Alan Cross

Alan Cross


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Alan Cross

Title
A professional music geek. Also broadcaster, writer, public speaker and consultant.
Bio
Alan Cross is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker.    

In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock and is a respected also known as a musicologist and documentarian.  He’s written four books, works as a public speaker, has a national newspaper column in Canada and co-hosts a weekly podcast called Geeks & Beats. He also serves as head of Canadian Curation for Songza.

Alan has been deeply involved exploring the present and future relationships between music, technology and social networking.  More information can be found at www.ajournalofmusicalthings.com .
Website
Expertise
radio, journalism, public speaking, writing, broadcasting, music curation, radio hosting
Interests
indie rock, alternative, classic rock, music, alternative rock
Location
Toronto

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Recent Feedback

Casey Conner submitted media.

Alan Cross

Another good one from you guys. This is totally ready for the world. When the album comes out, makes sure you send me a link. Also drop me an MP3 and a bio so I can try to find a spot for this. Use alan@alancross.ca again.

Ricardo Temporao submitted media.

Through a Phase by BRUTUSBEGINS

Alan Cross

Another good one. Jeezus, man, when are you going to get a proper record deal and start releasing this stuff to the world?

Jeremy Harris submitted media.

Bush Party by Uncle Father

Alan Cross

I like this. If I didn't know any better, I might have pegged this as something that was released around 1972. It's got all those crunchy classic rock elements. And as someone who grew up on the prairies, I know more about bush parties than I probably should.

If I were you, I'd start making friends with some radio stations out west. See if you can get this in front of a few music directors and even a couple of production directors. 

Damn, this should be a hit in Winnipeg. Or Regina. Or anywhere in Canada outside of Toronto (where there aren't any bushes big enough to host a party.)

submitted media.

Mona Lisa by Junkyard Romantics

Alan Cross

There's much to like here but when compared to the world at large, I'd consider this recording/mix to still be at the demo stage. There's nothing wrong with the songwriting or performance, but the final mix sounds a little thin. The soundstage (other than the drums) is a bit narrow. I feel that the mix could be fleshed out more and made fuller. There's some instrumentation in the mix that seems...missing to my ears. 

Maybe another producer should have a crack at it?

Matthew Jacobs submitted media.

Sun Goes Down by Matthew Ryan Jacobs

Alan Cross

This is excellent! Love the melody, the melancholy, and the overall arrangement of the song. Well done! I have no trouble sharing this with people in my network. That'll be good for about 100,000 people. Good luck!

Positive People submitted media.

Alan Cross

I like this! I've always been into creative use of fuzz and this certainly fits that category. While brevity is good, I wish the song were a little longer.

It'll be tough to get some regular radio commercial radio airplay with this one, but it'll certainly find some love from campus radio and definitely with the right blocks and streaming playlists. Do whatever you can to push your songs in that direction. Meanwhile, let me share this on my networks. That'll be good for around 100,000 people.

Mark MacDonald submitted media.

Alan Cross

I like! Send me a three-line bio and a high-quality MP3 and I'll give this a spin on 102.1 the Edge. Use alan@edge.ca for fast service.

Renu (Reins) Gupta submitted media.

Mistakes by Reins - Topic

Alan Cross

This is really good. Beguiling vocal, interesting lyrics, unexpected chord changes, catchy melody. 

Send me a three-line bio and a high-quality MP3 to alan@alancross.ca and I'll see what I can do about getting you a spin on the radio in Toronto.

David Mackie submitted media.

Riverman by Suris

Alan Cross

Interesting piece of word. Lots of beguiling textures, especially with the vocal. I'm not entirely sure where it fits within the music spectrum, but I'm guessing that this will find purchase with some jazz fans as well as those who like things slightly on the experimental side. 

If there's money in the budget, see what you can do about pulling together a music video. Even a lyric video or visualizer is better than nothing. You have to be on YouTube.

Let me send this around to a few people I know.

Thomas Szabo submitted media.

Sail Out by Demian Sinclair

Alan Cross

This is very pleasant and certainly in line with a lot of contemporary pop that's happening today. Good songwriting, performance, and production. I'd consider this recording to be ready for the marketplace.

