Doha is preparing for some uptown funk as UK singer songwriter, producer and musical artist Mark Ronson comes to the city. If you don’t believe us just read.
If you were thinking that Mark Ronson has been quiet recently and possibly got lost on a beach in Barbados, Uptown Funk, featuring Bruno Mars, was the best way to get back into the limelight. One of the biggest hits of the decade (no exaggeration), the funky tune has had 400 million views on YouTube [at the time of writing] and is the most streamed track in a single week in UK history, being streamed 2.49 million times that week and Ronson won the Brit Award for British Single of the Year because of the hit. He can put this up on his mantelpiece next to the Best British Male Solo Artist award he won in 2008. Not bad going. Aside from co-writing one of the biggest hits of the decade, Ronson is also a champion of encouraging new acts and giving them a chance to shine, and also heavily involved in an eclectic mix of music styles. Rap, indie, blues, jazzy beats, hip hop and electropop are just some of his musical classifications and collaborations. He also DJs and plays the guitar. There’s not a great deal he can’t do to be honest.
Ronson will perform a DJ set at the Sheraton hotel on April 23, which is sure to be a sell-out. It will include some of his more-recognisable collaborations, cool grooves and funky tunes. Don’t miss it.
All about Mark Ronson
Ronson has the ability to adopt a recognised hit and turn it on its head. For instance, God Put A Smile On Your Face, originally performed by Coldplay, became one of the funkiest and most uplifting pieces in his Version album, featuring Daptone Horns and a whole lot of trumpet and saxophone.
Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before is a single from The Smiths, very much a song of its time, which Ronson reinvigorated with Daniel Merriweather are relabelled Stop Me. It’s almost unrecognisable from its original counterpart.
He’s produced four albums from his own personal discography – Here Comes The Fuzz, Version, Record Collection and Uptown Special. This only tells part of the story, however, as his production discography is, to be truthful, scary. Albums ran through his record label are from artists such as the Kaiser Chiefs, Adele, Robbie Williams, Amy Winehouse, Paul McCartney, Duran Duran and, of course, Bruno Mars. He’s also done an extremely cool, jazzy version with Kasabian of their hit LSF. In fact, he’s just a very cool person full stop.
Five groovy hits & videos
Let’s take just a few hits from the four studio albums he has released rather than all he has produced, because otherwise I’d need another ten pages.
Stop Me: With Daniel Merriweather, this single was in the album Version and, as aforementioned, gave the Smiths’ classic hit a modern edge and a faster beat. As with most videos, Ronson featured heavily with the vocalist. Plenty of green tears, too.
Oh My God: Originally performed by Leeds indie band Kaiser Chiefs from their album Employment, Lily Allen gave it a sumptuous, sensual edge, with a shift from indie anger to bluesy funk, which was very commercially successful, and also featured in Version. The video features the Kaiser Chiefs, with keyboardist Nick Baines getting a smacking great big kiss from a cartoon form of Lily Allen.
Valerie: Again taking what was initially an indie edge with the Zutons’ hit, Ronson worked with Amy Winehouse to reinvent the single with her soul and rhythm and blues signature. This hit has since been immortalised.
The Bike Song: A shift in many ways into synthpop, though with vocals from indie singer Kyle Falconer and rapper Spank Rock, it is the fun aspect of this single that makes it a memorable one, with Ronson’s band The Business Intl. performing with the artists. The video is very much set in the 80s, and the synthpop notes a homage to that time. Ronson dons a very cool hairstyle, as well.
Uptown Funk: This needs another mention. Not only is it awesome lyrically (well done Mark et al), the video is excessively groovy, with an 80s Motown vibe (like the song). It is no surprise that the reception was glowing and that it continues to be the hit of 2015.
So go and listen to him DJ. He’s too hot. Call the police and a fireman, they can come too for health and safety purposes.
Mark Ronson will be Dj-ing at the Sheraton Doha, West Bay (4485 4444). For more information, go to www.facebook.com/IconicQatar.