I Can't Lose

Album: Uptown Special (2015)
  • This song features vocals by Keyone Starr, a singer who Ronson and co-producer Jeff Bhasker found in Jackson, Mississippi, after touring gospel choirs in the deep south of America. Blown away by her impressive range and presence, they immediately invited her into the legendary Royal Studios in Memphis to record. Ronson told Billboard magazine, "We wanted a young Chaka Khan on it, but there just wasn't anybody coming to mind. Jeff was like, 'We're going to drive down to the South, we're going to call it the Mississippi Mission, and go to the churches.' It was a wild idea that became a reality."
  • A preacher's daughter with a big spiky earring, Starr had been shunned from her church after getting pregnant. "She just looked so badass. I remember thinking: it would be awesome if this one could sing really great," said Ronson. "She just opened her mouth and she had it instantly. I'm so drawn to singers with rasp and something broken in their voice, where you really hear the rawness."
  • Mark Ronson told The Observer about his tour of churches in the deep south of America with Jeff Bhasker. "You'd meet these people that could outsing anyone in the Top 10, but they'd explain that they didn't really enjoy singing secular music or Beyoncé or whatever, because unless they're really singing for God, they just don't feel it," he recalled. "In the era of music reality shows, where people basically start singing in order to become famous, it's so anti that, it's incredible. You'd start talking to them, like: 'We're making this record, would you be interested in coming up to LA to record a song?' and they're like: 'Well, I can never miss my choir rehearsal on Wednesdays and Thursdays,' which is really touching."

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