The question is, what next? Here are some suggestions:

1. A music video of some sort, even if it's just a visualizer or lyric video. You need to be on YouTube.
2. Make friends with music supervisors. Something like this may be suitable for placement in movies or TV.
3. Is your goal to get signed to a label? Labels are still very good at marketing and promotion, so having one on your side would be great.
4. Do you play live? Now that COVID has waned (at least a little bit), playing live is a great way to convert people into fans one by one.
5. I'd think about making this available for TikTok users. You never know what might happen there.

Keep at it. You've got a good sound and a natural talent for melody and arrangement.

Maleen Lundvig submitted media.

Earth Ballet by Maleen

Alan Cross

I can honestly say that this is the first submission of its kind that I've received. It's a very well-executed performance piece. A couple of questions and observations:

1. Where do you see such a song/video living? It's outside most commercial radio formats and is also quite long. If you're looking for that kind of exposure, I'd focus on public radio and perhaps jazz/classical stations that have specialty programs dealing with the avant-garde and the experimental.

2. The audio could also work with music supervisors for TV and film. If you have a portfolio of material like this, I'd start approaching them.

3. Live performance will be important. Lorenna McKennitt has been able to carve out a very nice fanbase by taking her music directly to the people in small theatre and concert hall settings. 

4. It might be a long shot, but maybe making clips available to TikTok might help. Maybe someone will want to do an interpretative dance or use this as a soundtrack for something. Think about it.

5. Given the environmental themes of the song and the video, might you team up with an environmental group or two? They might wish to use something like this in their promotional campaigns.

Good luck--and please keep making music like thsi.

Incendiary Sweet submitted media.

Physics & Chemistry by Incendiary Sweet

Alan Cross

Nice stuff. I hope there's money in the budget for a video, even if it's just a lyric video or visualizer. You need to be on YouTube, especially when it comes to blogs wanting to embed your music.

You should definitely send this to CBC Radio 3 as well as SiriusXM's The Verge, which is their all-Canadian channel. If you're looking to break through into commercial radio, you'll need a publicist and a plugger. There are plenty of good ones available.

Finally, make sure this is available for use on TikTok. Lyrically, this could appeal to any number of people needing music to make their statement. Good luck!

Rob Frank submitted media.

This Place by Rob Frank

Alan Cross

This a great! Elements of Skinny Puppy, Bauhaus, Stabbing Westward, and more. Well done. 

Think about creating some kind of video for this, even if it's just a visualizer or lyric video. You gotta be on YouTube.

Send me a link to this song along with a three-line bio and I'll spread this around.

Casey Conner submitted media.

Alan Cross

Another good one. Let me see what I can do about getting one of my writers to pick this for a feature this week or next.

Send along a link to the video and another three-line bio to alan@edge.ca 

The Zing Zangs submitted media.

Chatterbox (feat. Dean Jones) by The Zing Zangs

Alan Cross

This is interesting. I can't remember the last time someone submitted a song that sounded like it was written in 1927--and a kids' song to boot. 

Obviously, this is a niche genre--yet that market is huge. Let me circulate this on my networks to see what happens. Meanwhile, consider making this available on TikTok.

Lisa Sahatciu submitted media.

Alan Cross

Wow. This is really, really good. Can you send me a three-line bio and a high-quality MP3? I'll get this some kind of attention with 102.1 the Edge and Global News.

Timothy LaRoque submitted media.

Alan Cross

Solid stuff. Buckley-esque along with a little James Taylor--and maybe even a little Stevie Wonder. Well done!

In terms of commercial appeal--i.e. mainstream radio airplay--this falls into a niche category at the moment. That being said, make sure this gets to public radio, community radio, and definitely satellite radio. I can see this working on any number of SiriusXM channels. There are about a thousand Spotify playlists that this would work as well.

If the budget permits, get a video up on YouTube, even if it's just a visualizer or lyric video. That's still one of the biggest places for music discovery. 

Let me circulate this among my people. Keep writing and recording. And good luck!

submitted media.

