[artist id="1208352"]Mark Ronson[/artist] might be the key to getting some of soul music's notoriously reclusive artists back in the studio. In addition to a June session with Amy Winehouse for her contribution to a Quincy Jones tribute album, Ronson said he's slated to work on new material with R&B artist D'Angelo.
The British producer told Billboard that he was "going into the studio ... to work a bit on his record, and I have equal parts intimidation and awe and excitement."
After releasing two acclaimed albums, 1995's Brown Sugar and Voodoo in 2000, D'Angelo has, for the most part, vanished from the scene, only occasionally dropping vocals on projects like Q-Tip's 2008 album The Renaissance and Raphael Saadiq's 2002 Instant Vintage LP. The singer may have shied away from the limelight in recent years, but Ronson said he's been staying busy. "I know he's been working nonstop. It's not like they've been sitting on their asses."
Ronson also revealed that D'Angelo has been keeping up on music during his hiatus. The singer and multi-instrumentalist, who covered Smokey Robinson on his debut and boasts a repertoire that often references throwback R&B sounds, said he's kept a pair of sonically retro albums in rotation.
"I was pretty much floored when D said that the only two records of the past five to six years that he really listened to a lot were St. Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkley and [Amy Winehouse's] Back to Black,' " said Ronson, who crafted Winehouse's 2007 hit album. "I was like, 'I cannot believe I made something that this guy listened to over and over again and looked to for inspiration.' "
Are you looking forward to a new D'Angelo album? Sound off in the comments below!