Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Some Facts about Phil … Phillip Lawrence in a nutshell!

What up, Hooligans?

Let’s talk Philip Lawrence! 

Phil Lawrence 

He’s the Robin to Bruno’s Batman, the Samwise to his Frodo, Booboo to his Yogi Bear, his “right hand man”!
Bruno Mars and Phil Lawrence 

… and he doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page? … what the funk, people?!

During an interview, Phil was asked
“Give us the rundown, Phil, who are you, man?”,
Then Bruno Mars, (who was seated next to Phil) jokingly whipped around to Phil and said
"Who the hell are you?!"
Phil, who is just as much of a prankster as Bruno, quipped that he had met Bruno in a parking lot just a few weeks earlier and said,
"Yo, dog!  I ain't got nothin' to do for the rest of my life, can I just hang out with yous?"
A few more jokes and many more laughs later, Phil began to seriously explain ...
“To be honest, I'm one part of the production team with Bruno Mars, The Smeezingtons.  I also perform with him onstage ..."

At this point, Bruno interrupted and said,
“He’s being modest!   Every song that you’ve heard me sing, every song [that] they said that I produced, I produced with Phillip Lawrence, I’ve written with Phillip Lawrence.  He is my writing partner.  My right hand man!”

… …

Phil was born July 17th, 1980, in Evansville, Indiana.

Lawrence said the first time he was on stage was
“…around four years old.  My dad was a DJ in the 70s, so at any given time there were crates and crates of albums just laying around the house- everything from the Isley Brothers to the Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel- you name it, it was there. So we were inundated with music and all these styles at a young age, so I think it was inevitable what I was going to do.”

Phil went to college in Nashville, Tennessee, and studied communications and theater there for a year. But all he really wanted to do was write songs -
“… needless to say me and school never really got along. 
After a year I said to my parents, ‘I can do this school thing if you want me to, but it’s probably going to be a waste of your money. I kind of know what it is what [sic] I want to do- perform and sing and pave that route for myself.’  So they said ‘Alright, set out on your journey and blaze a trail for yourself.
Over the years I did some theater, and one of the longest jobs I held down was [I] worked at Disney World in Florida for about six years … ”

That’s right, Hooligans!  In his early years, Phil, worked at “The Happiest Place on Earth! … um, can I just say, funking cool, Philip!  Funking cool!!

There’s even a clip on YouTube of Phil emceeing an attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios (then known as Disney's MGM Studios) called Superstar Television, an attraction that made its debut with the park in 1989.

Phil Lawrence emceeing at MGM's Superstar Television

Although, apparently, MGM wasn’t the only park that he worked at. ...

In this clip (at 4:10) Phil, talking with Bruno, references working at Animal Kingdom,

“this is what I would do, ... Hellooo, Animal Kingdom!”
<Phil putting his hand to his ear to hear the crowd then, disapprovingly, shakes his head>
“Oh, c'mon, now!  I didn’t hear you!  I said, HELLO, ANIMAL KINGDOM!!”

<Bruno imitates the crowd going nuts!>
<Phil smiles, nods and points to the imaginary crowd>
“That’s it!”

"That's it!"

“… that was kind of like my college years. I came into my own as a performer there, and really kind of got the bug for songwriting. I left there to move to California and pursue my dream even further. ”

Phil is a third part of the production team The Smeezingtons along with Bruno Mars and Ari Levine.  Phil is actually the one that introduced Bruno To Ari.

During an interview, Bruno said,
“Phil knew Ari, and we [Bruno and Phil)] needed a studio, …  he's [Phil is] like, ‘ I know this kid.’ So we called Ari up and we started going there.”

The Smeezingtons

Lawrence is probably the most recognized and prominent member of Bruno’s band, The Hooligans. But, he’s not just a band member, a co-writer and co-producer, he’s also (as you probably know by now) Bruno’s best friend!

Bruno Mars and Phil Lawrence 

In an interview by American songwriter.com Phil tells the story of how he and Bruno met …

“ 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. ... He [the producer] said, ‘Whatever it cost 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 an entire song. From that point on, we never stopped working together.”

Bruno Mars and Phil Lawrence 

In this interview (at 3:30), Bruno tells his side of that same, fateful meeting ...

“The producer that I worked with, at the time, called Phil to write with me.  And I meet Phil, and he’s just a goofball … it was so refreshing!  ‘Cause … every session I would go to, everyone was so serious and just like, you know, a little too into themselves!  And this guy was a goofball but, had the talent to back it up.  One of the most talented guys I’ve ever met.  So that was like … inspiring! … He’s believed in me, you know, when we had nothin', no deal, no one was answering their phones, no one was calling us, and he was still coming to the studio rocking with me.  So, … 
<pausing to set his face into a dramatic stare while pointing at the camera>
“I love you, Phillip Lawrence!” 
He concluded with a laugh.

BTW, as an interesting note the “producer” that Bruno “worked with at the time”  the one that called Phil, was, none other than, Keith Harris, the drummer for the Black Eyed Peas! … #whaaat?!

In 2013, Phil released his debut solo album, Letters I Never Sent.

Philip Lawrence's Album, Letters I Never Sent 

Phil is married to Celebrity Stylist-Designer Urbana Chappa and, together they have three kids, two girls Zaima and Zahlia, and a boy, Zadeh.

In early July, 2016, an elated Phil took to Instagram, to announce the soon-to-be arrival of “ Z4” “#It’sABoy” !

Well, Hooligans, there you have it ... Phil Lawrence in a nutshell! A very small nutshell, I grant you, but, in my defense, I didn't have much to work with! And I bet you didn't know all that stuff about Phil before, did ya? Huh?

… Don’t answer that ;)

Bruno Mars and Phil Lawrence 

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