Never Been by Darkometro

Alan Cross

This is good! I'm a TOTAL sucker for this sort of stuff. 

Tell you what: Send me a high-quality MP3 and a three-line bio (use alan@alancross.ca) and I promise a spin on The Edge.

Damian Weston submitted media.

Ever by Season Of The Senses

Alan Cross

This is really good! If you send me a high-quality MP3, I'll see if I can get you a spin on The Edge. (I'm off for a couple of weeks, so it may take a little time.) If you're looking for a publicist, email me through alan@edge.ca and I'll make a couple of recommendations.

Nathan Colberg submitted media.

Gold by Nathan Colberg

Alan Cross

Nicely done. Solid songwriting, performance, and production. This, as far as my ears can tell, is radio ready--except for the lack of a video. You need to have something (even a lyric video or visualizer) on YouTube. That's were so many people go first to find new music.

As an independent artist, you have a big job ahead rising above the noise and the competition. Some tips:

1. Make friends with as many music bloggers as you can.

2. Post a clip of this song on TikTok. You never know if someone will take this music and run with it.

3. If the budget allows, get a video on YouTube.

4. Create a social media with Instagram. Answer all comments. Follow everyone back. Work to turn each new 
fan into an evangelist for what you can do.

This is not a sprint. Things take a long, long time to build. Meanwhile, keep writing and recording. Drip out material as often as you can. Just. Don't. Stop.

I'll share this with a few people I know. Good luck!

Henry Alexander submitted media.

That's What I Like by Henry Alexander

Alan Cross

This is really good. I've been hearing some excellent new material out of Australia lately. 

Tell you what: Just before the album is ready, send me a link to this song (hopefully you'll have a video ready by then) and I'll get this on a national radio playlist here in Canada. Deal? Reach me at alan@edge.ca

Meanwhile, I'll share this with my network. That's good for about 100,000 people.

Pentacore Music submitted media.

Demon Inside by Pentacore Music

Alan Cross

I like it. The one thing I'd like to hear is different vocal approaches with the verses. Maybe sing it in a higher register? Or perhaps mix up the registers? I won't know if that works until I hear it, but it might be worth a try. Same this with the chorus. What about more layers?

There's also room for a few flourishes in the pre-chorus to build tension. Maybe a few short guitar or keyboard licks? As it sits, there seems to be something missing.

I'm guessing that those aren't live drums. There's certainly room for a little more freedom and craziness there.

An excellent start. Keep working on it.

Ally Cribb submitted media.

Alan Cross

Nice slice of modern pop with an uplifting message. I like the production, too. Excellent video, too.

The trick now will be to rise above the noise and the competition. You might want to consider making the chorus available as a TikTok clip. I can see that helping the song go viral. 

Meanwhile, let me share this with my network of people. Good luck!

Matthew Jacobs submitted media.

Grace by Matthew Ryan Jacobs - Topic

Alan Cross

This is really good! There's nothing I can say that would make this any better. Excellent job.

If you send me a high-quality MP3 with a three-line bio (including where you from) I'll do my best about getting you a feature spin on 102.1 the Edge.

Jonathan Lloyd submitted media.

Ordinarily by Jayloid

Alan Cross

"Ska-adjacent." I like that. 

This would be considered a good demo but not a mix or performance that's radio ready. The mix is a bit muddy and the drums are way too far in the background. If you're going to give it any kind of ska feel, that underlying is really important.

The vocals are fine but there's more than could be done with them from a production point of view to make them stand out. I like the "la-la-las," too, but they're also buried in the mix.

If you can find an outside producer--someone with really good ears--they can help you realize your vision. Good luck!

Hergeir Staksberg submitted media.

SÍGGJA AV NÝGGJUM by Marius Ziska

Alan Cross

This is wonderful! I'm a fan of this sort of atmospheric music and you've done a great job with this track. No notes from me at all.

Let me share this with my network. Let's hope that you get some nice traffic. 

Matt Dorgan submitted media.

Kalifornia by GRANDO

Alan Cross

This is also good! It's got a middle-90s alt-rock vibe (very good in my books) with solid production and performance. Maybe I can give this one a play on The Edge, too, after the record comes out.

