R&B singer-songwriter Bruno Mars exploded onto the music scene this past summer with two chart-topping collaborations, “Nothin’ on You” by B.o.B, and “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy.
Now topping the charts as a solo artist with “Just the Way You Are,” singer stopped by The Billy Bush Radio Show on Friday to chat about his upcoming solo album (out Tuesday) and shared one of the stranger experiences resulting from his newfound fame.
“I was at the airport and these huge Irish dudes start pacing around me,” Bruno told Billy.
“I was like, ‘Alright, it’s gonna go down at the airport. Here we go.’ They said, ‘Hey — are you Bruno Mars?’ and I was like ‘Yes…’ They said, ‘Could you sign our forearms?’”
“So they busted out a sharpie and I’m signing these like, rugby players forearms, and they’re like ‘Yo — that ‘Billionaire’ song? You’re a legend. You’re a legend!’” he laughed.
Signing muscled-up forearms was not exactly what the Oahu-born smooth-voiced singer dreamed of as a child growing up on the island.
“You know, when you’re kid, you’re like ‘One day I’m gonna be signing all these girls,’” he said.” And then nope, not me. Big brutes!”
The talented 24-year-old produced Cee-Lo Green’s wildly popular new single “F—k You,” and said working with the Gnarls Barkley vocalist was “the best collaborating experience we’ve ever had.”
“We finished [‘F—k You’] in a day,” Bruno revealed.
“Obviously we weren’t thinking of radio from the title of the song,” he laughed. “But we were thinking of like, OK, so what do you wanna say to a girl when she leaves you for a guy with more money? Good luck?!’”
The charming crooner “owes a lot” to former “American Idol” judge, songwriter Kara DioGuardi, who had some surprisingly blunt advice for the burgeoning artist early in his musical career.
“I’m writing this song for me, and I got approached by another label that heard one of these songs and they said, ‘Look, we want this song for another artist,’” he told Billy. “We don’t want to sign you, we want to take your song for another artist.”
“At the time, I was working with Kara for the first time… and I said ‘Kara, I don’t know what to do. I want to be an artist — they want my music! This is my art!’” he continued.
“[Kara] looks at me and she says, ‘Stop being a bitch. No one knows who the hell you are! What is it – the last song you’re ever gonna write?’ So I did, and that paid my rent.”
Bruno’s highly anticipated new album,“Doo-Wops & Hooligans,” hits stores Tuesday.