NFL Players Darren Waller, Terron Armstead, Create Music for Madden Video Game for First Time Ever

The two-day June recording session took place at Interscope Records Studios in Santa Monica, Calif.

<p>Tiffany Rose/Getty; ABC; Michael Loccisano/Getty</p> Ray-Ray McCloud, Terron Armstead, Darren Waller

Tiffany Rose/Getty; ABC; Michael Loccisano/Getty

Ray-Ray McCloud, Terron Armstead, Darren Waller

For the first time ever, NFL players have recorded music for the John Madden video game franchise.

The wildly popular series, which first launched in 1988, per Sports Illustrated, is known for partnering with mega-artists such as Nas and Kendrick Lamar, but athletes are now bringing their secondary passions to the plate.

The NFL, along with Interscope Geffen A&M Records and Electronic Arts Sports have joined forces to empower athletes to explore their artistry, ABC News reports.

Miami Dolphins tackle Terron Armstead, who was signed by the New Orleans Saints in 2013, told ABC he achieved his dream of becoming a pro athlete, but he had put his musical aspirations aside.

"I only knew the stigma of 'Shut up and play' and 'Do your day job,' " said Armstead, 32. "I got away from music during the early years of my career. It was a void for me because music was a way to express myself."

"For them to create this opportunity, it's been great for us," he added. "This has really pushed and encouraged guys to be who they are."

<p>AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes</p> Record producer and songwriter Chandler A. Great, known as Turbo, right, and guitarist Noah Ehler

AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes

Record producer and songwriter Chandler A. Great, known as Turbo, right, and guitarist Noah Ehler

Related: NFL, Raiders, and Hall of Fame Among Those Paying Homage to John Madden 1 Year After His Death

For the extended play project Crowd Control, Armstead is featured with San Francisco receiver Ray-Ray McCloud, Carolina Panthers receiver D.J. Chark Jr., linebacker Melvin Ingram and New York Giants tight end Darren Waller. Songs from the EP, executive produced by Derrick Milano, were included in "Madden NFL 24," which was released last month.

"People can't put us in a box," said 30-year-old Waller, who is already a pro artist having produced four hip-hop albums. "Hopefully this opens up a lane for a lot of guys who want to pursue their passion. This opportunity can be beneficial. It can spark a fire that hasn't been lit yet."

McCloud, 26, noted to the outlet that the project is a "big step" in the right direction, especially since athletes "get a certain type of stereotype."

"It's a certain narrative we have to follow. When football ends one day, we need to have that second passion. We just want to follow our dreams. I'm living my first dream of playing in the NFL. But doing other things you love and fills your spirit creates a different type of feeling."

The two-day recording session took place in Santa Monica, Calif. in June at Interscope Records Studios.

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From the start, the John Madden franchise was influential in helping to make dreams come true. In 2021, The New York Times noted that the video game series "influenced a generation of players and coaches."

Former star quarterback Michael Vick told the outlet that fans were always bringing up the game to him, acknowledging his involvement.

"Me being on the game and what I represented on the game brought more attention to myself and to quarterbacks who look like me and played the game like me," Vick, 43, had shared. "Now it doesn't matter what you look or play like — now anyone can grace the front cover."

Now incorporating the athletes in the music is taking the franchise a giant step further.

"There hasn't been an athlete on the Madden soundtrack ever," Interscope's Senior VP of Sports & Gaming David Nieman told Boardroom, who had an exclusive behind-the-scenes of the June recording session. "In March we did a career day for the players, we wanted to bring them in and kind of give them a day in the life of a record label."

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