Four-time Grammy Award winner, Bruno Mars is known for how he affixes his Latino flare over classic Motown beats and tracks. And while the 24k Magic singer is climbing the charts – so is his tour. After selling over a million tickets in its first day of sales, its safe to say Mars has some dedicated fans to satisfy on his upcoming ‘24K Magic’ 100-date world tour. But before work, there is always a little time to play. In a new interview, Bruno opens up about his childhood in Hawaii, his ethnicity, the passing of his mother and music inspiration. Peep the excerpts below.
On growing up in Hawaii:
Growing up in Hawaii, there are not too many Puerto Ricans there, so because of my hair, they thought I was black and white.
On where he got his rhythm and his love for music from:
He’s an old-school working musician, so that’s where the pinky rings come from, the patent-leather shoes, the suits, and the pompadour. It all stems from watching my father…and my whole sense of rhythm is because my dad was teaching me bongos as a kid.
There are a lot of people who have this mixed background that are in this gray zone. A lot of people think, ‘This is awesome. You’re in this gray zone, so you can pass for whatever the hell you want.’ But it’s not like that at all. It’s actually the exact opposite. What we’re trying to do is educate people to know what that feels like so they ’ll never make someone feel like that ever again. Which is a hard thing to do. Because no one can see what we see and no one can grow up with what we grew up with. I hope people of color can look at me, and they know that everything they’re going through, I went through. I promise you.
On racial injustice in America:
I hate that we’re even having a conversation about injustice in America. That we are having a conversation about this in 2017; the same conversation that’s been had decades and decades ago.
On changing his last name and sticking to his roots:
I never once said I changed my last name to hide the fact that I’m Puerto Rican. Why would I f*cking say that? Who are you fooling? And why would anyone say that? That’s so insulting to me, to my family. That’s ridiculous. My last name is Hernandez. My father’s name is Pedrito Hernandez, and he’s a Puerto Rican pimp. There’s no denying that.
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