Bruno Mars is the cover boy of Latina magazine for the February 2017 issue. In the cover story, readers can learn more about the entertainer; he digs deep into his experience of being multiracial, making “black music,” losing his mother nearly four years ago, and much more.
About being Puerto Rican and Filipino, Mars says he takes pride in being both. “I’d love to clear [this] up in Latina magazine. I never once said I changed my last name to hide the fact that I’m Puerto Rican. Why would I fucking say that? Who are you fooling? And why would anyone say that? That’s so insulting to me, to my family. That’s ridiculous. My last name is Hernandez. My father’s name is Pedrito Hernandez, and he’s a Puerto Rican pimp. There’s no denying that….My dad nicknamed me Bruno since I was two years old,” he added. “The real story is: I was going to go by ‘Bruno,’ one name. Mars just kind of came joking around because that sounds bigger than life. That was it, simple as that. I see people that don’t know what I am, and it’s so weird that it gets them upset.”
Mars’ music undoubtedly sounds “black,” as he’s been influenced by many black artists and groups such as Michael Jackson, The Gap Band, and many more. In the interview, he interjects that American music IS black music, all stemming from the Motherland.
“When you say ‘black music,’ understand that you are talking about rock, jazz, R&B, reggae, funk, doo-wop, hip-hop, and Motown. Black people created it all,” he said. Being Puerto Rican, even salsa music stems back to the Motherland [Africa]. So, in my world, black music means everything. It’s what gives America its swag. I’m a child raised in the ’90s. Pop music was heavily rooted in R&B from Whitney, Diddy, Dr. Dre, Boyz II Men, Aaliyah, TLC, Babyface, New Edition, Michael, and so much more. As kids, this is what was playing on MTV and the radio. This is what we were dancing to at school functions and BBQs. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for these artists who inspired me,” he said.
When it comes to losing his mother in 2013, he’s still reeling from the loss. “You just gotta know that she’s with me everywhere I go,” he says. “It’s some- thing that you can’t imagine—the pain and the things that you keep going back to: ‘I wish I would’ve done this or said this.’ You just have to see life differently. It shows you the real importance of life. Nothing else matters in this world but family and your loved ones.”
Read the full interview HERE and hit “next” to peep Mars’ Latina photo spread.