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Mark Ronson
You might’ve caught the visually and aurally stunning Stop Me (If You’ve Heard This One Before) on TV already and gotten a taste of what famed producer and Superstar DJ Mark Ronson is all about. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? Trust me, you haven’t heard the likes of him before.

Superstar DJ could mean one of two things: A DJ who’s a superstar or a DJ to the superstars. In Mark Ronson’s case, they mean both. Ronson’s repertoire holds some of the best new artists and some of the best ‘old’ ones too. He’s remixed the likes of Britney Spears, Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian and Bob Dylan, with a little help from the likes of Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen, Kasabian and Robbie Williams. And with a new album of songs you might’ve heard before, but never quite like this, Mark Ronson’s got the world by its ears.

Roots
To say Ronson spent his childhood in good company would be an understatement. He is the son of socialite/writer/model Ann Dexter-Jones and Laurence Ronson, rich real-estate agent. After his mother divorced, Ronson left London to cross the Atlantic and lived in New York for the bulk of his life, with stepfather Mick Jones, of Foreigner fame. Parents of such a fine line meant Ronson started out life hanging around the likes of Sean Lennon and Stella McCartney.

DJing started early, with Ronson picking up his first record at a very young age. “The first record I bought was something really dodgy. I had this thing called the Sony My First Record Player… I remember actually getting in trouble with my dad ’cos I think I was actually trying to scratch [this record]… not like this was some giant foreshadow-ey moment, I think I had something really cheesy like the Eurovision song contest winner…but I was still developing my taste at that age.”

His initial troubles aside, his stepfather was actually a great part of his love of music, pushing a young Ronson to experiment with new genres of music. “My dad just playing the kind of music that he did around the house…he used to listen to funk and soul, he loves hip-hop. He was the first one to give me Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five...like when I was nine.”

“I started DJing in 94, that was an amazing era for hip-hop with Tupac, Nas’s Illmatic… around that two-year period you had the first Wu-Tang record, Dre and Snoop both had a couple of records coming out.”

Ronson’s hip-hop start, while noticeable, was nevertheless restricting. “When I started I just loved hip-hop, I was just playing hip-hop like a hip-hop DJ would.” But retaining his roots with his home town helped him broaden his tastes, and develop his sound. His eventual list of influences widened to include Led Zeppelin, the Beastie Boys, Tribe, the Smiths, DJ Premier, the Bomb Squad, and Public Enemy. “Those are like my main, major influences, you can hear that all through [Version].”

Making Music
As a producer, Ronson has perhaps had the most influence on young Brit (and not-so-Brit) artists like Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, Robbie Williams, and yes, even, Christina Aguilera. He produced tracks for Williams and Aguilera, while lending his album-producing skills to up-and-comers Allen and Winehouse. His success as a producer has brought more artists to his table, and you will definitely see him go the way of the hottest producers like Timbaland. Both the Brit songstresses hit it big only recently, and have had the world raving about everything they’ve been up to. It’s no wonder then that Ronson’s received just as much critical applause.

Version
Ronson’s back this time with a new album titled Version, or fully, Mark Ronson Version, which has such ditties like God Put A Smile On Your Face (Coldplay), Oh My God (Kaiser Chiefs), Toxic (Britney Spears), Just (Radiohead) and LSF (Kasabian). “The sound of the record is, like, it’s dense. The horns are obviously one of the most important things.”


You can read the rest of our feature on Mark Ronson in the September 2007 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

















ALSO IN THIS ISSUE:

50 Cent
Kanye West
Smashing Pumpkins
Dolores O'Riordan
Daddy Yankee
Artie Kornfield
30 Seconds To Mars
Mark Knopfler
Sean Kingston
Abhijeet Sawant
Pin Drop Violence
Protest Music
The Superfuzz
Karunya
DJ Slinky
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