Joe Cross

In the few short years that Joe has been focusing on his production career, he has made a real impact and had some stunning successes. As the main writer and producer of the cult electro pop act Performance, Big Life’s association with Joe has been long and successful. But his reputation as a fantastic writer producer has opened many doors for him and lead to his involvement in some very exciting projects.

Key amongst these has been his involvement with Hurts. Adam and Theo from the band have always been big Performance fans and as both acts hailed from Manchester it was an obvious choice that they would approach Joe to collaborate on their debut album “Happiness”. Joe had a massive impact on the album and co-write and co produced not only the key singles “Better Than Love” and “Wonderful Life”, but also the album title track “Happiness”. The album on release went Top 5 in the UK and Top 10 in many European countries including Greece, Germany, Austria, Finland, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Switzerland and Poland. It has achieved Platinum sales in Germany and Poland and gold sales in the UK , Russia and Austria. Joe continues his working relationship with the guys into 2015 as he is currently writing and producing tracks for the much-anticipated forthcoming Hurts album.

Joe also has a longstanding relationship with The Courteeners.  In 2013 he produced their critically acclaimed album ‘Anna’, their long awaited third album, which charted at a number six in the UK album charts on release. It drew in news fans, bloggers and solid reviews from the likes of the Guardian who said ‘proof that four guys can still shake the world’ and pop matters who wrote ‘Anna is every bit as infectious as their impressive debut, but it is bigger, glossier, and clearly intended to be played in massive, sold out stadiums in places like Shanghai or Atlanta’. In 2014 Joe produced the follow-up to this album “Concrete Love” which debuted on the UK album chart at Number 3.

Also in 2014 Joe produced the debut album from Norwegian band Kid Astray who Radio 1’s Rob da Bank described as making one feel “rather jolly in the morning”. Signed to Cosmos and after the release of EP ‘Back To The Ordinary’ in January, they went on tour playing key festivals including Sonisphere. 2015 heralds exciting things for the band.

Towards the end of 2014 Joe co-wrote and produced tracks for Dive In’s forthcoming album coming out on prestigious Vagrant records. Recently praised by The Guardian; ‘These aren't timorous indie boys, they're merciless pop tacticians.”

2015 is setting up to be a busy year for Joe. He is currently producing Big Life’s very own YURS, who are creating a stir amongst the A&R fraternity. Joe has also produced a track on the forthcoming third studio album from widely acclaimed Little Boots, who’s last effort spawned the singles ‘New In Town’ and ‘Remedy’ which were both top 20 hits. Joe is also set for some upcoming sessions with Island Records recent buzz signing and Huw Stephens favourite, Prides.

In 2013 Joe co-wrote and produced Berlin’s Island records artist I Heart Sharks who have been described as ‘creators of daringly ambitious pop music to violently tear you from the dreary quotidian and throw you into a world where promises are kept, where every day is summer’. Joe recorded the band between Berlin and his Manchester studio and the sessions produced the wonderful “Anthems” LP.

Joe works consistently in Germany due to the popularity of his work with Hurts and  also in 2013 he produced and co-wrote the Frankfurt based pop star Jana Leipziger’s album ‘Contradictions’. The album got great reviews across the board describing it as powerful and infectious with one review saying ‘A pop star from Frankfurt via Mallorca, Paris, London, Zurich and New York. Her songs could have come from any or all of these great cities, being a placeless sort of magisterial and melodic, icily infectious but emotionally engaging 21st century electronic pop music.’

Also in 2013 Joe produced tracks for one of Irelands most loved indie band The Coronas who have recently shared stages with the likes of Justin Timberlake, The Script and Tinie Tempah.

In 2012 Joe co wrote and produced tracks for Sweden’s Sound of Arrows and their debut album “Voyage”. Over various trans-European collaborations, Joe contributed the stunning ‘Nova’ and ‘After The Silence’. Joe and ‘ Arrows front man Stefan Storm continue to collaborate of Stef’s new project KOTA.
Joe is in constant demand as a writer /collaborator and has had recent sessions with Little Boots, Mikky Ekko, Hurts, The Heartbreaks, Thomas Azier, Sandra Bjurman and Russian Pop star Essami. 

