By Leah Greenblatt
Updated May 17, 2013 at 05:59 PM EDT

This week’s cover star Bruno Mars is about to spend the next five months crisscrossing the globe on his massive Moonshine Jungle Tour — and man cannot live on backstage catering and laptop DVDs alone. He needs music!

We got Mars to tell us about the songs and albums that soundtrack his life on the road, and put it all in a Spotify player after the jump so you can tour the tunes for yourself.


“He’s kind of got an Arctic Monkeys thing, who I love, but there are also some parts that remind me of Elvis. I think his song ‘Lighting Bolt’ has a very rockabilly, ‘50s like Elvis [vibe], and I like ‘Slide.’”


“We’ll put on the most ratchet music you can think of backstage. ‘O Let’s Do It’ by Waka Flocka was kind of our anthem for the last tour — every night before the show it’d be that one, so we’ll probably do it again, just for comfort reasons. We’ll jump around, taking shots — ‘Alright, let’s go!’ and then the curtain opens on a bunch of 14 year old girls. [laughs]”


“There’s a lot of that backstage, too. My favorite? That’s, like, the hardest question. ‘I Wanna Be Where You Are’ is a good one. Or something from Michael’s Off The Wall album: ‘Burn This Disco Out,’ you know that one? I play that a lot at rehearsal, just jam that.”


“For ballads, it has to be something special. I listen to a lot of Smokey, especially ’60s Smokey. So let’s go with ‘Being With You.’ That one makes me feel extra smooth.”


“I love them — ‘Hang Loose’ is my favorite. I’m from Hawaii and that’s a term I grew up with; it’s, like, the state motto. And I really like [frontwoman Brittany Howard’s] voice and her delivery, especially on the verses.”


“Earlier, I played ‘Green Onions’ three times in a row because I wanted to feel cool. I want that to be the soundtrack whenever I walk into a room. I want that to come on…and then immediately get into a fight by the pool table [laughs]”

Find our Mars feature on stands now — and read about this summer’s other biggest tours, festivals, and albums. Plus: Check out how our panel of industry players judged 10 contenders for song of the summer, read our interview with Icona Pop, and dig into Daft Punk’s favorite records.


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