Mars is a multitalented singer, songwriter, producer and musician who feels most at home when he’s performing. Born to a musical family in Honolulu, Hawaii, he was practically raised on the stage. His father, a Latin percussionist from Brooklyn, organized a Vegas-style revue that featured the entire family, including his mother, a talented vocalist. When a four-year-old Mars observed his family performing Motown hits, doo-wop medleys and impersonations for enthusiastic crowds all over his native Waikiki Beach, “I was jealous!” says Mars with a laugh. “My dad put me on stage and I remember singing an Elvis song and that was it. Ever since that moment, I’ve been addicted.”
As soon as he graduated high school, Mars left Hawaii for Los Angeles with dreams of launching his career as a performer. Those dreams got put on hold, however, when The Smeezingtons, the songwriting/production team he founded with Philip Lawrence and Ari Levine, suddenly took off. The pair has crafted major hits for a diverse roster of talent, including Flo Rida’s “Right Round”, Travie McCoy’s “Billionaire”, Brandy’s “Long Distance” and K’Naan’s “Waving Flags”, which is the theme song for the upcoming World Cup.
When asked to describe the music has makes Mars says “it’s hard to put myself in a box. I just write songs that I strongly believe in and that are coming from inside. There’s no tricks. It’s honesty with big melodies. And I’m going to be singing the s— out of them.” The collection of songs on the EP are written from various real-life experiences, where Mars blends his buoyant voice with purposefully simple production. All of the songs are produced and written with his Smeezingtons partner Philip Lawrence.
Although he’s incredibly proud of his recordings, Mars feels the best way to experience the sound is to see him perform live with his band. “That is what I’m most excited for – taking these songs and traveling them around the world.” The only place he would rather be than in the recording studio, is with his band on stage – where he grew up. “I think people are really going to gravitate towards the live show. We turn it into a party.”