By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Sep 28, 2005 at 5:29 AM

{image1}"Unfabulous and More," the debut CD from Emma Roberts -- the 14-year-old daughter of actor Eric Roberts -- star of the Nickelodeon TV show "Unfabulous," arrived in shops on Tuesday and its release had some in Milwaukee celebrating.

That's because "I Wanna Be," one of the 10 tracks on the CD, was written by Daniel Holter and Mike Standal of the Burst Collective. In addition the team did some of the production and programming for the track at its downtown Tosa studio.

"It's by far our biggest break yet," Holter enthuses and that's saying something as the state-of-the-art Burst studio and its numerous local projects (by the likes of Pipitone, Julie Moffitt, John McCarty, Eggshell and others) have been funded by Burst's success as a writer and producer of music licensed to TV, radio, advertising and film.

So, how did it come about?

"We had been developing songs for Hilary Duff through a mutual connection," Holter explains, "and then an opportunity came up through Taxi, the independent A&R company, so we submitted the song for that. We didn't hear anything for months. Then this past January (we got a call from Marshall Altman, A&R (guy) at Sony/Columbia, saying they wanted to record the song for Emma's debut.

"The CD has been done for a while, and we've had to stay quiet about it since, as they say, 'it ain't on the record until it's in shrinkwrap.'"

Fans of the "Unfabulous" show will be familiar with many of the songs on the new CD as they have been peformed in the show by Roberts' character Addie Singer.

In its promotion for the new disc, Columbia Records refers to "I Wanna Be" as Roberts' "new hit." But Holter isn't sure it's hit-bound, although he's certainly hoping.

"But they've been billing 'I Wanna Be' as just that since they released it as her first single almost a month ago. I know it's being used to promote her show on Nickelodeon this fall."

He says that Columbia is using its marketing power to help push the tune.

"The video is also included on a DVD/special packaging at WalMarts with the new 'NOW' music compilation, and they are doing something with Limited Too stores; some sort of packaging just for them. There's been a lot of projects like that being started up ... it's been interesting to see the whole big-label-marketing-machine get rolling."

So, how does it feel to know you can walk into nearly any music shop in America and buy your song?

"We're headed out today to buy a few, and it's pretty exciting," says Holter. "I mean, it's a 14-year-old teen pop star, which is a bit different than maybe I'd have dreamed when I was 18 or 20, but I'm thrilled to have a career as a songwriter and producer no matter what the genre.

"And you know what? It's been great to see my kids get excited over something I've done. Let's face it, some of the music I do is just going to have to wait to be heard by them until they are a bit older. It's been cool to have a song coming out by a star that their friends know about. And they've been singing 'I Wanna Be' for over a year now. I wonder what they'll think the first time they hear it on Disney Radio or something."

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.