You know the drill: A high-quality MP3 to alan@edge.ca along with a three-line bio. Include the bit about the guy losing his wife to the pandemic. Cool?

Samuel Grundemann submitted media.

Dreams from Hell by Staytus

Alan Cross

Sold! I love this stuff. Where is Staytus from? 

If you send a high quality MP3 to alan@edge.ca along with a four-line bio, I'll get this a feature on Corus radio sites.

Jeffrey Wilson submitted media.

Alan Cross

Nice! God knows we need more aggressive guitar music these days. And female-fronted? Perfect. We need more of that, too. Excellent video, too. 

I hear something somewhere between The Offspring and Guns N' Roses, which is on the hard end of what's happening in music these days. And what's happening in Hamilton for this sound to develop? I'm encouraged. 

If you're looking to the US, this is the sort of material that should be directed at Active Rock radio stations, especially those who have any kind of new music feature/show. 

If you want to send me a high-quality MP3 and a three-line bio, I'll see what I can do about getting you a feature play on The Edge. Deal?

Use alan@edge.ca for fastest service. Keep it up!

MIke Bernos submitted media.

Neon Love by AmpleAngst by Mike Bernos

Alan Cross

First, love the name. Even though you have an interesting amalgam of styles, this song comes back to country-tinged America. That's a pretty tight niche, so you're not going to fit neatly anywhere. 

NOT THAT THIS IS A BAD THING! You have a chance to stand out from the crowd. The key is (1) playing live and (2) promotion, promotion, promotion. You're the kind of band that's going to rise higher thanks to word-of-mouth spread by enthusiastic fans. You want evangelists.

If you don't have a social media strategy, get on it. And your manager/agent should put you in a van and send you on the road for four months. Meanwhile. he/she should consider shopping this song around throughout Nashville. 

Hope you do well!

Casey Conner submitted media.

Alan Cross

Tell you what: Send me a high-quality MP3 (alan@edge.ca) along with a three-line bio and I'll make you guys one of my Undiscovered Gems of the Week. That'll get you a spin on The Edge on an upcoming Wednesday. Deal?

Blake Wisner submitted media.

MOODLIGHTING FINAL V1 (prod HUBSTCY) by Blake Wisner, Hubstcy

Alan Cross

This is interesting. Love the production and vibes. Kinda The Weeknd, kinda Burial. The only note I have is that I wish it was a bit longer, maybe with a bridge into some extended dance beats. 

Let me pass this around my people and networks to see if it can get any traction, okay?

Darko Giacomini submitted media.

Honeydew (HoneyDon't) Acoustic by An Hour a Minute

Alan Cross

Very nice! Good songwriting, performance, and production. Maybe not a hit single in today's environment, but definitely something for someone. 

If you're looking for a social media presence, let me share this with my networks. That's good for about 100,000 people. Meanwhile, get this loaded to TikTok and maybe seed it with one or two videos of your own. TikTok has become a massive way to break music. And it's free!

Casey Conner submitted media.

Alan Cross

I like it. Nice and tight, solid rhythm section, plenty of punk rock "whoaoos."

Send me a high-quality MP3 and a three-line bio and I'll see what I can do about getting you a feature play on 102.1 The Edge/Toronto. Use alan@edge.ca for fastest service.

submitted media.

Losing Time (feat. Michelle Challice) by Stephen James Orr - Topic

Alan Cross

Nice. Sophisticated in sound and presentation. Good production, too. 

Where might you see this fit in the music world? Most would probably classify this as adult contemporary with a twist. If you're looking for radio play, those are the stations that would be most amenable to your sound--but only after you've acquired a track record.

I'd certainly look at targeting public radio first. And don't forget to get this out to as many blogs as possible. There's always a blogger out there hoping to discover the Next Big Thing.

I'll share this around my networks. Good luck--and keep writing.

Matthew Jacobs submitted media.

The River by Matthew Ryan Jacobs

Alan Cross

This is truly excellent. Love it. Well done.

