Mark Ronson described the late singer Amy Winehouse as “one of the best lyricists of this generation” before his headline performance at Splendour in the Grass 2015, which ended with a moving tribute to the late singer.
Speaking before he closed out Friday night at the festival with a cameo-laden set, the producer said he’d seen Asif Kapadia’s documentary Amy twice, and although it was “very emotional watching 80% of the movie,” he was pleased it showed Winehouse’s abilities as a songwriter.
“You see the lyrics on the screen, you remember how amazing they were, even the lyrics from before I worked with her, like Stronger than Me.” Ronson said Kapadia’s film as well-made and respectful, adding: “It’s a bit like hanging out with an old friend again.”
Ronson produced Winehouse’s Grammy-award winning album Back to Black, and the documentary includes footage of the recording of the album’s title song. He enjoyed watching that section in particular. “It was just fun, at the end when she goes: ‘Oh that’s a bit sad isn’t it.’ She would always crack a joke at the end.”
Although he remembered the otherwise unexceptional day, he had forgotten they had been filmed. “It just seemed so normal. We’d just gone to the Starbucks on the corner and we were in the studio in the West Village. You’re not ever thinking like: ‘Oh I’m recording one of the great, great vocals of this generation on this song that’s going to mean so much to everyone.’ You are just like: ‘Let’s go do vocals on Back to Black today.’”
Ronson said he and Winehouse only spent around 10 days on the record together. “I wish it was more time because I’d have more memories of it, but it was just a really wonderful, meeting someone, hitting it off right away and just being partners in crime.”
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