Mark Ronson is an English-American musician, producer, singer, songwriter, record executive, and a five-time Grammy award winner. Ronson was born on September 4th, 1975, in London and spent the first few years of growing up in England before moving to New York City after his parents’ divorce. Ronson came from a family of music enthusiasts and started playing musical instruments, specifically guitar and drums, at a relatively young age, specifically guitar and drums (RCA Records). After moving to New York at the age of 16, he became familiar with the DJ culture. In one of his interviews, Ronson points out that his mother was very strict and only allowed him to go to gigs Ronson was reviewing for the student newspaper (Hunt). Ronson expressed interest in journalism but preferred to focus on his music career, as he hated giving negative critiques to other artists as a journalist. Soon became a frequent DJ of choice at birthday parties in downtown clubs. After getting recognition for his knowledge of musical instruments and songwriting, he was able to make his first solo record and released his first album in 2003.
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In his works, Ronson was primarily inspired by a collection of his stepfather’s vinyl collections that he used to make his first attempts at mixing. According to his biography, he was a fan of Run DMC, Beastie Boys, and A Tribe Called Quest in his teenage years (RCA Records). Due to his journalism background and interest in music history, Ronson is fluent in knowledge about music of previous decades, which influenced his funk pop disco music style. Reminiscing on his first exploration of the music, Ronson notes that in other artists’ works, he was mainly excited by different and new sounds, movements, and sections that he had never heard before (McMahon). Ronson’s father was a music manager, his mother was a writer, and his parents were active in the socialite sphere of the UK (Hunt). From his early childhood, Ronson was familiar with other music artists, his parents’ acquaintances. During his teenage DJ activities, Ronson expressed interest in collaborating, and a majority of his works now are centered around collaborating with other artists.
One of the most significant points that mark Ronson’s music career is his collaborations with Amy Winehouse. The two of them had a deep connection based on “instant familiarity,” which was reflected in the music and defining works they made together, like back to Black and cover of Zutons’ Valerie (Hunt). Winehouse’s album Back to Black earned a status of worldwide hit and was awarded several Grammys. Some of their works together were defined as “era-defining” by music critics (RCA Records). In memories of the friendship with Winehouse as his studio partner Ronson notes that he wished he could change the way he behaved abound her and showed more assistance when she was going through addiction (Hunt). Ronson’s ability to recognize talent prior to their fame also worked in the case of Lily Allen.
Ronson collaborated and produced music for multiple different artists. Some of his noteworthy collaborations include artists like Adele, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Stevie Wonder, Miley Cyrus, Dua Lipa, and Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker. Ronson participates in all layers of creating records implying that his music offers a vision rather than just music. He participated in pitching ideas for music videos. In one of his interviews, he shared that he originated the idea for the cover art for his single work with Miley Cyrus (Mansel, “Mark Ronson Interview”). In 2018, Ronson founded his label, Zelig records, which allows him to sign other artists and make records with other artists.
Hunt, Elle. “Mark Ronson on hope, hits and Amy Winehouse.’ The Guardian. 2021.
“Mark Ronson Interview.” YouTube, uploaded by Cam Mansel, 2019.
McMahon, James. “Soundtrack Of My Life: Mark Ronson.” NME, 2021.
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“Mark Ronson Biography” RCA Records, 2019.