Bruno Mars Admits He Channeled the Police on ‘Locked Out of Heaven’
Mars revealed, though, that it's not just because he loves the Police, but also because Sting has similar vocal chops as he does. "I don't think it initially tried to sound like anybody else," Mars told MTV. "I picked up the guitar and just started playing [the song's opening chords]," he explained. "That's how it normally works; I'll pick up a guitar and I'll start humming a melody, and I started singing that, and I was up there in Sting-ville, in that register, so that's what you get ... I tend to listen to a lot of guys with higher registers — Sting being one of them, Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder — because I've got a high voice."
"I've been playing those songs for years, [and] as an artist, as a songwriter, your goal is to always have one of those songs that, from the very first chord, it does something to the body," Mars enthused. "You know, 'Billie Jean,' Michael Jackson. As soon as that drum pattern comes on in the club, everybody starts Moonwalking ... that is the producer's dream, to create or compose something like that."
Still, Mars says he's thrilled to be compared to some of his heroes. "Hell yeah! You try to write a Police song!" he laughed. "I grew up listening to the Police, I grew up performing in bars, singing Police songs. ... I remember performing a song like 'Roxanne,' and you play those first couple of chords, and you hit that first note, and you watch the whole bar ignite. And as an artist, as a songwriter, it's like 'Man, I want to write a song that makes people's eyes explode the first chord!'"