Mark Ronson Talks ‘Uptown Funk’ Phenomenon, Remembers Amy Winehouse at the 2016 Grammys
Mark Ronson won big this evening at the Grammys, taking home the golden gramophone for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance along with his collaborator Bruno Mars for their funky smash, “Uptown Funk.” The collaborators won over fellow nominees Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar (“Bad Blood”) and Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth (“See You Again”), among other contenders.
After the big win, Ronson shared his thoughts on the hit single with the journalists inside the Grammys media room, explaining that its ability to connect with the masses likely stems its “joyous” origins: “I think that that song really came out of a moment of pure joy, like us jamming in a room, playing the music that…we loved the most… When you’re like jamming with dudes who you love and you respect so much and you’re just in this mood, something joyous can just come out.”
The famed producer also talked about the laborious process of finishing the track, revealing that it took seven months of “hard work and toiling” and that there “must have had 80 different versions that we threw out.”
“Bruno was on tour playing arenas, going straight back to his dressing room after the show while the band goes and parties [while] he’s working on the bassline with his engineer,” Ronson added of the difficulty of pulling the song together.
“I lost hair and fainted in a restaurant, all these crazy things happened while we were making this song. But it all comes back to the fact that where it came from—the initial moment and the joy, I think that’s what people get out of it… I think there’s something to be said for musicians playing instruments and [who] can still do something on the dancefloor that people respond to. There’s something human about the performance in it. I don’t know. I’m so grateful for the way it’s caught on.”
Ronson also revealed that he had no idea that the critically acclaimed song, which spent fourteen weeks at No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, would be such a smash when they first made it—adding that he’ll probably never top the song.
“You never really know until you put it out there,” he shared. “We worked so hard and because we’re all really tough critics of our own music… You know, there were some heated debates and arguments so when we finally got it done then at least we were proud of it. I’m not gonna say we knew it was gonna be a hit, but we knew we were excited and couldn’t wait to play it for people.”
He added, laughing, “I will never write anything as good as ‘Uptown Funk,’ I can tell you right now.”
In addition to chatting about “Uptown Funk,” Ronson also briefly reminisced about his time working with Amy Winehouse on her 2006 opus Back to Black, which he produced, sharing, “The real honor is being recognized for a piece of music you’re involved with. [Working with Amy] it was her songs, they were incredibly personal. I just came in to help realize the vision and how she wanted the songs to sound… I know how much Back to Black means to people.”
Check out photos from the 2016 Grammys red carpet: