When Chad Vaccarino and Ian Axel—the pop music duo also known as A Great Big World—were searching for just the right person to produce their six-song EP, they turned to Purchase College alum Dan Romer, MusB ’04/ MMus ’07.
An accomplished producer, composer, and arranger, Romer has successfully produced records for a number of indie artists—Jennie Owen Youngs ’04, Ingrid Michaelson, Bess Rogers, and Lelia Broussard, to name a few—gaining a reputation along the way.
Romer recorded, mixed, and produced A Great Big World’s EP in 2011, including the haunting and melancholy, yet mesmerizing song “Say Something.” The pair harnessed the non-traditional channels ubiquitous in the music scene today and pursued television licensing. As a result, the reality show So You Think You Can Dance featured “Say Something” earlier in 2013. Pop megastar Christina Aguilera was watching.
She reached out to A Great Big World, re-recorded the song with the duo, and appeared with them on an episode of her own hit show The Voice in early November. The song then flew up the charts; it became the top download on iTunes, topped Billboard Magazine’s Digital Songs chart, and turned platinum this week.
“Dan Romer has always been able to present the music of willfully eccentric singer-songwriters in a manner that makes it palatable to mainstream listeners,” writes The Star Ledger’s Tris McCall.
Romer wrote all the string arrangements on the recording and tapped into Purchase College’s talented alumni pool: Chris Anderson, MMus ’06 plays the bass.
Epic Records signed the band and will release A Great Big World’s album, produced by Romer, in January 2014.
In 2012, Romer drew much critical acclaim for the film score he co-wrote for the indie breakout hit, Beasts of the Southern Wild.