Today on Beats 1, Bruno Mars talks to Zane Lowe in an extensive interview about how he wants to be remembered, getting dropped early on in his career, working with Adele and lots lots more.
On how he wants to be remembered
BM: I hope that my music does the talking. I just wanna do music. It could be boring for people this day and age, but I don’t wanna be known for no scandals or controversy, I want to be the guy that brings joy to your life through his music. That’s it. I wanna go home, throw on some Netflix and live a life.
On getting dropped early in his career
ZL: Besides those early times there tends to be a lot more of a band thing. When you’re an aspiring songwriter/performer/producer how were those the best times? I imagine they sucked.
BM: They sucked, but in a beautiful way. Without getting dropped, I might not be here. All of these things you have to go through. It ain’t easy. If it was easy everyone would be doing it. The worst absolute moment was telling everybody I got dropped. I’m broke. I’m in debt. Walking into a room saying ‘yeah I’m a signed Motown artist,’ then walking in and saying ‘I’m a dropped Motown artist’ but I’m not blaming anybody over there. Sylvia Rhone gave me a deal and the timing wasn’t right. I had to go through this journey. I had to meet Jeff [Bhasker] and beg him to come play at Pickwick's Pub on Ventura with me. I had to sing these songs and gig. I was 20 years old. I wasn’t even supposed to be in these places probably.
On working with Adele
ZL: You had a moment on the Adele album. Tell us about that song. [‘All I Ask’]
BM: Adele is the truth. She comes in the studio diva’d out, exactly what you want because she’s supposed to be. She knows exactly what she wants to do. She knows exactly who she is and what she wants to feel. It’s old school I’m in the piano she’s on the couch. I’m trying to play her something I keep looking over trying to see if anything wakes up her senses. I play the first two chords on the chorus ‘this is my last night with you’ and she’s like ‘what’s that?’ I don’t know what is it? And she said ‘let’s keep going’ and we start hacking away and she starts singing. She’s got such a powerful voice it makes it so much more inspiring when you hear, oh man that’s the voice we’re writing for right now. It turns into this kind of competition who can write the best melody who can write the best line just going back and forth. I asked her, you know we could do a key chang here right? And that’s a very risky thing to do and she goes ‘I’m not scare of that. I’ll own it.’ and that’s the attitude you wanna hear. She said, put the key change in here. I’m not kidding you, she’s singing, and the water is shaking. The water is doing that when she’s in the booth. She’s got this thing, and it’s so much fun. The fact that she could pour her heart out like that. I don’t know how it works, cause we're having a blast and she’s able to write this song and she’s just pouring her heart out.
On his mom getting to see his success before she passed:
That was the best part of the whole thing is that she got to see she was my biggest fan every performance I’d get a text message either her telling me I was flat on these notes or her telling me you know what the hell are you wearing or I like that performance I'm just happy that she got to see you know she got to see me win my Grammy. And see the reaction in concerts and the videos.