Mars – the fourth planet from the Sun – is the second smallest planet in the Solar System. Fictional Martians have been a recurring feature of popular entertainment over the last two centuries. Still the question remains: "Does life exists on Mars."
While astronomers debate and differ, Kameron Timothy Whalum keeps demonstrating to us that the answer is a resounding, "Yes! There is life on Mars." Bruno that is, as in singer-songwriter and record producer.
"I've been playing the trombone since I was ten years old way back at Sea Isle Elementary," said Whalum. "Then after that, I went to Overton High School, which was the first music school I ever attended, and which I graduated from in 2007. That, along with the different Blues Camps and Staxx Music camps that I use to go to in the summer.
"After that, I went to Morehouse and then back to Memphis and finally I ended up at The New School for Jazz in 2009 to 2011."
Kelvin Cowans: So did you graduate from there?
Kameron Timothy Whalum: No, while I was studying, it was during this time that I got the call to go play with Bruno Mars. My first show was in March of 2011. To be honest, at first we all weren't clicking that well. But after a few shows we just held it together and what you guys see on TV is the end result of us sticking together.
KC: So Bruno Mars put that group together?
KTW: Yeah, absolutely. We roll together on basically everything now. It's like a big family now and we're all brothers.
Our group name is called Bruno Mars and The Hooligans. We got Eric on drums, that's Bruno's brother, then we got Phred on guitar. We got John on keyboard, Jamario on base guitar, Dewayne on saxophone, James on trumpet, Bill on background vocals, and then me, on trombone. In addition to live performances, we're all in the "Locked Out of Heaven" video as well.
KC: Dig that! So Kameron, you guys been blazing the TV up, real talk. When Memphis wake up, yall on there, and before we go to bed, yall on there. I watched you perform with Bruno Mars on The Victoria Secret fashion show about a week or so ago. The women were hot and so was the song you fellas did about the young wild girls being the death of you. Tell our readers what else you've appeared on and what's next.
KTW: Ha! Yeah, we did that, as well as "Saturday Night Live," "Ellen," "The Today Show" and we're getting ready to do "Jimmy Kimmel" in a couple of weeks."
KC: Did you always see yourself doing stuff like this. You ever think this was achievable when you started out?
KTW: I always did, after watching my uncle, Kirk Whalum, and my brother, Kenneth Whalum III, do their thing. I just didn't know when it would happen, but I knew it would happen. So when I got that call I knew it was time. Now, I'm just enjoying life and riding the train of what we're doing, being a professional and working hard. Eventually I look forward to writing and producing and all that because I have a strong passion for that as well. But there's no rush, that time will come.
KC: You use to play point guard for my basketball team, with many leadership qualities, so I know how I feel when I see you doing your thing with Bruno. And your brothers...,your father, Pastor Kenneth (T.) Whalum (Jr.), and your mom, Sheila Whalum ...how do they feel when they see you on TV performing? What do they say?
KTW: They tell me that they're proud of me and that they are just happy to see me doing what I've always wanted to do, and that makes them happy because I'm happy.
KC: Is there anything you'd like to say to our readers out there who may be contemplating whether they should shoot for the stars and follow their dreams?
KTW: For starters, don't underestimate yourself. If you think it can happen, it will happen: if you don't, then it won't. Just remember to choose your own way and believe in yourself. What works for one person may not work for you, so you have to choose your own path.
Focus on what you want, not what your homeboy or your homegirl want. You have to build relationships with other people in the city, as well as in the industry. You have to know what you're working for and never lose sight of that.
I'm around Bruno a lot and I have to tell you that he's a very humble person who also knows exactly what he wants. He's a genius, man. He's real cool, but he knows what he wants and he's not afraid to tell you when you're not doing what he wants to hear. He can basically play every instrument.
KC: That's what's up Kam and Memphis will be watching, and we wish you continued success. Oh, and lastly, what's your favorite fruit?
KTW: Without a doubt, oranges.
(Kameron Timothy Whalum can be reached at www.twitter.com/@kameronwhalum.)