After four years of messaging Miley Cyrus to no response, Uptown Funk hitmaker Mark Ronson tried dangling an Australian carrot to entice her to the studio to work on a song.
Ronson, the producer and DJ who has worked with Amy Winehouse, Lady Gaga, Adele and Bruno Mars, knew Cyrus was a fan of the Australian rock band Tame Impala, fronted by his friend and collaborator Kevin Parker.
The 43-year-old musical genius has strengthened his Australian connections on his current visit, organising a writing session with Amy Shark at his Los Angeles home next month.
Shark was among the fans dancing to his hour-long Nova Red Room set in Sydney on Monday night, which opened with Nothing Breaks Like A Heart, the song he finally recorded with Cyrus.
“I was four years blowing up her phone. I don’t think I’ve even told Kevin this but I knew she liked Tame Impala and when he would come into town and we’d be working, I would try to use Kevin as a carrot,” Ronson said.
“I’d message her ‘Hey I’m in here with Kevin Parker if you’d like to come down’.”
That ploy didn’t work either. It wasn’t until he sent her the smallest snippet of Nothing Breaks Like A Heart co-written with Isley Juber, that pop “outlier” Cyrus was at the studio in a flash.
The most played song on the Australian airwaves for 2019 introduced his fifth studio record Late Night Feelings.
While still dancefloor-friendly, the album is a collection of “sad bangers” as Ronson describes them, songs informed by the emotional rollercoaster he experienced after his 2017 divorce from French actor and singer Joséphine de La Baume.
His record arrived at the tailend of the phenomenal success of another emotionally-charged sad love song, the inescapable, Oscar-winning Shallow from A Star Is Born which he co-wrote with Lady Gaga.
The breakup song is always easier for me to write than the falling in love song,” he said.
“This was my first album where I started to write in a melancholic zone because it was the only thing that was coming out when I sat at the piano. I had to run with this.
“Maybe these songs won’t get played at weddings and amusement parks like other songs I’ve done but I was enjoying it felt deeper and more meaningful to me than other things I have done in the past.
Late Night Feelings not only features collaborations with chart stars including Cyrus, Alicia Keys, Camila Cabello and Lykke Li, it thrusts emerging artists including King Princess and Yebba further into the pop mainstream.
Ronson said it occurred to him when he was “three-quarters into it” his record had an overwhelming female voice and energy.
He credits the “vibe” which started with his co-writing sessions with Juber and the contributions made by his guest collaborators.
“It gave the record this vibe that I didn’t want to ruin it for the sake of having one tune with a big male pop star,” he said.
Ronson is launching his new record with his Club Heartbreak shows in Sydney on Wednesday and Melbourne on Thursday.