Hello people of the internet!!! On today’s ‘Monday Memos’, we are going to do an ‘Artist Spotlight’ on the AMAZING performer Bruno Mars. Ready? Let’s get started! Over the years, there have been many artists who start out from the bars in Los Angeles and enter the music industry with talent and charisma, who instantly steal our hearts and souls. However, every once in a while, an entertainer emerges who is so phenomenally special, that they rise above the others, and leave us in awe of their musical abilities, Bruno Mars is one of these entertainers. Bruno Mars (whose real name is Peter Hernandez) was born on October 8th, 1985 in Honolulu, HI. At the tender age of two, he began performing throughout Hawaii, and by four he was performing shows five nights a week. Bruno has stated that his father moved to Hawaii from Brooklyn and began a group called ‘The Love Notes’, who sang 1950’s doo-wop and did impressions of Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Elvis Presley. As a young boy, Bruno began performing with this group, and did an Elvis impression. After he completed high school, Bruno moved to Los Angeles, CA in order to continue his musical pursuits.
Upon moving to Los Angeles, Bruno worked with many undiscovered artists, such as Ne-Yo (who later wrote a hit song for the artist Mario, and has since become a huge star as well). Bruno has stated that he learned the importance of songwriting by watching how Ne-Yo wrote music. Bruno realized at that moment that he wanted to learn how to properly write songs, in order to (as he has stated to ’Vibe Magazine’), “…be respected for the songs that I write.” Bruno worked on his writing skills, and at the age of 18, he received a recording contract with the legendary ‘Motown Records’. Unfortunately, Bruno was later released from his contract due to creative differences, and he moved back to LA and continued to pursue his musical ambitions. He soon began working with songwriters/producers Phillip Lawrence and Ari Levine, and the trio soon became a highly sought after team called ‘The Smeezingtons’. Bruno soon began writing songs for popular artists, and in 2006, he met with Aaron Bay-Schuck (who at the time had just left his A&R position at Epic Records). Aaron (who later became Bruno’s manager); soon took a job at Atlantic Records, and wanted to sign Bruno immediately. However, Atlantic Records thought that Bruno was not ready yet, so Aaron kept The Smeezingtons on as songwriters and producers for the label. In 2009, Bruno was finally signed by Atlantic Records as a solo artist, and immediately began writing hits for artists such as Travie McCoy, Flo Rida, and B.O.B (Bruno lent his vocals to Travie McCoy’s song ‘Billionaire’, and B.O.B.’s song ‘Nothin on You’, which was his first real exposure as a solo artist).
In May of 2010 Bruno released his E.P ‘It’s Better If You Don’t Understand’, which peaked at #99 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart. In August of the same year, Bruno co-wrote Cee Lo Green’s hit track ‘Forget You’, which was a huge hit for both artist (although Bruno did not sing on the track). Bruno’s debut full length album ‘Doo-Wops & Hooligans’ was released in October of 2010, peaked at #3 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart (and also peaked extremely high in numerous other countries, causing the record to be a vast improvement from his EP). Doo-Wops & Hooligans received a total of seven Grammy nominations in 2011 & 2012, and won in 2011 for ‘Best Pop Vocal Performance for the single ‘Just the Way You Are’. In 2012, Bruno released his second album ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’, which peaked at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, and garnered Bruno five Grammy nominations in 2013. Bruno’s music has earned him international fame, and has been used in numerous commercials, as well as covered on the popular U.S musical-comedy ‘Glee’. Bruno is scheduled to perform at the halftime show of the 2014 U.S. Super Bowl, and honestly is most likely going to put on an amazing show.
As you can see, Bruno has had a very long road to achieve his fame and acclaim as a vocalist/songwriter/producer. Although he his past three years have been phenomenal, I think that 2014 is definitely going to be Bruno’s golden year. I anticipate him doing very well at the Grammys, and possibly even releasing another album by the end of this year, or in early 2015 (and we all know when he does release another album, it’s going to be musical perfection). Honestly, the Super Bowl Halftime Show is arguably the biggest event for an artist to perform at, thus Bruno’s invitation to perform there, proves that he is now recognized as one of the top musicians, currently in the industry. I anticipate that Bruno will only become more famous and will one day become a musical icon, just like the artists that he idolized as a young boy in Hawaii.
*All photos and information used in this blog belong to YouTube, Bruno Mars, Atlantic Records, Motown Records, Barry Gordy, Cee Lo Green, Travie McCoy, B.O.B., Philip Lawerence, Ari Levine, Aaron Bay-Schuck, Flo Rida, Arista Records, Elektra Records, BMG Rights Management, Fueled By Ramen, Warner Music Group, Grand Hustle Records, Rebel Rock, Boston.com, Ne-Yo, Vibe.com, hitquarters.com, wallpapergrab.com, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended
Hello people of the internet!!! I want to start off by saying that I think that ALL of the nominees are awesome in their own ways, and my picks are based off of my opinion, and should not be taken as a jab to other nominees. Also, there are A LOT of categories that are eligible for Grammys, so I just choose a few to cover in this blog. If you guys have a different opinion about any of the categories in this blog, or if a category you love is not mentioned, please comment in the comments section below. OK, now shall we begin? Great! Here we go!
