My London: Mark Ronson

·3-min read
 (Press Watch The Sound With Mark  Ronson)
(Press Watch The Sound With Mark Ronson)

Home is… The West Village, which is great. I was born in St John’s Wood, my dad’s in London, my brothers and sisters. But I grew up in New York from eight to 30. I was in London in an Airbnb for the beginning of lockdown.

Which shops do you rely on? This is easy — Rough Trade on Talbot Road. It’s so good, because they’ve got these amazingly written placards on everything. When I first started producing and I was digging for samples, the Notting Hill Music & Video Exchange. They had this slightly dark humoured window display at the start of lockdown — all the records had to do with doctors, nurses and loo roll.

Where do you stay in London? It’s predictable but Chiltern Firehouse. I’ve just stayed there for so long that I know every single person who works there, so it feels like going home.

Where would you recommend for a first date? My first date with my fiancée [Grace Gummer] was in New York. But in London, there’s an amazing restaurant on Kensington Park Road called Essenza — it’s low key, you’ll see some OG legends like Tom Stoppard or Anjelica Huston, which means it must be good.

Most iconic Londoner? Amy [Winehouse]. When I think of her Grammys speech and the whole of that audience with their puzzled faces, as she was like ‘Camden Town ain’t burning down!’ She used that massive platform to give a message of support for her little part of London.

Best meal? I was lucky enough to get into the River Café when I was last in London. We shared everything because we were so over the moon to be back in a restaurant.

The River Cafe (Richard Bryant/arcaidimages.com)
The River Cafe (Richard Bryant/arcaidimages.com)

Where would you like to be buried? Under a tree by the duck pond in Hyde Park. I spent so long walking around it during lockdown. Biggest extravagance? Probably musical equipment. I’m not into cars or big watches. I just got this mixing desk which used to be in a Detroit studio where Aretha Franklin and Parliament-Funkadelic recorded albums on this specific desk.

Where do you go to let your hair down? My favourite place to go to was YoYo when it was at the Notting Hill Arts Club. I have to say at 45, that my major clubbing days are behind me. I’m usually near the DJ booth — I feel weird if I’m too far from it.

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day? Turn Trafalgar Square into a giant roller rink and have Diana Ross and Sister Sledge play.

If you could buy any building in London and live there, which would it be? I remember walking down that insane road that runs along Hyde Park with those giant mansions. But those places look too big, you’d start filling the rooms with recording studios and stuffed animals and never go in them.

Which podcast are you currently obsessed with? Um… can I plug my own? Fader Uncovered feat, you guessed it, Mark Ronson.

What’s your London secret? Kinnerton Street. I know it looks bougie as hell, but it’s so damn pretty and it has the Nags Head pub and Salloos — one of my favourite Pakistani restaurants.

Nags Head / Alamy Stock Photo (Alamy Stock Photo)
Nags Head / Alamy Stock Photo (Alamy Stock Photo)

Who is your hero? Stevie Wonder and Donald Fagen from Steely Dan are the people I looked up to — I played their stuff on the piano to work out how they did it and I studied them the most.

‘Watch The Sound With Mark Ronson’ will premiere globally on 30 July on Apple TV+

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