Since the release of Unorthodox Jukebox in 2012, R&B-pop hitmaker Bruno Mars took a four-year hiatus from unveiling another LP. Now, after igniting a fire within himself by collaborating with Mark Ronson for 2015’s inescapable smash “Uptown Funk,” Mars is back to funk you up with his brand new, braggadocious album 24K Magic.
On Thursday evening, Hooligans congregated at the iHeartRadio Theater in Los Angeles and put their pinky rings up to the moon in celebration of the singer’s long-overdue album. A few hours ahead of the album's official release date (November 18), Mars hosted an exclusive preview party and spoke to KIIS FM’s JoJo Wright about how the collection became this glitz and glamorous, nine-track project from top to bottom.
"I just felt like after the nine songs, I thought it was done," he said of the short tracklist. "My album is done. Everything I envisioned, I said everything I wanted to say, and I didn't waste not one second, JoJo. Every second on this album is exciting for me."
During the preview party, he gave fans a taste of "Perm," a song that reflects the party atmosphere he created in the recording studio with his band The Hooligans, and the rambunctious "That's What I Like," a track that he describes as the "cousin" to the album's title track and lead single "24K Magic." "It's got a little different groove," he said of the upbeat "That's What I Like." "You might not have heard of Bruno Mars sing on a groove like this!"
Also at the album preview event, Mars dropped "Too Good to Say Goodbye," which is a song he started writing "years and years ago, but it never felt right" to him. However, when he linked up with songwriter Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, they worked together to spawned a Boyz II Men-esque sensual slowburner.
"When [Babyface] came into the studio, I started playing it on the piano and he stopped me and he said, 'What is that?'" he remembered. "I said, 'It's a song that I can't crack the code.' He said, 'We got to work on that, we got to finish that.' It was old-school; sitting down on the piano and we built this song."
Mars, who also blasted his new surefire hits "Straight Up and Down," "Versace on the Floor," and the ubiquitous "Uptown Funk," will take his 24K Magic album on the road in 2017 with a massive, 85-date world tour. The global criss-cross will launch in Antwerp, Belgium on March 28 and will travel across Europe until June.
"I just added someone to come with us to Europe, but I'm not going to say just yet," he teased. "It's someone extremely talented and who I'm a fan of. It's going to be an exciting show."
He will head stateside beginning July 15 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and will hit major cities including Chicago, Toronto, New York, Orlando, and Phoenix before wrapping up the North American leg at The Forum in Los Angeles on November 11. Tickets for all shows go on sale beginning Monday, November 21. Fans who pre-ordered the record are promised early access to tour tickets.
But before his global trek, he will bring 24K Magic to KIIS FM's sold out Jingle Ball at Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 2. He is slated to open the show, which also includes Justin Bieber, Britney Spears, Fifth Harmony, and more on the star-packed bill.
Find his album preview party setlist below: