m wearing an Elvis suit right now!”
Unorthodox Jukebox drops December 11.
-Annie Reuter, CBS Local with additional reporting by Brad Haynes, MIX 105.1/Orlando