Joe is hugely respected in Manchester and much of his early production work stems from working with the city’s freshest new talent. This includes producing three tracks for Manchester’s very own The Heartbreaks 2012 release Funtimes which had great success in Japan with the single Delay Delay peaking at number nine in the singles chart. The band took up tour supports for Bono, Morrisey and Hurts and subsequently received great reviews and blogs from all over, one stating ‘The music is bursting with energy, love and poison. Best of all, just about every song is about Morecambe. They have looked behind the grime and decline and found poetry. Suddenly, the town seems cool. The Heartbreaks point the way to a brighter future.’

In 2010 Joe also had a writing session with the Moshi Moshi/ Island signed act Cock’n’Bull Kid and it produced an out of the box smash!  Album producer Liam Howe and Joe co produced the track “One Eye Open” and the result is a stormer of an electro pop record that went on to be the artists’ first single from the critically acclaimed “Adulthood” album. Such is his strength as a songwriter that he has also recently completed writing session with the hot tipped Hero, Kenzio, American artist Tom Andrews, German band Livingstone, and most recently with hugely successful dance producer Alex Metric.

In 2011 Joe concentrated on his career as songwriter/ producer/ band member in Performance. Upon resigning to BMG in Germany and Joe and company wrote and produced a new album for release in this territory. The toured extensively throughout Europe that summer with Human League and played select European festivities.

But Joe also found the time to produce and write with many new and exciting electronic acts. The success of the Hurts album in Germany especially has meant that Joe has been in hot demand in that territory as a writer / producer and has been invited to some exciting writer camps over there. So far this year he has written and produced singles for a host of established acts and some new exciting talent. Foremost amongst these is Thomas Azier. In only a handful of days in Joe’s studio, the pair have written a smash single that has already seen much interest in the film sync world and will be a key track for the artist’s forthcoming album. Joe and Thomas are scheduled to write together early in the new year.

Also in 2011 Joe wrote and produced a single for the German band Livingstone, remixed Firefoxx for Sony Germany, written the German acts Strify and Die Orsons and recently written with Johnny from Zoot Woman for a Stewart Price produced album later in the year. He is continuing his collaborations with Stefan Storm from The Sound of Arrows and had successful writing session with Lana del Ray and Liam Howe earlier in the year. He has also recently been in the studio writing with the hotly tipped American acts Mikki Ekko and Tom Andrews.

Title Artist Label Credit
Forthcomig Album Track Little Boots Atlantic Produced
Fothcoming EP YURS TBC Produced
Forthcoming Album Dive In Vagrant Records Co Wrote
Wonderful Life/Better Than Love Hurts Sony Co Wrote/Produced
Home Before The Dark Kid Astray Comos Produced
Forthcoming Tracks Chloe Howl TBC Co-Wrote/Produced
Forthcoming Tracka Goose PIAS Produced
Concrete Love The Courteeners PIAS Co-Wrote/Produced
Anna The Courteeners Sony/Cooking Vinyl Produced
LP Tracks The Coronas TBC Produced
Anthems I Heart Sharks Island Co Wrote/Produced
Contradictions Jana Leipziger TBC Co Wrote/Produced
LP Tracks The Sound of Arrows Geffen Co Wrote/Produced
Forthcoming Tracks Thomas Azier Universal Co Wrote/Produced
Wildfire Tom Andrews Interscope Co Wrote/Produced
Tracks Mykki Ekko RCA Co Wrote
Track Zoot Woman WoS Co Wrote
Perfect Dream Livingstone Universal Co Wrote/Produced/Mixed
A Language Performance BMG Co Wrote/Produced/Mixed
Red Brick Heart Performance Too Much Info Co Wrote/Produced/Mixed
We Are Performance Performance Too Much Info Co Wrote/Produced/Mixed
Nova/ After the Silence The Sound of Arrows Geffen Co Wrote/Produced
Tracks Funtimes The Heartbreaks PIAS Produced
One Eye Open Cocknbullkid Island Co Wrote/Produced
Album Forthcoming Wheels TBC Produced/Mixed
UR My Girl Kiss In Cities TBC Produced/Mixed
Forthcoming Tracks Techniques TBC Produced/Mixed
Forthcoming Tracks Hero TBC Co Wrote/Produced/Mixed

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