On the surface, Boogie's got the kind of backstory often told in hip-hop: The child of a single mom and an absent father, a high-school dropout, a former gang member. He's from Compton, Calif., home to N.W.A, The Game and Kendrick Lamar. It's the birthplace of gangsta rap, but for Boogie, "It's about me showing my friends and homies that we can honestly make a change."

When singer Bruno Mars and producer Mark Ronson first landed on the instrumental track and a few lines of what would become the hit song "Uptown Funk," Ronson says the room was filled with electricity.

"There's nothing more exciting than that period of the song, because the potential is unlimited," Ronson tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

His songs feel familiar; they're old friends before the first play is done. They'd fit nicely on a mix alongside Paul Simon or the McCartney side of The Beatles.

A man stands in a small room, his whole body moving to the electronic beat he's creating. It's a typical room with a bookshelf, a lamp and dark curtains on the walls. But after a few minutes, something unexpected happens — the walls are lifted away to reveal a breathtaking view from the top of a cliff.