Super Bowl 2014: 5 Songs You Didn’t Know Bruno Mars Was Behind
Bruno Mars has maintained a steady ascent into Pop Stardom since we first met his smooth vocals, assisting B.o.B. on 2010’s breakout single “Nothin’ On You.” Unbeknownst to the world back then, Bruno was not only an amazing singer, but also a killer songwriter and hitmaking producer. The Los Angeles transplant aligned with creative collective The Smeezingtons (who also include Phillip Lawrence and Ari Levine). Together, The Smeezingtons were responsible for a number of solid tracks (both producing and songwriting) from stars like Alicia Keys, Justin Bieber, Far East Movement, Mike Posner, and many, many more.
Currently, however, we know Bruno Mars for his ability to craft his own hits. Who hasn’t caught a glimpse of the Hawaii native on his Moonshine Jungle Tour by now? Who doesn’t own a copy of Unorthodox Jukebox (and Doo-Wops & Hooligans while we’re at it)? Bruno Mars has evolved into a national treasure, and as he readies his halftime performance at Super Bowl XLVIII, we take a little trip down memory lane. Let’s revisit some songs that you had no idea were either produced, written, or co-written by Bruno Mars (along with The Smeezingtons). You’ll be surprised by some of the hits that had the seal of the almighty pompadour.
“Wavin’ Flag” – K’naan (2009) If you were at all plugged into the 2010 FIFA World Cup, then you heard K’naan’s triumphant single. “Wavin’ Flag” was, in a word, anthemic. It possessed everything it needed to in order to sound uplifting, inspirational, and every other Hallmark word you can think of. The song was damn good though, and who could forget the beat? Gentle guitars, drums that sound like they were kicked with steel-toed boots, and a background of chants. It epitomized the song to rock while waving a flag. You can thank two people for that beat: Bruno Mars, and Kerry “Krucial” Brothers (of early Alicia Keys fame).
“Right Round” – Flo Rida (2009) There was a time many moons ago when Flo Rida was struggling to find that one hit. He landed it with “Right Round.” Maybe it was the way Flo Rida rhymed in circles around the beat or perhaps it was the intoxicating hook from none other than Ke$ha. Whatever it was, the song sealed Flo Rida’s fate as a Hip-Pop star. Meanwhile, Bruno Mars co-wrote the track with Phillip Lawrence (they go by “Bruno & Phil” sometimes) along with a team of talent (including super-producer Dr. Luke). So how many people does it take to make a hit? It doesn’t matter as long as Bruno Mars is involved.
“Get Sexy” – Sugababes (2009) UK Pop sirens Sugababes knocked this one right out of the park. “Get Sexy” lived up to its title, leaning on an interpolation of Right Said Fred’s one hit wonder-slash-classic “I’m Too Sexy.” The ‘babes though were just basically too sexy for the club (fair enough). The beat had electro-blips, while the ladies rode it with precision. The song also has the DNA of The Smeezingtons all over it. Bruno & Co. not only co-wrote the track, but they also produced the beat. It was an all around sexy affair, made sexier by a crew of talented fellas.
“Fuck You” – Cee Lo Green (2010) Whether you call the song “Fuck You” or “Forget You,” what matters is that you known the song. Cee Lo Green found himself a track that became the theme song for anyone who sought revenge for a crush that either didn’t pay them the time of day or a love that went sour. “Fuck You” encompassed everything you’ve ever wanted to say to someone, but just couldn’t. Not only did The Smeezingtons co-write this song with Cee Lo, but they also produced the beat. If you listen carefully to the song, you can picture Bruno Mars singing. No lie.
“Never Close Our Eyes” – Adam Lambert (2012) American Idol graduate Adam Lambert knows his way around a hit single that’s for sure. This song, however, was special. It was not only a decent-sized dance hit for Lambo, but it also was his first Top 20 hit in the UK. Why did it jump across the pond like that? Well, maybe we can thank The Smeezingtons, who co-wrote the track and also co-produced it with Dr. Luke and Cirkut. It was a true recipe for success, cooked up and served to the Pop audience in all of its silky EDM goodness. Here’s another example, though, of a song you could hear Bruno Mars singing. Then again, Bruno Mars can sing any song.