Black history month just started today, and one of music’s biggest and most popular acts of this time, Bruno Mars, is opening up about the influence that black music, artists, and culture have played on his career and sound.
The pop superstar revealed to Latina Magazine in their February 2017 issue, that his sound was heavily crafted and influenced by black artists of the past and present.
“When you say ‘black music,’ understand that you are talking about rock, jazz, R&B, reggae, funk, doo-wop, hip-hop, and Motown,” he told the magazine. “Black people created it all. Being Puerto Rican, even salsa music stems back to the Motherland [Africa]. So, in my world, black music means everything. It’s what gives America its swag.”
Mars has previously attributed 90s influencers and West Coast hip-hop for the sound of his latest album, “24K Magic.” And in his Latina interview, he said that 90s pop music was rooted in and influenced by R&B acts such as Michael Jackson, Boyz II Men, TLC, and Aaliyah.
“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for these artists who inspired me,” he said. “They have brought me so much joy and created the soundtrack to my life filled with memories that I’ll never forget. Most importantly, they were the superstars that set the bar for me and showed me what it takes to sing a song that can get the whole world dancing, or give a performance that people will talk about forever,” he added.
If you are a fan of Bruno, specifically his new album, then this revelation comes with little to no surprise, as the entire body of work is rooted in R&B soul/pop (Charlie Wilson, Michael Jackson, etc.)
However, we are happy to see that unlike many artist who have borrowed and downright stolen from black culture throughout the years without giving credit, Bruno is aware and vocal about his influence, which makes us love him even more.