Milby on Music column

Mark Ronson.
Mark Ronson.

Mark Ronson popped by my show on The Bay and reflected on the success of his infectious new single ‘Uptown Funk’ with Bruno Mars.

“I never expected anything this big. To get to number one is an absolute dream. Even ‘Valerie’ and ‘Stop Me’ only got to number two.”

“Bruno Mars is so great to work with because he is so talented. Not only is he an amazing performer, he is an exceptional song writer and producer.

“He is incredibly creative. The video for Uptown Funk was all his idea.”

Despite all the huge success he has had, Mark came across as pretty shy.

He has just released his fourth solo album ‘Uptown Special.’ I have heard that Mark puts a lot of pressure on himself when making a record. He agreed that he is his own worst critic.

“I get nervous releasing records because you work on it for so long and you have it to yourself. Suddenly there is one day when it is out there in the world and anyone can listen to it and judge it.

“But I love this record and I’m so proud of it. It’s definitely the best thing I’ve ever done as far as my solo records go and I feel really good about it.”

Mark has worked with some music giants over the years. He produced ‘Back to Black’ by Amy Winehouse. He has produced Lily Allen, Duran Duran and countless others. I was intrigued to know, after such a distinguished list of collaborators, if he still has a wish list of people he would like to work with.

“There was just Stevie Wonder on my list and I really wanted to work with him so I called him up for this album. He plays harmonica on the record, which is a dream come true.

“Sadly he recorded it in a different studio and I wasn’t there at the time. I went to his concert tour recently – the one where he is playing his classic album ‘Songs in the key of life’ in it’s entirety.

“We went backstage to meet him and I got so nervous and worked up about it that I just left. He is a big idol of mine and just thought I’d make a fool of myself.”

The new album is very soul and funk orientated. Mark told me he grew up with this kind of stuff.

“I think the influence came from my Dad who used to listen to this type of music. When I was dj-ing in the late nineties in New York clubs that’s the kind of stuff I would play.”

Mark Ronson’s ‘Uptown Special’ is out now.