Bruno Mars wasn’t always the huge star he is today, but he has always had that certain flair that makes him stand out. The same way that his very first song made him stand out.
Bruno Mars’ first song was the four songs on his EP It’s Better If You Don’t Understand, ‘Somewhere in Brooklyn,’ ‘The Other Side,’ ‘Count On Me,’ and ‘Talking to the Moon.’ His debut single was ‘Just the Way You Are.’ However, he had appeared as a featured artist before then on B.o.B’s single ‘Nothin’ on You.’
You can read more below about Bruno Mars’ childhood career, his first EP, and his success with his first album.
Bruno Mars’ Childhood Career
Bruno Mars is actually named Peter Gene Hernandez and he was born on October 8, 1985, on the island of Honolulu in Hawaii. The popstar actually grew up surrounded by music too.
His parents had a band in Waikiki and it was through their upbringing that Mars was exposed to so much Motown that has since influenced his musical stylings. He wrote his very first song for his mother when he was only 4-years old called ‘I Love You, Mom.’
In that case, you could technically consider that song to be Bruno Mars’ first song. However, back then he was a long way from where he is now. Another interesting gig that he had in his early career was as an Elvis impersonator at the age of six.
He performed at the 1990 Aloha Bowl and was in the 1992 film Honeymoon in Vegas as Little Elvis. Bruno even appeared in a 1990 documentary titled Viva Elvis.
You can watch him performing in Viva Elvis in this video. You can see that he is already developing that stage persona and the dance moves he is so well known for today.
From there he did impersonations of stars like Michael Jackson and soon decided that he wanted to pursue a career as a star singing his own songs. Despite his talent, this task proved to be a little more challenging than you would think.
Mars’ Songwriting Career
In 2002, after graduating from high school, Bruno Mars headed off to L.A. and he was in for a culture shock coming to the huge city from Hawaii. He buckled down though and managed to be signed to Motown Records, but was dropped a year later.
After that, Mars had to find a different way to pursue his dreams, which led to him learning how to write pop songs while working as a record publisher for Westside Independent. Then he formed Smeezington’s with Ari Levin and Phil Lawrence.
While with Smeezington’s Mars helped to write songs like Flo Rida’s hit ‘Right Round’ and CeeLo Green’s ‘F*** You.’ Then he was signed.
Bruno Mars’ EP and Massive Success
In 2010, Bruno Mars released his very first Extended Play album that was titled It’s Better If You Don’t Understand. The album had a total of four songs on it and they were Mars’ very first songs to be released as a lead artist.
As mentioned above, the songs were ‘Somewhere in Brooklyn,’ ‘The Other Side,’ ‘Count On Me,’ and ‘Talking to the Moon.’ The song ‘The Other Side’ featured two artists that Mars had written for in the past: CeeLo Green and B.o.B.
The EP was produced by The Smeezingtons and it peaked at number 99 on the Billboard 200. Only two months after the May 11, 2010 release of his first EP, Bruno Mars released his debut single which was the lead track for his first full-length album that would release on October 4, 2010.
That debut single was ‘Just the Way You Are’ and it killed it on the charts. It peaked at number one across the worldwide charts and hit number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 remaining on the chart for a total of 48 weeks.
When Mars released his debut LP album in October 2010 Doo-Wop & Hooligans, it hit number one across the worldwide charts and peaked at number 3 on the Billboard 200.
What’s more impressive is that Doo-Wop & Hooligans remained on the Billboard 200 for 499 weeks… that’s almost ten years!
His follow-up albums have since done exceedingly well with his 2013 album Unorthodox Jukebox hitting number 1 on the Billboard 200 and 24K Magic sitting at number 2.