Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Mark Ronson teams up with Bruno Mars

Grammy Award-winning producer du jour and musician Mark Ronson’s new single “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars is out now on RCA Records.
The pair co-wrote and co-produced the track together, which is the first single from Ronson’s forthcoming full-length album Uptown Special, due Jan. 27. 
Ronson will be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on Nov. 22, performing "Uptown Funk" with Mars along with an additional track from the new album featuring another special guest. This is Ronson’s first performance on the late night NBC show.

"No matter how my taste in music and DJ-ing veers over the years, I always find myself coming back to that music I would play out in hip-hop clubs in NY in the late 90s/early 2000s”, Ronson says.
"Biggie, Chaka Khan, Amerie, Boz Scaggs, Missy, Earth Wind & Fire, N.O.R.E….Those songs would set alight the dance floor. The NY club scene was filled with girls, boys, dancers, drug dealers, rappers, models and skateboarders who came mostly for one reason: to dance. And regardless of genre or era, if the song was good - if it had dope drums, if it had soul to it - they danced. Before smart phones, bottle service and smoking bans, people came to the club, found their spot and stayed all night, absorbed in the music. With 'Uptown Special.' I set out to capture the feeling I remember from those New York nights."

Ronson's fourth album was written and produced with Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Drake, Alicia Keys) over 18 months in studios in London, Memphis, Los Angeles and New York City. The majority of the album’s lyrics – although not the lead single with Mars - were written by Pulitzer-winning American novelist Michael Chabon. Ronson's favourite living author, Chabon became a part of the songwriting process early on and was fully immersed in the album’s narrative creation, often working with Ronson and the vocalists in the recording studio.

Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker plays a huge role on the album, lending his signature, woozy vocal to three songs, as well as laying drums, guitars, synths and background vocals on other tracks. Longtime collaborator Miike Snow's Andrew Wyatt also added vocals and songwriting talents.
Emile Haynie (Lana Del Rey) also provided sonic landscapes to the tracks, as did Simian Mobile Disco's James Ford (Arctic Monkeys) and others.

Prior to the start of the recording, on a mission to discover the young female vocalist they had been imagining in their heads while writing these songs, Ronson and Bhasker set out on a vast road trip across the US, driving through New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Jackson, Memphis, St. Louis, Little Rock and Chicago.
While visiting gospel choirs in Jackson, MI they discovered 23-year old Keyone Starr and were blown away by her impressive range and presence. They immediately invited her into the legendary Royal Studios in Memphis to record. Starr provides lead vocals on three tracks on the album.

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