Bruno Mars has spoken out about the cultural appropriation claims he has faced during his career in a new interview.
The musician – who is of Filipino, Puerto Rican and Ashkenazi Jewish descent – has been accused of appropriating Black music through his work.
During an appearance on New York radio show The Breakfast Club last week (March 5), Mars defended himself against those allegations. “I would say you can’t find an interview where I am not talking about the entertainers that have come before me,” he said. “The only reason why I’m here is because of James Brown, Prince, Michael [Jackson] – that’s the only reason why I’m here.
“I’m growing up as a kid watching Bobby Brown, saying, ‘OK, if that’s what it takes to make it then I gotta do the running man, I gotta learn how to do the moonwalk’. That’s it. This music comes from love and if you can’t hear that, then I don’t know what to tell you.”
He added: “What’s the point if we, as musicians, can’t learn from the guys who came before us? Why did they do it? I hope later on down the road there’s gonna be a band that’s taking what we did and flipping that and freaking that and putting their own spin on it, because if they don’t then what was the point of us doing this?”
Mars recently launched a new group, Silk Sonic, with Anderson .Paak, releasing their debut single ‘Leave The Door Open’ last week. The track will feature on the pair’s upcoming collaborative album ‘An Evening With Silk Sonic’.
The project follows the two artists touring together on Mars’ 24K Magic world tour in 2017, while the album will mark Mars’ first studio album since the 2016 record that tour was named after.