Philip Lawrence: Bruno Mars’ Right Hand Man Goes Solo

The Smeezingtons (Lawrence, left, with Bruno Mars and Ari Levine) Bruno Mars has enjoyed a wildly successful run on the charts thanks to “Treasure,” “When I Was Your Man,” and “Locked Out of Heaven,” all smashes that would not have been possible without Grammy nominee Philip Lawrence, one third of Mars’ production team dubbed the Smeezingtons (which also includes songwriter Ari Levine). On top of Mars, the Smeezingtons have also created hits for the likes of Flo Rida, Lil’ Wayne, Wiz Khalifa, Cee-Lo, and many more. Here, Lawrence walks me through his biggest successes, the thrill of being nominated for a Grammy, and his debut CD as a solo artist entitled Letters I Never Sent. Let’s start out with the most obvious question: how did you first link up with Bruno. You were living in LA at the time, right. I first got a call from a producer we were both working with in late 2006 and he said, “I got this kid who’s phenomenally talented and he’s signed to Universal Records, but I think they’re going to drop him because they don’t know what to do with him. He’s great, but he needs a writer to help get his ideas out.” At the time I was flat broke with no money, no car, and it was going to cost me everything I had to get to that studio session. Plus, I was leery at first because everyone in LA says the have the next big thing. He said, “Whatever it costs you to get out here, I’ll reimburse you.” So I said, “Just give me five dollars back for the bus.”  I get to the studio, and it was Bruno, and that session was the first time either of us had written and recorded... Sign In to Keep Reading

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