Who Is Michael Cross?No one big in the music business yet, but someone who knows where he’s been and where he's going. At the age of seven, Mike's music career began with a small pass time family band, which was started with instruments that were left under the Christmas tree by Santa. With father on bass, mother singing into an extra drum stick, brother on drums and Mike on lead guitar, the family band sounded pretty good, with lots of help from the latest song playing loudly on the old turn table.
With imagination, Mike would play all the instruments, not including mom’s drumstick, to make sure they were all in tune. Once Mike formally introduced himself to all the instruments, he realized that his instrument was the hardest to play, which led him to play with the other instruments, instead of his own. After a family announcement, made by the family leader, "Mom", that no one was to play on anyone elses instrument but their own, Mike had no other choice but to learn how to play his hard to understand lead guitar. Because of the many complaints from his brother, of Mike playing on his drums, Mike would spend more time on the lead guitar, as well as his father’s bass.
Since Mike's father did not mind so much that Mike was playing his bass, at a young age Mike mastered playing the 4 string instrument. As a result of him learning to play the bass, he was able to play in many local bands. With Mike on bass and his brother on drums, they formed many neighborhood bands, which they would play for, while entertaining friends and family.
In school, Mike and his brother would play in many talent shows, they were so good that even after transferring to a different school, the principle of their old school would pick them up so they could play in the marching band parade. After winning second place in the parade, Mike continued to play in school bands. In Jr. High School, music class was an everyday learning experience for Mike, because he had a chance to experiment with other instruments. At times he and his brother would show off, by playing all the latest songs for the other kids.
In High School Mike participated in all genre's of school bands, to include Jazz, the Marching Band and the High School Orchestra. During High School Mike played in a small but popular Go-Go band called Eastside. At the time, the only position open was lead guitar, so with the help of the band manager, who was the music teacher at Eastern High School in Northeast, Mike learned more about playing the lead guitar. After practicing from sun up to sun down, Mike got the spot playing in the band. Mike evolved at playing the bass, and eventually got a spot playing bass guitar for a more popular band called Prophecy Band. Mike was given this break when Michelle Lynn Johnson, better know as Me'shell Ndegéocello vacated the position of bass player.With Prophecy, Mike gained stage presence, and he learned the in's and out's of the Go-Go show business, from beginning to end. He also learned how to run live sound, to include mixing. Playing with Prophecy introduced him to famous people like Doug-E-Fresh, Heavy D., Max Kid and Me'shell Ndegéocello (Formerly of the Prophecy Band). Mike continued to play with Prophecy Band for 5 years, until the band broke up in the early 90's. When the band broke up, Mike had no choice but to go out on his own, so he formed his own recording studio, which he called MC Sounds.
Mike ran sound, using his own sound system, for many local groups and bands, to include such names as Chuck Brown, as well as the Queen of Gospel Merna Summers. Things were going well for Mike until he had a break in, which cost him all of his equipment. Mike didn't have many choices at that time, so he humbled himself, and went back to work with the former drummer of the Prophecy Band, Kevin Jackson. Although this was hard for Mike, it was a very educational experience, as Kevin has formed one of the most successful recording studios in the DC Metro area, called Night Flight Studios. While working with Night Flight, Mike was able to go on the road and work with famous recording artists such as Stacy Latisaw, Tonya Blunt, the Zip Band and Mikie Howard. After absorbing all of this experience like a sponge, Mike decided to give MC Sounds one more try.
It was a big success! Artists would come from as far as Baltimore, Richmond and Philly just to get the MC Sounds, sound. This sound landed Mike positions in producing, as well as the opportunity to work with people such as Cut Close, Total, Willie Blunt, and one he deems as one of the biggest highlights of his career, Teddy Pendergrass! After working with Teddy, Mike started landing deals with groups that were signed to major record labels such as; Sony, Arista, Bad Boy and Motown. Mike was also involed in getting over 4 groups signed to record labels. Each group had their own internal problems which stopped them from following through. This was very devastating to Mike.
After years of frustration Mike turned his life over to Christ. Now Mike Cross is walking by faith as he works with non-profit groups and fund raising organizations. After learning how to walk in faith and to trust in the Lord, many wonderful things have started to happen in Mike's life. Such things, as doing a live recording at a large AME church, working with Kirk Franklin, and an opportunity to engineer at Heaven 1580 Gospel radio station. Mike also had a chance to act out a very small roll in a stage play called "Thy Kingdom Come", but played a much larger roll in producing several songs on the sound track for the play, which were very well perceived.
With all this experience and faith in the Lord, Mike's up and coming project is sure to be a success. The first major record label in Washington DC, how will he do this? Through faith, hard work, strategies, planning and persistence, he believes very strongly in getting it done!