Mark Ronson, who has produced for musicians like Adele, Lil Wayne, Nas, Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse, lent his producing talents to Paul McCartney’s new, very Beatles-esque single “New,” which dropped late Wednesday ahead of the October 15 album by the same name. In a funny twist of fate, however, one missed phone call could have rewritten history.
Ronson told MTV News that he first started working with McCartney after DJing his wedding to Nancy Shevell two years ago. “He called me to ask me to do it and it was the same weekend of my own wedding and I completely spaced, because I kind of had other sh– like my own wedding on my mind,” Ronson said. “Then on my honeymoon 10 days later, I was like, ’F—! I forgot to call Paul McCartney back, which just sounds like a pretty ridiculous sentence.”
Ronson called McCartney back to accept the gig and later went on to DJ another event for the former Beatle in New York. “I think I may subliminally planted an idea in his head that I would love to work together some time and I think he was into the idea, too,” Ronson said of the budding relationship. “Then a few months later I got a call and he was like, ’Hey, do you want to come out to the studio?'”
From there, the two started messing around with ideas, including a track called
“Secret Life of a Party Girl,” which does not appear on McCartney’s upcoming album, New. When Ronson heard the track “New,” he was sold. “It was just such an instant classic,” he said. “I said, ’I would love to work on that song with you,’ and that’s how it started….It was a masterclass in learning how to put together a f—ing incredible song — just watching his mind work.”
Ronson was most impressed, he said, by how the 71-year-old musician has remained prolific over the years. McCartney released Kisses on the Bottom in 2012, which mostly featured covers, and an album of original works, Memory Almost Full, in 2007.
“I was definitely surprised by how inspired he still is,” Ronson said. “It would be so easy for someone at this point in his career to go in, mess around, not necessarily phone it in — but it’s so inspiring how brimming with ideas he is the entire time he’s in the studio.”
Ronson also worked on a track called “Alligator” for New, which he calls “brooding” and “quite tough.”
The producer is currently working on his own music for a followup to 2010’s Record Collection. “The past year and a half between the Paul stuff and working with Bruno Mars on his album I just realized that I need to buckle down in the studio and make my own album,” he said. “Every time I go out and DJ and I have to play my own sh–, it’s like three years old. I hate that.”