DJ and record producer Mark Ronson is talking about crafting the chart-topping hit from “A Star Is Born” with Lady Gaga.
The Hollywood Reporter gathered several musicians with songs readying themselves for awards season for an informal roundtable chat about their musical movie moments. In a conversation with Kesha (“Here Comes the Change” from “On the Basis of Sex”), Tim McGraw (“Gravity” from “Free Solo”), Jack Antonoff, (“Alfie’s Song (Not So Typical Love Song)” from “Love, Simon“), David Crosby (“Home Free” from “Little Pink House”), Boots Riley, 47 (the soundtrack for “Sorry to Bother You”) and Diane Warren (“I’ll Fight” from “RBG“), Ronson says his work with Lady Gaga helped the pair get to the “Shallow” audiences heard in the finished film.
“We were probably lucky that we had worked on Joanne and broken some ground where she was ready to go somewhere very personal when we wrote “Shallow”,” Ronson explains. “If it was a regular songwriting session, we had just met the day before, I don’t know if we would’ve tapped into that.”
“My thing is basically purely collaborative because I rarely sit down and write by myself at the piano. 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,” he says, adding that as a producer, he gets to tap into a singer’s “well of giant emotion.”
“And sometimes it’s not even fair because I’m going along for the ride on their horrible, tragic life,” he continues.
Ronson says Gaga tapped into her own emotion to write as her character, the struggling singer-songwriter Ally in Bradley Cooper’s musical-drama, revealing neither one of them imagined the song having such an impact on the story.
“She was obviously writing as Ally but you can’t help but tap into your own emotion,” he says. “Everybody’s s*** and life experience and trials and tribulations is kind of being channelled in that song, but for this one person to sing in the film. We imagined it was the end credits song. We had no idea it was going to become part of the narrative.”