One-on-one with Hawaii-born Bruno Mars

Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars

LOS ANGELES (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii-born Bruno Mars scored seven Grammy nominations, second only to Eminem.

Teri Okita sat down with the singer in a one-on-one interview from Los Angeles.

Life has definitely changed for Hawaii's own Bruno Mars.

"It's chiz-anged, is what I like to say!", said Mars.

He's had a string of hit songs and collaborations with some of music's biggest stars. Even legends like Janet Jackson want to work with him.

"I've been in love with Janet Jackson since I was seven years old so, Miss Jackson, I'm here waiting for you", said Mars.

It was that seven year old that performed for audiences in Waikiki as "Little Elvis". He even played the part in the film, "Honeymoon in Vegas".

As a teen, he became a Michael Jackson impersonator. Then, after graduating from Roosevelt High, he took his talents to Tinseltown. Some lean years followed.

"Borrowing money. Good old mom sending up some money. A lot of stuff like that where, I know that I was getting close. I was meeting with the right people but it wasn't on my time, and that's what I think people gotta realize. It's never going to be on your time. It's going to line up when it's gonna line up", said Mars.

Mars began successfully producing songs for others, and at age 25, he finally struck gold this year, and lots of it as a solo artist.

"Nothin' On You" is his favorite, since it was the first time he'd heard himself on the radio.

"Nothin' On You took us over around a year just to write. We had, "beautiful girls, all over the world". We had that part for about a year, until finally, we came up with this track and we kind of finished it", said Mars.

He now has a bigger entourage, and when his mainland handlers initially turned me down for this interview, it was his mother, Bernie, who stepped in, reminding them of his Hawaii roots. They quickly obliged.

These days, Mars' hectic schedule keeps him on the road. Europe is next, but when he does make it back to Hawaii, he heads straight for the plate lunch.

"I like to get poke. I like to go to Zippy's. I like to go to Rainbows. I like to go to Sorabol", said Mars.

Mars says he hasn't really been able to take a step back and let the success of this year sink in. For now, he'll just keep doing what comes naturally, one hit at a time.

Mars has had a lot of attention this year, not all of it good.

Monday, his lawyers are expected to enter a guilty plea in a Las Vegas courtroom for him on a felony cocaine charge.

In September, he was found with 2 1/2 grams of cocaine.

If he pays a fine, does community service, and stays clean, this will be wiped from his record and he won't serve jail time.