At the age of 34, Mark Ronson already knows what his epitaph will read. It's not that he's a morbid guy; he's just wryly aware of his musical legacy.
"At the end of the day, it will say 'producer' before it says 'artist,' " says Ronson, who has released two solo albums but is best-known for his turntable and production skills. "I was once known as a DJ and that will stick forever. I will always play in the dance tent at a festival-it doesn't matter if I start making polka or classical music."
Ronson's flashiest achievements-his production work with Lily Allen and Adele, his 2009 "Britain's best dressed man" trophy courtesy of GQ and the throwback vibe of Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black," which helped him earn the 2008 Grammy Award for producer of the year-have pigeonholed him as a stylish DJ who makes stylish, U.K.-friendly beats. The Brooklyn-based artist doesn't care if that perception never changes, but third album "Record Collection," hitting the United States Sept. 28 on RCA Records, is a conscious decision by Ronson to leave his comfort zone.