Madden NFL 22 is one of the top-selling video games of the year, and one of the things that stands out with the game is the music. This year, Electronic Arts (EA) collaborated with Interscope record to release the first Madden NFL album which features 11 exclusive tracks. PopCulture.com recently caught up with Steve Schnur, the Worldwide Executive and President of Music for EA who talked about the new album and the impact EA and EA Sports has on the music industry.
"We've been wanting to do that for quite some time," Schnur said to PopCulture. "It's like FIFA and other EA sports games, has really been, not just in mine, but in most gamers' opinions, at the forefront of music discovery for decades, two decades now. It's amazing how many bands have been initially discovered and broken through being in those titles: Madden Football, FIFA, NHL, et cetera. And for years, we wanted to really memorialize it and do a deal...with a great label for a soundtrack release. The songs were always available on Spotify, but that becomes more of a playlist versus an actual release."
The soundtrack features music from upcoming artists like Morray, 42 Dugg, and Tierra Whack. The 11 tracks are head in the game as well as 50 additional tracks in Madden NFL 22 from Drake, J. Cole and Lil Baby. EA has helped launch the careers of many artists because gamers take noticed of the music while playing. Back in 2004, the rock group Green Day did something very different as they released their song "American Idiot" on Madden NFL 2005. It led to the song and album earning a number of accolades.
"My team are some of the best music curators on planet earth," Schnur stated. "We've been together for 20 years. And we're the same team that did Madden 2004 and the same team that did Madden 2012 and continue. But collaborative partners is always a great thing to have, get the different points of view, understand which artists are going where, they're in the studio doing what, what their aspirations are musically, and also which ones frankly grew up loving, playing Madden. And those collaborative partnerships really help us target a little better."
Schnur said the plan is to have a Madden NFL soundtrack every year as he wants fans to listen to it outside the game. "I plan on continuing to work with collaborative label partners to put out soundtracks on Madden," he said. "I think that it memorializes the soundtrack. And listen, I love the idea that your Madden soundtrack isn't meant just to be for in your game. It's meant to be on your phone to stamp, musically stamp what's meaningful to you when you listen to music in your car, when you listen to it wherever you are, and this sort of helps us get there."