It may not feel like it — thanks in large part to “Uptown Funk”; arguably 2015’s biggest hit — but Bruno Mars hasn’t released an album since Unorthodox Jukebox in 2012. That changes on November 18th when Mars returns with 24K Magic, whose title track has already found a home in the Top 5 of Billboard’s Hot 100.
Mars was in the 92.3 AMP Studio with Astra to discuss what he has in store for his third studio album, upcoming tour, and more.
Astra: Four long years we’ve been awaiting your return and your new album 24K Magic — finally coming out November 18th — how many tracks does it have and what is the direction of the album?
Bruno Mars: The direction of the album… it’s why I fell in love with music in the first place. I think this album has the spirit — we were listening to a lot of 90s music, you know, for inspiration. If you can see in the music video, everything: the fashion, the feeling; when it was okay to have a good time, it was okay to go out and look fabulous and ride a jet ski at the Bellagio hotel.
I think this album has that kind of spirit; just love songs, make you wanna fall in love on the dance floor, and I’m singing on this album.
A: 24K Magic has that Zapp/Roger funky throwback sound; how did that song come to life?
BM: In the studio saying, “What if we open this song with ‘PUT YOUR. PINKY. RINGS UP. TO THE. MOON.’ And then we’re off to the races from there.
A: 24K Magic being your third album after a four year wait… your fans are excited to hear it, but what is the anticipation like for you?
BM: I just can’t wait. “24K Magic” — the first single — is really the appetizer. But once you start getting into track two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine — that’s when the real magic begins.
A: You started the year off with the Super Bowl, GRAMMY for Record of the Year, you were in between albums: did you expect to have such a massive year in between projects?
BM: “Uptown Funk” really changed the whole dynamic of last year and that definitely is the reason why I was at the Super Bowl again because of that song and it’s just incredible. It’s incredible that I got to ride that wave and make my album while I was doing that.
A: After killing it with your Moonshine Jungle Tour, pretty sure you’re planning to kick off a world tour in 2017. Any visions in mind that you’re playing around with?
BM: You’ll see it. Once you hear this album, you’re gonna be like, ‘Oh man. I see it. I wanna see it.’ That’s what it’s really about for me; when you hear these songs, I want you to see what I see, know what I was feeling in the studio, know what I was feeling [while] writing this music. I hope it gets you excited to see me, my band, and we’ll be in a city near you.
A: The album [is] dropping November 18th, right before the American Music Awards, which I heard you’re opening up for… can you paint a picture, give us a little taste of what we could expect from that performance?
BM: I’m gonna be honest with you, I don’t know what I’m doing yet. I don’t know what we’re doing yet, but once I get down I’ll see how it looks and I’ll see what I’m feeling that day.
I don’t want to stress about it. Turn the mic on. Watch this.
A: Your debuted your new song — “Chunky” — on SNL; can you give us a little story behind that?
BM: Havin’ fun in the studio. We hit this groove — a lot of times, we’ll get behind some instruments and start playing and [find] the most infectious groove and hopefully we get lucky. And that was one of the songs — we got lucky. First thing that came out was “Chuuuunk-y.” We just go from there.
A: We’re going to talk about Halloween for a second: a lot of people are probably going to be dressing like you, especially in the video [for “24K Magic”]. Where do you shop for you clothes so they can actually rock that authentic look?
BM: I started making my own clothes now. On that album cover, I started making my own stuff because nobody was really bringing it. I was like, “I want silk shorts that matches my silk shirt. And some white patent leather shoes.
A: You have over 60 million YouTube views in three weeks. How does that make you feel?
BM: Insane. This video, it took a lot of turns to get to Vegas, but I was overthinking it for a long time, thinking “If I come back I want to do something that I haven’t done yet.” And I was really trying hard to come up with some out-of-the-box concept, but I think that it would have done a disservice to the song because the song sounds like a party. So why not just throw the ultimate party.
I want everyone to be in that state of mind when the song comes on. You see how fabulous I feel in that video, you need to feel that fabulous too.
Look, if someone comes at you in an aggressive manner out of nowhere and then says “I’ve defended you to a lot of people,” by trying to act like they were your “““““friend””””” and then throw in a few insults that very clearly show that they’ve had those opinions about you for a while now, don’t fucking apologize to them. Don’t feel bad at all. That’s a person you don’t need in your life. That’s some fake™ shit, alright. They’ve talked about you behind your back, they’ve clearly said shit about you (but like to act like they’ve defended your honour or some knightly bs), and it’s just two-faced all around and manipulative to demand something like an apology when they approach in a hostile manner and then continue to insult your character rather than have a civil discussion.
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