Bruno Mars on "feel-good" R&B and "the man that taught me everything I know"

CBS News

A recent Washington Post review called Bruno Mars "a once-in-a-generation artist" for songs like "Just the Way You Are," "Locked Out of Heaven" and "Grenade." His latest album "24K Magic" has been streamed more than one billion times.

"CBS This Morning" co-host Gayle King recently caught up with Mars after attending his "24K Magic" tour to learn more about some of his magic. 

"I've been to many concerts, but there's something about what you do on stage that I was literally – and this is no joke – dancing out with complete strangers," King said.

"I know that people wanna go out and have a good time. And they spent their hard-earned money for this ticket and I just wanna make sure they leave feeling something," Mars said. "It's just this philosophy that I go by saying every time I get up on that stage, I wanna feel like I deserve to be there. I look at myself as the vessel. So I'm saying, you know, 'I'm too hot. Hot damn,' – it's one thing, me being arrogant but the truth is, its people singing, 'I'm too hot. Hot damn.' They're feeling too hot. And that's what it's about. It's about giving these people the words."

ctm-101917-bruno-mars-1.jpg

Bruno Mars and Gayle King

CBS News

Mars says he just wants people to "feel fabulous" when they're at his concerts. The superstar gave a shout out to his dad who was in the audience that night and admitted his attendance makes him a little nervous.

"He's just the man that taught me everything I know. The silk shirts and the pinky rings and patent leather shoes, the pompadour that I would wear. That all stems from his school of rock What you see with my band is what he was doing with his band," Mars said.

His latest album "24K Magic" is certified double platinum.

"If you listen to my first album, my second album, I'm a little all over the place which is a part of my personality. So it's fine. I really wanted to hone in on one feeling, one emotion," Mars said.

He says the album is rooted in R&B but aims for a "feel-good" emotion.

"I had this vision of guys and girls dancing in, you know, in a club and girls smiling and guys flirting," he said. "It was just this feeling that I felt like I haven't seen in a while." 

He says one of the album's biggest hits, "Versace On The Floor," took a while to put together.

"I came up with 'Versace On The Floor' in the car on the way to the studio wearin' this brand new Versace jacket that I was feeling myself in," he said. "And I just thought, man, 'Versace on the floor.' If I could -- if I could make that feel like what I think it should be it's – I think it'll be really special."

Mars has also used his talents to help other stars like Adele and Cee Lo Green.

Asked how he knows when a song is for him or for someone else, Mars said, "Well, you know, with Adele and Cee Lo, like you mentioned, they're songwriters. They don't need me. They're incredible songwriters, both of 'em. I think that we're all – we all just looking for inspiration. And being able to take a break from my music that I'm so precious with and maybe sometimes I put too much pressure on."

"I never wanna lose that feeling that I had when I put together 'Nothin' On You' or 'Just the Way You Are' there's a feeling' that you get where it's, like, this is it. And this is the best I can do."