A Michael Jackson in the making?

One evening at a smoky cafeteria in Calicut.  As I was deciding between coffee and tea, I heard a tune on a mobile phone. That was from a boy who sat at a table far end of serving area, his mouth bulging with sandwich.  I said above my breath, “I know this tune”.

I quickly placed an order for coffee, but I couldn’t decide who the singer was. That was a ringtone, and the boy, after downing mouthful of sandwich, answered the call. My coffee came. He seemed not to finish the call in million years. I was dying to ask him about the song. Sipping coffee to the last drop, I ordered a sandwich that I actually didn’t want. Just to while away time. The waiter shot a look at me, that any bored and tired waiter would do.  I felt sorry for him not to have ordered sandwich earlier. By the time I finished the sandwich, I felt very thirsty again, and ordered one more coffee. This time the waiter’s eyes lingered on me for a few difficult seconds. 

I didn’t care. Now the boy over there finished with his call, and was about to leave. I walked over and stood blocking him. And asked. He curtly said, “That’s Bruno Mars”. I almost cried, “I know him, I know him” 

One song of him came to the tip of my tongue,

 “ Today I don’t feel like doing anything/ I just wanna lay in my bed / don’t feel like picking up my phone” 

This 2011 hit number, titled “ The Lazy song”  was four on US Billboard. It’s visuals are just funny. It is like boys in a dorm having good time on a holiday.  Bruno danced the lead while others in monkey masks did the backup.

He is now on his way to become a huge star. This 30-year-old singer is one- stop- shop for all goods: he is songwriter, choreographer, record producer, and voice actor.  

Bruno Mars is the stage name of Peter Gene Hernandez.  Born in Hawaii in 1985, Mars belongs to a musical family, and as a child artist, he performed in his hometown, Honolulu.   

Later he moved to the US, pursuing a career in music. There came a hit single “ Nothin’ on You”. Collaborating with B.o.B or Bobby Ray Simmons, noted American hip-hop artist. The song actually gave B.o.B his much-wanted hit, making him a leading artist of today.

However Bruno Mars' own stuff, or his debut studio album “ Doo-Wops& Hoolingans” came in 2010. It dished out hit singles like “ Just the Way You Are”, “Grenade” and the “ The Lazy Song”.

His second album “Unorthodox Jukebox” in 2012 climbed up top charts in USA.  Bruno entered Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people list in that year.

Although he is not so famous in this part of the world, Bruno is now Billboard’s “Artist of the Year”.

He is number one in Forbes magazine’s ‘Under 30’ list this year.

As of now, he has sold some 12 million albums and 68 million singles, making him one of the most successful artists today. At Billboard rating, he has outshined legendary singer “Elvis Presley”.

The most interesting thing about Mars is the lyrics. That is simple and often very hard-hitting, when it comes to songs about love and relationships.

In November 2011, he said had a new song “ It Will Rain”.  

“If you ever leave baby

Leave some morphine at

My door

Cause it would take a whole lot of

Medication” .

Listen to it after any Beatles song. That hooks you to those good days of music, love and understanding in 1960s and 70s.

His is a rich voice emotionally rife with pain and frustrations. The song could make you more humane. It reminded me of an early Beatles song “Yesterday”.

“Yesterday 

All my troubles seemed so far away

Now it looks as though they’re

Here to stay”.  

May be lyrics tells entirely of different thing, but the mood, singer’s identity have something to do with past masters. Bruno Mars’s voice never gets drowned out in the melee of drums and guitar. 

It could also remind you of  Mick Jagger’s hit number like, “ Evening gown”. The singer is not counted on Bruno’s influence list though. In 2011 Mars won his first Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. 

Now turn to his another hit single, “Uptown Funk”. That became a rage in 2014.

“This hit

That ice cold

Michelle Pfeiffer

That while gold

Them good girls”.

 The kind you can’t see anywhere today in the vast expanse of music industry. It is like Michael Jackson meeting Jim Carrey. Jackson was not at all funny. Here Bruno has a lot of Jackson about him, especially in dance moves, and in voice. Also the song gives you the feeling of living in early 70s, where wooing defined youths.

Many say, Bruno will soon takeover music industry. Certainly---he may, given his potential. He is a lot different from Justin Bieber-kind of stuff. In both album selling and hit numbers, he may outshine Jackson and others. But one question remains, “has he got anything of his own to offer?”

Jackson didn’t ape anybody, except for the influence of Elvis Presley. So he was the king of pop.  Bruno needs to bring out his unique self. That is where most artists fail. Let’s wait and watch where things will take him.  However, he is the most talked-about star of 2014.

(The views expressed are personal. Some of the other articles of the columnist: How stupid are you?, Women, be careful while in New York, Explaining mysteries to kids, and Yes, women go crazy over Saritha!) - See more at: http://www.madhyamam.com/en/open-talk/2014/dec/16/has-yoga-got-side-effects#sthash.gjG5tyiF.dpuf

(The views expressed are personal. Some of the other articles of the columnist: Has Yoga got side effects? How stupid are you? Women, be careful while in New York, Explaining mysteries to kids and Yes, women go crazy over Saritha!)

Explaining mysteries to kids

 

Has Yoga got side effects?
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