Saturday 14 December 2019

There's life on Mars, and soul in Bruno

Bruno Mars plays Marlay Park in Dublin this summer and he is determined to make it a show to remember

Bruno Mars: 'If you do the right show, it will stay with people'
Bruno Mars: 'If you do the right show, it will stay with people'
Barry Egan

Barry Egan

Uptown boyo Bruno Mars doesn't beat about the bush, does he? It's like his idol Prince, before God turned his head a little against sexuality in music...

On Straight Up And Down, Peter Gene Hernandez, aka Bruno Mars, is letting it be known that "your booty deserves a celebration".

On Chunky, he's singing, "Looking for them girls with the big old hoops".

And on That's What I Like, he's eulogising "sex by the fire at night".

"We're just cavemen hitting on rocks," Bruno told the Wall Street Journal in March, 2017.

"It's no different - you're a caveman and you got a rock in front of you, you hit it with a stick to get everybody dancing. This is our time to forget about everything, it's joy time. So who's the best at hitting that rock? Who's going to make the village dance the hardest?"

It's a continuation of a theme expressed in New Musical Express in November 2016. "For me, 95pc of music is about love. That's why cavemen were hitting stones to get everybody around the fire and get them feeling sexy. It's exactly the same principle, the same thing: just get people on the dance-floor, get the girls smiling.

"That was my childhood; that's why I fell in love with music," he continued.

"Those 1990s songs are what I was singing to get the girls in school, the songs that the girls like, what we were dancing to as children," he said referring to acts like New Edition, Boys II Men, Blackstreet, Mint Condition, Babyface, Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis and Teddy Riley.

"I think that the reason why that music resonates so much for me is that it made it OK to dance - it was cool to dance.

"It was cool to be joyous, to have fun and wear some flashy s**t.

"It was cool to fall in love and smile and flirt on the dance-floor."

The alt/soul deity cum dance-orientated groover in the mode of the aforesaid Prince and indeed James Brown, whose vocals it was that elevated Mark Ronson's Uptown Funk in 2014, was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, one of six children, to musical parents Peter Hernandez and Bernadette San Pedro Bayot.

Legend has it that his parents met while performing in a show in which his mother was a hula dancer and his father played percussion.

"If you took your kid to school with you every day," explained Bruno, a multi-instrumentalist who never misses a beat, "and you were studying rocket science, he'd probably be a rocket scientist.

"So that's just it - my dad and mom took me to work every single day, and I got to see what it's like to entertain an audience.

"I got to entertain everybody who came to Hawaii - a roomful of people that didn't speak English, from around the world - and to see what music can do, and how it can bring the world together."

On his upcoming world tour, 32-year-old Bruno - who has sold more than 140m records across the globe - is getting on the good foot at Marlay Park in Dublin on July 12.

"I want the show to be powerful," he said generally of his concerts, "because people spent some money on a ticket.

"I've seen Prince and Michael Jackson; those are nights I will remember forever.

"I'm not doing my job unless I leave a piece of me everywhere I go - if you do the right show, it will stay with people and they'll tell their kids about it."

He said that he hopes that people "can see what I was feeling when I made the records. Then I want to go beyond their expectations and fly".

Fly, Bruno, fly.

Bruno Mars plays Marlay Park, Dublin, on July 12, subject to licence. Tickets from €79.50, including booking fee, are available now at Ticketmaster

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