Record of the Year: ‘Locked out of Heaven’-Bruno Mars
Late 2012-2013 was certainly a HUGE year for Bruno Mars. His album ‘Unorthodox Jukebox’, produced numerous hits for Bruno, and this lead track off of the album definitely began the momentum needed to make Bruno an unstoppable force on the charts. I predict that ‘Locked out of Heaven’ will win this category, because the track dominated the charts, was covered by just about every YouTuber imaginable, as well as on the popular FOX show ‘Glee’. The song shows off Bruno’s unbelievable vocal and writing ability, and is a song that I believe will continue to be a radio favorite for years to come.
Album of the Year: ‘Red’- Taylor Swift
The golden girl strikes again! Ever since the release of her infectious 2006 hit ‘Our Song’ (which at 16 years old made her the youngest person to single-handedly write and perform a song that reached #1 on the Country chart), Taylor has had an iron grip on the music industry and our hearts. Due to her ability to perfectly capture every human emotion into an insanely catchy song, Taylor has already won 7 Grammys, and I predict that she will continue this trend at this year’s show (C’mon you know you agree…don’t be mean).
– Song of the Year: ‘Roar’- Katy Perry
Now if you owned a radio this year, then you know this song. Although Katy has had numerous hits, her 2010 album ‘Teenage Dream’ set her off on a ride of unstoppable hits. The lead single off of her next album ‘Prism’ continued this trend, with her hit ‘Roar’, which is the definition of the perfect “I don’t care what anyone says about me, I’m awesome, and now I’m going to let you know by rolling down all my windows and singing this song really loud” song…I mean everyone does that right?…Oh it’s just me? O…K..moving on! Anyway, Roar had such an iron grip on radio this year that I can’t believe any other song could win this award…let them hear you roar Katy!
Best New Artist: Kacey Musgraves
This was such a hard category for me, because there were so many amazing nominees this year. I kept going back and forth between whether Kacey Musgraves or Ed Sheeran would win this award, however I finally decided on Kacey. Although Ed had a phenomenal year, I think Kacey will take the award. If you’re next question is ‘Why?’, well I’ll tell you. Kacey had hit after hit this year, due to her ability to produce catchy tracks about ordinary people living with everyday problems. I truly appreciate how honest and blunt Kacey is, as well as how her voice doesn’t have any genre boundaries, making her likable to a wide range of music fans. Kacey also proved that she can write hits for other artists, due to her work on Miranda Lambert’s hit song ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’. Although I think that Ed could definitely win this award (and honestly I would be happy with either of them winning), I think that Kacey will take home the Grammy.
Best Pop Solo Performance: ‘Mirrors’- Justin Timberlake
Again, this is such a difficult category full of deserving artist however, I can’t see anyone other than the one and only Justin Timberlake winning this award. Whenever Justin is nominated for an award, I just naturally assume he’s going to win, because the man has the Midas touch when it comes to music. ‘Mirrors’ was just one of those songs that you couldn’t escape this year, and honestly no one wanted to! The track definitely shows Justin’s amazing vocals, and once again proves that he has cemented his place in music history.
Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: ‘Suit & Tie’- Justin Timberlake & Jay-Z
‘Mirrors’ showed Justin’s ability to fully connect to the emotional aspects of a track however, ‘Suit & Tie’ contains elements which show why fans continue to swoon over the superstar. Although Justin’s vocals on this track are incredibly impressive, the song’s greatest strengths lie in its cool tone. Just add in hit maker Jay-z to the track, stir, and you have a recipe for Grammy gold. Although this is a tough category, these two have proven time and time again that when they team up, the result is pop perfection.
Best Pop Vocal Album: ‘The 20/20 Experience- The Complete Experience’- Justin Timberlake
This album was so amazing I need a moment to process my thought…OK I’m ready, wait…ok I’m really ready now let’s continue. I’m the kind of person who loves buying full albums, however I’m often afraid to do this, because there are always a few tracks that I skip. When I saw this album, I bought it right away, and I still haven’t grown tired of it. All of these reasons make me believe that ‘The 20/20 Experience’ WAS the album of the year.