If you send me a high-quality MP3 and three-line bio, I can see about getting this a feature play on 102.1 The Edge/Toronto. Use alan@alancross.ca for fastest service.

Hergeir Staksberg submitted media.

Love Me Tinder by Emma Di Lemma

Alan Cross

The Faroe Islands? Cool! I don't hear of a lot of acts from that part of the planet. 

Here's my only criticism of the song: It's too short! I found myself enjoying it so much that I was disappointed when it ended. Seriously.

Tell you what: Send me a high-quality MP3 and a three-line bio and I'll do what I can to get the song some feature radio play here in Toronto. Use alan@alancross.ca 

Gus Walters submitted media.

Alan Cross

First, a lovely video. Second, a good song. No notes from me on songwriting, performance, or production. 

Tell you what: Send me a high-quality MP3 along with a three-line bio and I'll see what I can do about getting a feature play on 102.1 The Edge/Toronto. We have plenty of Buffalo listeners.

Use alan@edge.ca for fastest service.

Ricardo Temporao submitted media.

Alan Cross

Your stuff is so solid. Have you approached a label? Has one approached you? Do you have a manager/agent?

Jeezus, man, compared to the stuff that's being pitched to radio these days, this is so much better. 

What can we do? How can I help? Send me another MP3 and  I'll get it a feature.

submitted media.

Surrender by Indigo Abyss

Alan Cross

Cool! I like dark, edgy instrumental tracks. This one is interesting because of its two distinct movements. I can see this finding love in two places: (a) clubs that need to set a dark, intense vibe early in the night and  (more importantly) (b) in a soundtrack or as part of a score.

With point (b) in mind, I might start making friends with music supervisors and directors/producers of small independent films. Another option is to send a portfolio around to ad agencies that are always looking for music for various projects. 

Last option? Check out a site like iStock.com. While you're waiting for your musical ship to come in, perhaps you can make some money creating stock music for people around the world. It might be a good way to get noticed.

Good luck!

Damian Weston submitted media.

Villain by Season Of The Senses

Alan Cross

This is interesting! It's almost got a show-tune feeling at the beginning. Very theatrical in its presentation and performance. And yeah, this is a big noise for just three people. 

Tell you what: When this is ready for release, send me a high-quality MP3 and a three-line bio and I'll get you some feature play on The Edge/Toronto. Use alan@edge.ca for fastest service.

submitted media.

Alan Cross

First of all, anyone who takes on The Mouse is fine by me. Screw Disney.

This is great. Tell you what: Send me a high-quality MP3 and a three-line bio and I'll get this a feature play on The Edge in late December. Cool?

Rough Grind submitted media.

Alan Cross

Slightly symphonic metal. It's good. I'm old enough to remember the early 80s when this sort of sound was all over the place. It's nice to see it back.

With your experience, you obviously don't need any advice from me. Instead, I'll forward this to some important contacts and share it with my social media networks. That should reach about 100,000 people.  

And if you want to send me a high-quality MP3, I'll see if I can get this some feature radio airplay. Use alan@edge.ca for fastest service.

Good luck!

Kevin Mellors submitted media.

Calm it down by The Social Cost

Alan Cross

This is good. God knows we need more aggressive guitar music these days. Cool concept for a video, too!

Tell you what: Send me a high-quality MP3 along with a three-line bio and let me see what I can do about getting some kind of airplay or online feature with 102.1 the Edge/Toronto and Corus Radio. Use alan@alancross.ca for fastest service.

submitted media.

Prima video by Indigo Abyss

Alan Cross

I like it. Simple yet dark, threatening, and powerful. Not exactly radio material but this could live in alt-rock dance clubs and possibly be used for sync and licensing opportunities. I'd gather together more of this material and start making friends with both club DJs and music supervisors. 

If you do get comments on this YouTube video, make sure you follow up with those people so they'll grow into fans. 

Matt Dorgan submitted media.

Cannonball by GRANDO

Alan Cross

Whoa. I like this. A lot. GREAT production.

If you send me a high-quality MP3 along with a three-line bio (including where you're from) and I'll get this some feature airplay on 102.1 The Edge/Toronto. Use alan@edge.ca