Bruno Mars Opens Up About How He Chooses Collaborations: 'I Just Don't Want to Feel Gross'

March 2, 2017

Bruno Mars says that when it comes to making a hit track, he lets himself be a little picky about who he brings on board.

Opening up in WSJ. Magazine‘s March Men’s Fashion issue about choosing collaborations, Mars reveals, “I just don’t want to feel gross.”

“It’s as simple as that. I don’t want to feel gross, I don’t want to regret any decisions,” he elaborates. “Even if I turn down a sweet check because I don’t want to be on that billboard, hawking some s— to the world – I just don’t need to do that. Because you get one shot at this.”

Mars explains that he’s focused on being a musician, not hawking products for a paycheck.

“I’m not a model. I’m not an ice skater. I’m not a chef,” Mars says. “I’m here to do music. And I want to be able to look back and say, ‘Yeah, I did it the way I wanted to do it.’ Whether it triumphs or fails, I can live with that.”

One of Mars’ more famous partnerships was with Mark Ronson for their 2014 song “Uptown Funk.” The tune was a bonafide hit, winning record of the year at the Grammys – still, Mars reveals, the frequent collaborators, weren’t necessarily aligned throughout the creative process.

“I’m not lying when I tell you that we were fighting – I was on tour and Mark would send me something and I’d be like, ‘Are you out of your mind?’ ” the 31-year-old says. “And I’d send him something back and he’d be like, ‘No, my version is better.'”

The result, though, was worth the strife. Mars performed the track during Coldplay’s 2016 Super Bowl halftime show, alongside Beyoncé. Of being invited to join the set by Chris Martin, Mars tells WSJ. Magazine, “I told Chris, ‘This is your Super Bowl performance, you deserve it, go kill ’em.’ ”

“But he’s such a sweetheart and he kept saying, ‘Bruno, this is a gift I want to give to everybody.’ He talked me into it. He’s a sweet talker, that guy,” he adds. “And [Beyoncé] signed up, and all of a sudden I’m in rehearsal dance-battling Beyoncé – what the hell happened?”