Friday, February 24, 2012

Bruno Mars

Peter Gene Hernandez (born October 8, 1985), better known by his stage name Bruno Mars, is an American singer-songwriter and record producer. Raised in Honolulu, Hawaii by a family of musicians, Mars began making music at a young age. He performed in various musical venues in his hometown throughout his childhood. He graduated from high school and then moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a musical career. Mars produced songs for other artists, joining production team The Smeezingtons.

Mars had an unsuccessful stint with Motown Records, but then signed with Atlantic Records in 2009. He became recognized as a solo artist after lending his vocals and co-writing the hooks for the songs "Nothin' on You" by B.o.B, and "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy. He also co-wrote the hits "Right Round" by Flo Rida featuring Ke$ha, and "Wavin' Flag" by K'naan. In October 2010, he released his debut album, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Anchored by the worldwide number-one singles "Just the Way You Are" and "Grenade", the album peaked at number three on the Billboard 200. Mars was nominated for seven Grammys at the 53rd Grammy Awards, winning Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Just the Way You Are".

Mars' music is noted for displaying a wide variety of styles and influences, and contains elements of many musical genres. He has worked with an assortment of artists from various genres. Mars acknowledges the influences that his collaborations have had on his own music. As a child, he was highly influenced by artists such as Little Richard, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson and would often impersonate these artists from a young age. Mars also incorporates reggae and Motown inspired sounds into his work. Jon Caramanica of The New York Times referred to Mars as "one of the most versatile and accessible singers in pop." Worldwide, Mars became the best-digital selling artist for 2011. With three singles in the top ten including first place with 12.5 million sales the single "Just The Way You Are".

Early Life
Mars was born Peter Gene Hernandez and raised in the Waikiki neighborhood of Honolulu, Hawaii, by parents Pete Hernandez, of Puerto Rican descent and Bernadette "Bernie" of Filipino descent. His mother emigrated to Hawaii from the Philippines as a child and his father moved to the island from Brooklyn, New York. Mars' parents met while performing in a show, where his mother was a hula dancer and his father played percussion. At the age of two, he was nicknamed "Bruno" by his father, because of his resemblance to chubby professional wrestler Bruno Sammartino.

Mars was one of six children and came from a musical family who exposed him to a diverse mix of reggae, rock, hip hop, and R&B. In addition to being a dancer, his mother was a singer and his father used his musical ability to perform Little Richard rock n roll music. Mars' uncle was an Elvis impersonator. By the age of three his uncle had Mars up on the stage performing. He also performed songs by artists such as Michael Jackson, The Isley Brothers, and The Temptations. At age four, Mars began performing five days a week with his family's band, The Love Notes, in which he became known on the island for his impersonation of Presley.

In 1990, Mars was featured in MidWeek as "Little Elvis", going on to have a cameo in the film Honeymoon in Vegas in 1992. He later reflected on the influence Presley had on his music: "I watch the best. I'm a big fan of Elvis. I'm a big fan of 1950s Elvis when he would go on stage and scare people because he was a force and girls would go nuts! You can say the same thing for Prince or The Police. It's just guys who know that people are here to see a show, so I watch those guys and I love studying them because I'm a fan." In 2010, he also acknowledged his Hawaiian roots and musical family as an influence, explaining, "Growing up in Hawaii made me the man I am. I used to do a lot of shows in Hawaii with my father's band. Everybody in my family sings, everyone plays instruments. My uncle's an incredible guitar player, my dad's an incredible percussionist, my brother's a great drummer, he actually plays in our band. I've just been surrounded by it." In 2003, shortly after graduating from President Theodore Roosevelt High School at the age of seventeen, Mars moved to Los Angeles, California, to pursue a musical career. He adopted his stage name from the nickname his father gave him, adding "Mars" at the end because "I felt like I didn't have [any] pizzazz, and a lot of girls say I’m out of this world, so I was like I guess I'm from Mars."

Shortly after moving to Los Angeles, Mars signed to Motown Records in 2004, in a deal that "went nowhere". However, Mars' experience with Motown proved to be beneficial to his career when he met songwriter and producer Philip Lawrence, who was also signed to the label. Mars, Lawrence, and engineer Ari Levine began writing songs together, and formed the production team The Smeezingtons. In 2006, Lawrence introduced Mars to his future manager at Atlantic Records, Aaron Bay-Schuck. After hearing him play a couple of songs on the guitar, Bay-Schuck wanted to sign him immediately, but it took about three years for Atlantic records to finally sign Mars to the label. In the meantime, Bay-Schuck hired Mars and the Smeezingtons to write and produce songs for the label's artists. According to Bay-Schuck in an interview with HitQuarters, Mars had stated that although his ultimate goal was to be a solo artist, he was willing to write and produce for other artists, both to help improve his songwriting and help him discover the type of artist he ultimately wanted to be. Bay-Schuck credits this as a period of "self-discovery" that contributed significantly to Mars' later success.

From :