510 Embarcadero West
Oakland, CA, 94607
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 7:30 PM
“My kids have changed my life for the better. They help me put things in perspective and remind me that time is limited.” – Eric Roberson
Grammy award nominee, singer, songwriter, and producer Eric Roberson, continues to break boundaries as an independent artist in an industry dominated by major labels, manufactured sounds and mainstream radio. Described as the original pioneer of the independent movement in R&B/Soul music, Eric has achieved major milestones in his career, from being a successful songwriter and producer for notable artists like Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Dwele, Vivian Green and countless others, to releasing nine albums under his Blue Erro Soul imprint.
This Rahway, NJ native and Howard University alum has been nominated in both 2010 and 2011 for a Grammy award in the “Best Urban/Alternative Performance” category and continues to blaze trails unheard of from an independent artist. In 2011, his studio album, Mister Nice Guy, debuted in the top 5 on the iTunes R&B/Soul charts. Eric then released a collaboration album, B-Sides, Features and Heartaches, as a thank you album to his fans. The album represents ten years of collaborations with some of his favorite independent artists in the Soul movement including Angela Johnson, DJ Spinna, Collette and Les Nubians. Eric’s 10th studio album, The Box, was released in 2014 to buzz-worthy success.
Eric’s latest project, Earth, will be released on April 21st and digital pre-sale orders of The Product and The Process are available now, exclusively at www.EricRobersonMusic.com. The Product allows fans to listen to the album before it is available to the public and The Process gives fans a rare opportunity to be a part of the creative process before the album is released, with Eric providing commentary on songs, as well as providing an advance hearing of unreleased songs. “We are losing so much of the culture that went with listening to music. Letting the fans watch us create the albums was our way of bringing some of the old music culture back.” No other artist has involved his or her loyal fan base in The Process in this innovative way. A private Facebook group has also been established and fans assist in the selection of song titles, album artwork and more.
Earth is part of an EP trilogy series titled, Earth, Wind and Fire. Wind will be released July 21st and Fire is to be released on October 20th. The idea to release three albums in one year began during the creative process in the recording studio. “I was writing songs that didn’t feel like they belonged together. One song would be about empowerment and another about love,” says Roberson. The trilogy EP was then birthed.
The inspiration behind the album titles definitely pays homage to the iconic group, but Eric also wanted to use music to voice some of today’s topical issues and in his special way, include personal influences into these albums. “Earth is self-empowering, Wind is the love and Fire is the message,” says Roberson.
Earth features several collaborations, including spoken word from his pastor YPJ, for the song, “First Loved Jesus.” There is also “Superman,” a duet with singer/songwriter Glenn Lewis. The producers on Earth are Daniel Crawford and DJ Jazzy Jeff’s production team, Playlist (James Poyser, Stro Elliot, Kaidi Tathum).
Because of Earth’s empowerment theme, the first single on the album is “Million Dollars.” This song sets the pace of the entire album. The song mentions having a million dollars would be nice, but would never be what makes him happy. “This song is very personal and says more about me than any other song I have written.” Every song on Earth speaks to a particular part of life and the choices we have to make while going through our day-to-day ups and downs.
An artist is always influenced by all things surrounding them, and with Eric, he is no different. This past year, he welcomed his third child into the world and he has incorporated his children into the album creation process. “I’ve recorded my last four albums with kids on my lap. You hear Max throughout this album and I was holding him when I recorded ‘The Hospital Song’ for the album,” says Roberson.
Being a husband and father has inspired Eric’s music tremendously. Marriage has helped him embrace honesty. Fatherhood has helped him embrace maturity. He feels both honesty and maturity is an apparent theme in all of his music. He loves being married and being a father. “Music takes a lot of time and energy so I try not to separate them from it. My family was with me a great deal of the time while making this album. They fueled me and kept me focused.”
The subject matter on Earth is more elaborate than any of Eric’s previous albums. “I can’t say I’m writing better songs, but I can say I am able to write songs I couldn’t write before. I truly feel as creatively free as I have ever felt,” states Roberson.