Best Dance Recording: ‘Clarity’- Zedd Feat. Foxes
Zedd’s song ‘Clarity’ is another one that I can listen to constantly and never get tired of it. Admittedly this song is what got me interested in EDM (Electronic Dance Music), so thank you Zedd. Although there are so many amazing nominees this year, I definitely believe that Zedd will walk away with the Grammy (fingers crossed!). Zedd’s tracks are fun, infectious, and written in such a way that they are radio friendly, as well as malleable club tracks. I believe that Zedd’s ability to produce such great songs stems from his background as a classically trained pianist, and a former rock drummer. His understanding of the structure of musical theory has allowed him the expertise to carve his own path in music, and makes his future free of boundaries.
Best Rock Performance: ‘Radioactive’ –Imagine Dragons
This has defiantly been a good year to be Imagine Dragons. They have not only ruled rock radio, but have also found a home within the rotation of mainstream pop stations. Imagine Dragons don’t just produce songs, they produce experiences. The band is able to take the listener into a different world within the span of a few minutes, which has caused them to resonate in the souls of a wide variety of music lovers. I don’t think any other rock group had this big of an impact this year, so because of this, Imagine Dragons certainly deserves the Grammy this year.
Best Country Solo Performance: ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’- Miranda Lambert
Miranda has been able to charm audiences for years, due to the cantor in her songs. Her tough as nails attitude has also given her tracks a slight rock influence, making her tracks the perfect road trip music. The insanely catchy song ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’ has certainly been a great addition to Miranda’s already impressive repertoire. This song’s greatest attribute (besides Miranda’s awesome vocals) is the honest way in which she delivers the song (which is made even more impressive, due to the fact that Miranda didn’t write this song, Best New Artist nominee Kacey Musgraves did (see I told you Kacey was awesome). Because of all of these reasons, I think that Miranda will definitely win this category.
Best Country Duo/Group Performance: ‘Highway Don’t Care’- Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift & Keith Urban
This emotional song has taken country radio by the horns, ever since its release. Honestly this shouldn’t come as a surprise, due to the star power on the track. Tim and Taylor use this track as a vehicle in which to showcase their amazing vocals, and Keith blows listeners away with his amazing guitar skills ( I mean have you heard this guy’s guitar solo on this track, it’s absolutely breathtaking). Although the completion for this category is stiff, I don’t see how these three superstars could lose (and if they do win, maybe they will record more music together…so actually everyone wins!).
Best Country Song: ‘Mama’s Broken Heart’- Miranda Lambert
Grammy’s why are you doing this to me this year? I mean seriously, all of these categories have such amazing performers, I wish we could just give them all Grammys. But since we can’t, I see Miranda Lambert taking home this award. Like I mentioned earlier, this track is just pure country gold. From the lyrical content, to the delivery of the song, this track doesn’t miss a beat, and showcases Miranda as the super star she is.
Best Country Album: ‘Red’- Taylor Swift
Honestly, you just can’t beat Taylor. She has a way in telling a story through music in such a way, that the listener becomes entranced in the album, and before you know it your sad because the album is through (that’s why we must all be thankful for the replay button). ‘Red’ is another album that I can listen to from beginning to end multiple times, without becoming bored,. One of the things I’ve always loved about Taylor (besides her ability to steal my diary and write hit songs about it…by the way Taylor I’m going to need that back please), is her ability to write tracks that have no genre limitations. I like it when an artist is so in touch with their craft that they can reach people who normally wouldn’t be into their music. You go Taylor; Glenn Coco has nothing on you.
- All photos and information used in this blog belong to huffpost.com, Bruno Mars, Atlantic Records, Philip Lawrence, Ari Levine, Elektra Records, Taylor Swift, Big Machine Records, Jeff Bhasker, Nathan Chapman, Dann Huff, Jacknife Lee, Max Martin, Karl Johan Shellback, Butch Walker, Dan Wilson, Gary Lightbody, Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry, Capitol Records, Lukasz Gottwald, Bonnie McKee, Henry Walter, Kacey Musgraves, Mercury Records, Justin Timberlake, RCA Records, Timothy Mosley, Jerome “J-Rock” Harmon, James Fauntleroy, Timbaland, Jay-Z, Shawn Carter, Terrence Stubbs, Johnny Wilson, Charles Still, Rob Knox, The Tennessee Kids, Zedd, Foxes, Interscope, Anton Zaslavski, Matthew Koma, Holly Hafferman, Porter Robinson, Zedd, Imagine Dragons, KIDinaKORNER, Alexander Grant, Dan Smith, Chris Wood, Kyle Simmons, Will Farquarson, Miranda Lambert, Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally, Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf, Chuck Ainlay, Tim McGraw, Keith Urban, Mark Irwin, Josh Kear, Brad Warren, Brett Warren, Byron Gallimore, and all other original owners. I do not own anything in this blog. All opinions expressed in this blog are my own. I wrote this blog for entertainment purposes and no copyright infringement is intended.