When it comes to the client’s needs, Megatrax Music Director Dan Cross has an encyclopedic memory of every track in our library. When it came time to hop into the producer’s seat for the first time, Cross was ready to fill in the gaps, and Top Charts 11: Epic Pop/Rock (MX397) was born. We talked to the music guru about all that went into producing an album full of hits.
Megatrax: Tell us how you were brought in to produce your first album for Megatrax.
Dan Cross: We had discussed the concept in one of our monthly production meetings and since I am primarily a “rock guy,” I was given the chance to put this project together and show what I can do. Having my ears to the ground when it comes to client needs and what they specifically look for in a track helped me choose the styles that are often requested.
MX: Tell us a little bit about the artists you had on Top Charts 11: Epic Pop/Rock (MX397).
DC: There are a few different composers on this album. Eddie Wohl and Daniel Braunstein have worked on several projects for us in the past. They are a very solid team who write amazing cuts in all kinds of styles. I also chose to bring in some fresh blood. Oxy Prophet has three tracks on the record that all varied in style. Prophet wrote not only a big rock opener for the album, but one of the more emotional songs as well. Finally, I brought Pete Karr and James Kenney into the fold. I’ve known Pete since my days at Berklee College of Music and he is a phenomenal talent. Pete is one of the best guitarists I’ve ever known and he’s a prolific film/TV composer. James is a powerhouse vocalist who sings on four tracks on the album. I played several live shows with him in the past as his guitarist. He gained fame by making it into the top 10 of the series, the X Factor. Together, Pete and James emerged as a killer writing team and created some huge songs.
MX: What are some tracks that you think are the main highlight of this album and why?
DC: It’s hard to say. I went into this saying to myself that every song needs to be a hit. The styles are very diverse, ranging from pounding swagger to inspirational and emotional. I think one of the cooler things we did was having a male/female duet, which is something we haven’t done in the past. The track is called “Shout It Loud” and it’s one of Eddie and Daniel’s cuts. Our very own Meghan Montenegro (Megatrax Publishing Assistant) is the female voice on the track. Meghan has sung on some songs for us in the past and I knew I wanted to have her incredible voice not only on this duet, but also on her own standalone song which is called “We Made It Through Together” written by Prophet. I have to say, the biggest track on the record is “Walk In The Fire” by Pete and James. It’s a MONSTER!
MX: Overall, what did you think about your first time producing an album for Megatrax?
DC: Producing this album was a fantastic experience and I can’t wait for the right project to come along so I can do it again. There is talk of me getting the opportunity to produce another album in the near future. Thankfully, we are constantly coming up with new album concepts and trying to stay ahead of the curve.
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