Mark Ronson

- By Ryan B. Patrick

IF “UPTOWN FUNK” OFFICIALLY ENABLED BRITISH SUPERPRODU­CER MARK RONSON TO BECOME A HOUSEHOLD NAME — or at least gain “oh, that guy” status — it’s something that he’s okay with moving on from.

Late Night Feelings is the current sentiment he’s emoting. His fifth studio album sees Ronson all in his feelings, partly due to a melancholi­c mix of a divorce, depression and a willingnes­s to no longer be regarded as a producer who just makes party music.

“The only way to really challenge myself is to not try to recreate any commercial success,” Ronson says. “It’s just to try and make something exciting that I feel I haven’t done before. Outside of creating a time machine that allows me and Bruno Mars to jump back to that time, there will never be another ‘Uptown Funk.’ That would just be lightning in a bottle.”

In his words, Late Night Feelings is comprised of “sad bangers” — 13 slow and midtempo songs designed to reflect on heartache and sadness.

Working with an all-female roster of guest stars — Miley Cyrus, Camila Cabello, Alicia Keys, YEBBA, Angel Olsen, King Princess and more — his recorded-in-L. A. “DJ breakup record” is all about bringing the talented names on board and then standing back to let them create within that framework.

“Believe me, we were trying to make fun tunes in the studio,” he notes, adding that the vibe would always turn to those emotions.

“I wasn’t even aware right away that I was channellin­g my divorce, either — I just kind of had this overwhelmi­ng sense of melancholy that seemed to seep into this music. At the same time, it was kind of exciting for me. It was like ‘Wait, what’s up with these chords? And why are things sounding a little bit deeper and more meaningful than normal?’”

A lot of it was also working with singersong­writer Ilsey Juber, who was a great sparring partner to write with, Ronson says. There are some songs where Ronson contribute­d to the lyrics, but for the most part, the tracks were free to breathe.

“I wanted this album’s parameters to allow everyone to convey some heartache. Everyone knows that that feeling is the best thing to channel through music. And everybody’s life experience­s are here on this record, so it all kind of came together. Once everyone knew that was the record we were making, everyone just channelled into that zone. These are extraordin­arily talented people — I don’t want to edit them or tell them what to do,” he says.

Now that Late Night Feelings is out in the world, Ronson has been DJing at pop-up parties, dubbed Club Heartbreak, to spread his newfound vibe around.

“It’s not like I set out to make this record the ‘honest’ record — but in the wake of stuff that happened in my life, it just happened that way. I think it’s because I’ve conjured a bit of human emotion other than joy.”

“Believe me, we were trying to make fun tunes in the studio. ”

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