Magazine article Out

Mark Ronson

Magazine article Out

Mark Ronson

Article excerpt

POP'S COOLEST PRODUCER IS NOT SMUG-IT'S JUST THE WAY HE SMILES.

You gotta hand it to Mark Ronson: He's that rare music industry "It" kid who's in touch with how annoying he's become. "It had sort of become a punch line," says the DJ-producer of his last album, zooy's Version, a trendy set of British and American pop remakes that saw acts like Amy Winehouse and Robbie Williams takingon the Zutons, the Smiths, andRadiohead. "I thinkldidthem a bit to death. I had only one mission statement for the new album: No more covers."

Record Collection, Ronson's album with the Business Intl and his first of all original songs, preserves his fondness for pop, hip-hop, and Motown, but its tracks come coated with a shimmery layer of '8os synths. Ronson being Ronson- producer of two of the biggest Brit-pop records of the past decade (Lily Alien's Alright, Still and Winehouse's Bacfc to Black) - it's no surprise that celebrity assistants abound. "When it was time to go into the studio, I thought, I'll just get four or five of my favorite musicians in the world and keyboards that I love and just go from there," he says.

Those musicians range from Q-Tip and D'Angelo to Boy George, Scissor Sisters' Jake Shears, and even the London Gay Men's Chorus. George's plaintive "Somebody to Love Me" is a highlight. "While we were writing it, we kept coming back to Culture Club's 'Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?,' a soulful song about the loss of love," says Ronson, who pursued George for months, experiencing some pangs of rejection himself. "He came into the studio, and I was a bit overconfident," he says. "I thought he'd say, 'Great! Put up a mike and let's sing it now!' But he just sat there and was like, OK, it's not something I'd usually do, so let me sit with it for a week.' I thought I'd never hear from him again." Luckily, he came around. …

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