Award-winning producer and musician Mark Ronson’s new single “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars was released yesterday on RCA Records. Ronson and Mars, who co-wrote and co-produced the track together first revealed the song’s existence via Twitter on October 30th. The song is the first single from Mark Ronson’s forthcoming full-length album Uptown Special, to be released on January 27, 2015. Ronson will be the musical guest on Saturday Night Live on November 22nd, performing “Uptown Funk” with Mars along with an additional track from the new album featuring another very special guest.
Taken as a whole, Uptown Special is inspired by Ronson’s musical beginnings. As a teenager growing up in New York City in the early 90s, Ronson gravitated towards hip-hop, funk, soul and R&B. Those were the records he lugged around in boxes in the early days of his club DJ career, and that scratchy inspiring vinyl was what he returned to when creating the album.
Uptown Special was written and produced with Grammy-winning producer Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Drake, Alicia Keys) over 18 months in studios in London, Memphis, Los Angeles and New York City. Pulitzer-winning American novelist Michael Chabon, Ronson’s favourite living author, wrote a large portion of lyrics on the album. 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 his wonderful vocals and songwriting talents. Ronson & Bhasker’s great friend producer Emile Haynie (Lana Del Rey, FKA Twigs) also provided some glorious sonic landscapes to the tracks, as did some of Ronson’s favourite producer-peers: Simian Mobile Disco’s James Ford (Arctic Monkeys), TNGHT’s Hudson Mohawke and DJ Zinc. And, as always, there is Ronson’s invaluable group of musicians: the Brooklyn-based genius players Homer Steinweiss, Nick Movshon and Tommy Brenneck.
Listen to “Uptown Funk” below.