Producer Mark Ronson has a rare approach to songwriting, explaining that he strictly relies on a “collaborative” process with other artists while tapping into their emotions as inspiration.
“My thing is basically purely collaborative because I rarely sit down and write by myself at the piano,” Ronson told the Hollywood Reporter‘s Songwriter Roundtable. “Usually I’m producing an artist and sometimes you’re there to give a lot of the song, sometimes you’re there just to help with a few lyrics, be a bouncing board, give a few chords, help finish the next line. I only know that side of it.”
The five-time Grammy award winner is best known for his producing work on Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album and his hit single with Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk.” Most recently, Ronson wrote part of the soundtrack for A Star Is Born, collaborating with Lady Gaga once again. He served as the producer on Gaga’s 2016 album Joanne.
“For better or for worse, the best songs come when you’re going through a trying time,” he told the roundtable. “That’s what I find. And luckily, life will always find a way to deal you a shit hand now and then. That’s the good thing — the well won’t run dry.”
“And in that place, whether it’s an Amy Winehouse or whoever it is, I get to sort of tap into their well of giant emotion for a little while,” he continued. “And sometimes it’s not even fair because I’m going along for the ride on their horrible, tragic life experiences.”
“Every new project just rejuvenates me,” he said. “I’m always getting into someone else’s life experience and seeing how that matches up with my own.”
This article originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.