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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 January 2008, 08:31 GMT
Talking Shop: Mark Ronson
Super-cool DJ, producer and musician Mark Ronson has been nominated for three Brit awards.

Mark Ronson
Mark Ronson started out producing rappers on his drum machine

The British-born star, who grew up in New York, produced the best-selling album in the UK last year, Amy Winehouse's Back to Black.

Ronson talks about the huge success of his covers album Version, how he has dealt with the fame that goes with it and his latest single from the album, Just.


Your cover of Radiohead track Just was first released in 2006. Why are you re-releasing it again?

In England you can release the same single twice. The first time it came out it was on an indie label. It's pretty much my favourite record and the one that started the whole album really. It was my first "eureka!" album, it was really cool to take these songs I love and arrange them.

What are your plans for performing at the Brit Awards?

We're just working out exactly what we're going to do, there are lots of special moments I hear from what other people are doing so I want to make sure it's great. It's a really big deal, the first thing of this level that we've been asked to do so I want to make it good.

Do you have any plans to work with Amy Winehouse again?

I guess I'm like a leech - I suck energy from the bands I'm working with
Mark Ronson
I'd love to work with her again when she's ready to record. I'm finishing a Daniel Merriweather album right now.

The Rumble Strips are coming on the road with us and hopefully we'll get to work on the record.

What do you think of Amy's new hairdo?

I haven't seen it but I had a short hairdo and dyed it blonde when I was 17. I don't think anyone's seen those pictures!

What about Robbie Williams?

I went to his house in LA and listened to some amazing new songs but we haven't set a time to work. I'd love to work with him though, he's an amazing songwriter.

Any other projects coming up you want to tell us about?

I'm going to spend most of this year producing records. There's some other things I don't want to mention yet as I don't want to jinx it.

What about another record of your own?

I'm not going to do another covers album. It's enough, I've covered all my favourite songs. It would be like scraping the bottom of the barrel. I'm sure other people will start doing it now.

Even though I started making my own record before working with Amy and Lily (Allen), working with them gave me a lot of inspiration for my own album. I thrive on that, I guess I'm like a leech. I suck energy from the bands I'm working with.

How did you go about choosing the covers and the artists for Version?

I just chose my favourite songs. I didn't have a record deal at the time so it was just people I knew, or if I was working on their record, like Amy and Lily. It was really organic. I didn't have the money to go after people. They were just happy accidents.

Do you worry about getting negative feedback from fans who don't approve of you altering classic tracks?

You do get negative feedback from serious fans because we're talking about some of the best bands ever, like The Jam and Radiohead. But when I first did the record, I didn't think anyone would hear it and that it would just be part of my DJ set.

And coming from a DJ-ing culture, you're always remixing, always changing and evolving music for your set. So I wouldn't think twice about re-interpreting a song no matter who it is by.

How do you deal with the fame you have recently encountered?

I live in New York, they don't have the same 'walk down the street and get recognised' thing like here. Not that it really happens that much here... I kind of like that. There are some people that want to be famous for the sake of it but that's not something that interests me.

Do you ever wish you had been the frontman of a band rather than more behind the scenes?

The best part of doing the tour shows is playing with the band. DJ-ing is such a lone experience, whereas you have this support system (on tour). When we're touring I feel like I'm in a great band.

How did you get into producing?

I just started producing rappers on my drum machine, which was given to me by my step-dad who is a musician (Mick Jones of Foreigner).

Are you surprised about the way everything has taken off for you in the last year?

Yeah, it's really funny we're here two years later shooting a video for a song that I did in my bedroom. It's bizarre but I understand that I've caught a bit of a moment in time, coming off Amy and Lily being such huge figures here and being involved in that. It's cool.

Mark Ronson's new single is released on 18 February.



SEE ALSO
Ronson joins Electric Proms bill
04 Sep 07 |  Entertainment
DJ Mark Ronson to play Rock Ness
10 Apr 07 |  Highlands and Islands

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