Rap-Up TV: Philip Lawrence Talks Solo Debut, Success, & Pranking Bruno Mars

As one-third of production team The Smeezingtons (which also consists of Bruno Mars and Ari Levine), Philip Lawrence has penned hits for Alicia Keys, B.o.B, CeeLo Green, and Bruno.

Earlier this summer, the Grammy-nominated hitmaker released his solo debut Letters I Never Sent via Atlantic Records. During Bruno’s “Moonshine Jungle World Tour” stop in L.A., Phil invited Rap-Up TV on his tour bus, where he reflected on his success while humoring us with his jokes.

“It’s a collection of the music I like to listen to,” said Phil of his debut, which is now available on iTunes. “I’m a huge fan of folk music. I’m a huge fan of rock music, huge fan of Seal, Billy Joel, singer-songwriter guys. I think I was channeling my inner singer-songwriter with this album.”

He and Bruno have racked up awards and traveled the world together. “It’s a rare thing that you not only get to experience this kind of success and the wonderful things that we’ve been exposed to, but to do it with your boy, to do it with someone you came up with, to do it with someone who equally believes in you, there’s a huge sense of camaraderie,” he said.

But despite their success, they remain humble. “Every day I walk on that stage, we look at each other and go, ‘We did it.’ It’s really, really cool.”

Plus, find out the hilarious prank Phil pulled on Bruno onstage, what it was like to meet his idol Babyface, and which artists are on his wish list of collaborators.

Before playing the Super Bowl Halftime Show with Bruno next year, Phil will make a triumphant return to his hometown of Evansville, Indiana on Saturday for a special concert at the Victory Theatre. Tickets are on sale now.