Mark Ronson Working on New D'Angelo Album
Mark Ronson may be readying the release of third album " Record Collection," due out Sept. 28 on RCA Records, but the Brooklyn-based artist/producer is also involved with another high-profile third album: R&B singer D'Angelo's long-awaited follow-up to sophomore disc "Voodoo." Speaking with Billboard.com last week, Ronson said that he was "going into the studio... to work a bit on his record, and I have equal parts intimidation and awe and excitement."
D'Angelo has largely stayed out of the spotlight since the 2000 release of "Voodoo," which won the singer a 2001 Grammy award for Best R&B Album and has sold 1.7 million copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Although Ronson says that he does not know how close the new album is to being completed, the producer adds, "I know he's been working nonstop. It's not like they've been sitting on their asses."
Ronson, who helped produce Amy Winehouse's "Back to Black" and is currently finishing the forthcoming Duran Duran album, also collaborated with the singer on "Glass Mountain Trust," a synth-laden track off "Record Collection" that Ronson says is "now basically my favorite song on the record." The rare guest appearance came together earlier this year partly because D'Angelo and the "Rehab" producer once shared the same manager.
"I was pretty much floored when D said that the only two records of the past 5 to 6 years that he really listened to a lot were 'St. Elsewhere' by Gnarls Barkley and 'Back to Black,'" says Ronson. "I was like, 'I cannot believe I made something that this guy listened to over and over again and looked to for inspiration.'"
"Record Collection," which also features Ghostface Killah, Boy George and Ronson's debut as a vocalist, will be supported by a tour with new backing band The Business Intl., which kicks off Sept. 27 at Bristol's O2 Academy. Ronson also plans to mix the 13th Duran Duran studio album next month for a possible holiday release.