We had the good fortune of connecting with Mark Cross and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mark, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I’ve always loved entertaining, writing, making new friends and bringing people together. Music has always been a way for me to fulfill those aspects of my life. I was an outgoing but shy, nerdy kid growing up. I’d write short stories, perform in elementary school plays and write silly songs. I also played baseball most of my life which took a lot of my focus. I think that was a different kind of creative outlet that allowed me to feel comfortable performing in front of people. I was a pitcher and the stress to be “good” was exhilarating! I didn’t want to stand around in the outfield; I wanted to be in the spotlight. However, I didn’t feel completely like “myself” until I started writing songs and performing them at coffee shops in my High School days. I’d feel empty without music. It’s something I think about constantly. I often tell myself it’s not a choice of whether or not I want to write songs. It’s something that comes to me and I constantly chase. I don’t really have a choice!

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I try to not rush the creative process. Especially with my new project “Those Animals”. I always strive to write songs that resonate with me first and foremost. I think it’s helped me cultivate a more authentic writing style. The songs seem to come naturally at different times in my life. I’ll feel inspired and then there will be this explosion of ideas and feelings all at once. I recently decided to invest a lot of my time and money into more professional recording equipment so I can more accurately express myself. I’m really excited to share these new songs with the world. I think they really portray who I am as an artist. I wrote, recorded, mixed and mastered everything myself. I want people to get a sense of who I am through my music and from meeting me in person.

Nothing about this journey has been easy but it’s all seemed to come together naturally and it’s what I absolutely, 100% love to do. Self-doubt and lack of direction are a constant in my life but I try to ignore those feelings as much as possible. It’s a pipe dream to make a career out of music but that’s never going to stop me from writing and trying my best. The more patient I am, the more the world seems to show me which path to follow.

The support and appreciation I receive from friends and strangers is amazing. I will always go out of my way to talk to people who support what I do. From U.S. tours, to friendships, to incredible support, I am very grateful for the opportunities I’ve been gifted thus far and I’m even more excited for what’s to come.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We’d start the week by riding bikes to the local brewery, Enegren, in my hometown of Moorpark, California. Riding bikes is a blast. Moorpark is a small town about 35 minutes north of Los Angeles. It’s beautiful and quiet but there’s not much going on. After a few beers we can ride to get some BBQ, enjoy some of the nature and then back to my house for music and video games (just got a PS5 ayooo).The next day, we can take a drive up the coast to Ventura. There are a lot of cool shops and restaurants to explore. Not to mention the beach is beautiful. There are also a lot of live music spots we can check out. We can spend the next few days in Hollywood, Los Angeles, Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Heck, let’s rent an Airbnb. We have to make a stop at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles and the Baked Potato. The Baked Potato is an amazing jazz club. Since I’m a pretty social person, we’ll probably make some new friends and have some good conversations with random people. Lots of laughing guaranteed!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My dad was a big influence on my creative journey. We spent a lot of time together and he showed me all the bands that inspire me. When I was probably 6 years old, he brought out his old bass from when he was in punk bands as a teenager. I also have to give my mom a shout-out. She has been and still is my biggest fan. My friends definitely deserve some love too because they’ve given me so much love and support over the years. Special shout-outs to Matt, Austin, Dustin, Charlie, PJ, Cameron, John, Nico and last but not least my sister, Megan.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thoseanimalsmusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/thoseanimals805

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Those-Animals-112549944269307

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTI5Rh2r6ypbdrhNFsK9Ziw

Image Credits
Cassidy Cooper. Marcos Manrique. Kelly Mustapha. Matt Villa. Jamie Stone. Tiara Cox.

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