Anna Ross would technically be classified as a pop or soul singer, and a very good one at that, if it weren’t for the unconventional backing production on her first solo single, “First Day.” With the addition of a slow jump up drum and bass track to support her soaring vocals on the original mix, “First Day” takes Ross into a completely different (and more indie) category. Such is the case with many UK singers but for Ross, the backing of Duran Duran’s John Taylor doesn’t hurt her cause, either.
The original mix of “First Day” was created by a studio producer named Matt Catlow who works mostly in anonymity with an outfit in London called Endell Studios. This mix, while it has a drum and bass beats, is arranged more like a pop song in order to get the full benefit of Ross’s tremendous vocals. On an original mix like this, listeners will definitely want a verse-chorus-verse structure, as the vocals and the message are the main track here. It’s not how it’s traditionally done in drum and bass, but in this case the pop version needs to come first. Let the remixes come later. And they will.
While Anna Ross only has one other single, a jazzy disco track with Snowboy called “Girl Overboard”, but she is well known among pop artists, having worked with Duran Duran, Tina Turner and Stereophonics, just to name a few. Duran Duran’s John Taylor, who is now known just as much for his electronic and pop production as his 80s new wave tastemaking, has taken Ross on as a project recently, endorsing this original mix of “First Day” and also lending his production skills to the remix with Charlie Scott, a slowed-down track which is a little more EDM-ready but no less poignant.
With the remix of “First Day” due out in August and Ross’s first full-length album, on which there is even more Duran Duran support with Simon LeBon having co-written three tracks, it seems Anna Ross’s extraordinary voice will be yet another tastemaker, this time for pop and EDM.
Written by Layla Marino
Blog: (Dropping) Weird Science