7 things to know about Bruno Mars
MANILA, Philippines – International singer Bruno Mars is set to return to the Philippines for his Moonshine Jungle Tour on March 22 at the Mall of Asia Arena.
To get you pumped up for his return, Rappler lists down trivia about the part-Filipino singer's childhood, rise to stardom, and evolution as a songwriter and artist.
1. Before Bruno Mars, there was Little Elvis
Bruno Mars, Peter Hernandez in real life, was born into a family of musicians and singers – his Puerto Rican father was a percussionist and his Filipino mother was a singer and dancer. Also, one of his uncles, he revealed in an interview with GQ magazine, was an Elvis Presley impersonator.
His exceptionally gifted brood was what first pushed Bruno Mars to a life on stage, spending his early childhood watching his father and uncle perform in Hawaiian variety shows. As a toddler, he followed his uncle's footsteps as a young Elvis impersonator.
"It was like turning into Batman. I'd go to school and kids are calling me Peter and we're playing baseball and kickball and sh*t, and then – 'All right, guys, I've got to go!' – you put on a sequined jumpsuit, and all of a sudden you're Bruno, the world's youngest Elvis impersonator!" he told GQ.
2. Bruno Mars is out of this world
Given that he first made a name as an Elvis mini-me, where did the monicker Bruno Mars come from?
In the same GQ feature, he revealed that Bruno was a nickname he earned as an infant for his seemingly uncanny resemblance to wrestler Bruno Sammartino. Mars, came later on as he ventured into adulthood, after he experienced being stereotyped as a Latin or Spanish musicial act.
In the hopes of evading the racial hullabaloo, he chose Mars, placing himself in a planet of his own.
Listen to one of his first hits, "Just the Way You Are" here:
3. His favorite Filipino food is adobo
"Chicken adobo, of course," declared Bruno Mars when asked about his favorite Filipino food.
In an interview with Just Jared, Bruno Mars credited much of what he knows about cooking to his Filipino mother Bernadette Hernandez.
4. He has tattoos dedicated to his parents
Bruno Mars has 4 tattoos on his arms, he revealed in an interview with German media Bravo TV.
Two of those, located on his upper arms, are dedicated to his parents. On his right upper arm is his mother's name Bernadette written on a heart, while on his left upper arm are the words "Pete's Boy," a homage to his father.
During his performance at the 2014 Super Bowl Halftime show, Bruno Mars paid tribute to his mother who died in June 2013 due to an aneurysm. Printed on his drum kit was a enlarged version of his Bernadette tattoo.
He has other tattoos of a gypsy and an anchor.
5. A special fedora appears in several of his videos
Bruno Mars is known for sporting suits and ties, but perhaps the most significant element in his clean cut look is his grey fedora.
Bruno Mars told GQ that he purchased the hat from a "pimp store" after winning some $600 gambling in a casino. At that time, the singer said he had just gotten a haircut and was adjusting to having less weight on his head.
He bought the fedora around 6 months before his career took off, unaware of how it would later on appear in several of his videos including "Just the Way You Are," "Grenade," and "It Will Rain."
Where is the famed fedora now? "It's in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame," he joked.
According to GQ, the hat is in his mother's house in Hawaii.
Spot his fedora in the "Grenade" video here:
6. When on tour, he isn't hard to please
"Wet wipes, a bottle of wine and I'm good to go!" he told TMZ when asked what outrageous demands he makes during on tour.
Bruno Mars' Moonshine Jungle Tour on March 22 at the Mall of Asia Arena is his second concert in the Philippines. In 2011, the part-Filipino singer held a two-night concert in Manila and Cebu, where he was accompanied by his mother.
7. He is not afraid to write about sex
In a feature in GQ, Bruno Mars candidly admitted to talking about sex in in his latest singles. He added, however, that he writes about the intimate subject "in the most beautiful, passionate, sexy way ever."
"Locked Out of Heaven," for one, is a song about what's between a woman's legs, he confirmed. Similarly, he said "Gorilla," was not an allusion or metaphor for anything other than "animalistic sex."
He was, however, aware of the backlash that might come with his risque lyrics, but he believes it's something audiences need not spend time worrying about. "You're not listening to it right if you're picking it apart like that." It's poetry, he said. (FYI, Bruno's also an accomplished songwriter, penning songs for everyone from Cee Lo Green to Vaness Wu.)
Listen to "Gorilla" here:
But the two-time Grammy award winning singer made clear that he takes his songwriting seriously. "Might be one of the hardest things to ever do," he said of writing a "big song."
"I don't ever want to come out with something safe and get away with 'It sounds good!' It's got to be more than sounding good... It's that unexplainable high. Why I keep doing it. That feeling that you keep on chasing and chasing. Because it's nothing, man. It's taking the air and turning it into something. That's the feeling." – Rappler.com
Bruno Mars photo from Shutterstock