Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with the amazingly talented Eric Roberson, not only do I know his music but I am a HUGE fan of his work. Mr. Eric Roberson is humble, funny, and has a great spirit; celebrating his 20th anniversary in the music industry he is releasing two albums this year. We had a chance to have a good ol’ fashioned talk, and to be honest it was such honor to meet the inspirational artist himself.
Parlé: Happy 20th Anniversary Eric, what an achievement. With your new release B sides, Features, and Heartaches, what was the inspiration behind this album?
Eric Roberson: One of my staff members Jerrell Allen, was the one who came up with the album, we were trying to come up with something to celebrate the 20th year and we realized that there is always an underlined message behind everything. For me it’s really, ‘No vision can be done by itself’ and for me its been a collaborative effort from day one, so we wanted to do an album that really showcased that collaborative spirit, that not only I share but share with my peers in the way we were able to survive in the business and also the way we been able to excel in this business by joining up with other people in the studios not only to work on my dreams but helping others with their dreams as well, and also bringing some attention to some songs that some people haven’t heard as well as giving some new material on this record. It’s really going to set up for the next album coming out this year.
Parlé: In a earlier interview you stated that “No one can accomplish a vision alone. Not only is it important to allow people to help facilitate your vision, you must also take the time to invest in others’ as well,” could you elaborate on the statement a little more?
Eric Roberson: It’s like what my grandfather would say “If all things that you considered small didn’t show up to one of your shows, how big would you be… You wouldn’t be big at all,” basically what he’s saying is that “we are all equal parts into something small that amplifies it into something Big.
Parlé: The United Tenors album is doing very well and actually is nominated for not just 1 but 3 stellar awards, congrats; how does it feel?
Eric: Working with Fred Hammond… Let’s start there, he is one of the reasons I started doing music, the first time I acknowledged that I could feel music, and that it was punching me in my chest and effecting my tear ducts and emotions, was listening to him, that was the first time I had that experience. To later become friends with him, to one day him calling me to tell me he had a idea to form a group, he didn’t have to tell me nothing else, I was like “I’m down, where we recording at, What I need to do?’ Recording that album was one of the most beautiful opportunities I had a chance to be a part of; as for Brian Courtney Wilson we were already friends, we met some time ago on the road, he is such a amazing man, great father, and great husband; so we bonded on things like that. I didn’t know Dave Holister but we became fast friends, like we just clicked at the moment that plane landed. This record really brought us together as friends, we honestly really bonded over this album, there were times we even cried when we were in the studio, not only that, but when we got on stage to rehearse for our shows we were in awe because of the magnitude of the whole thing, it really took us a minute to even be able to handle the magnitude. This just wasn’t an album thing, we genuinely became a family, and that’s what stands out to me in this album and I believe the love comes through the album.
Parlé: Let’s Talk about “Anymore,” your single, which is an amazing song, can you tell me a little bit about your writing process.
Eric: Well I’m always writing, I write to stay in shape. For me its keeps me prepared. I’m able to take the emotion of any event and illustrate it through music. When I go to record I don’t write much stuff down anymore, maybe one or two songs off this album may have been penned down but most of it; is just being in the moment and being prepared and focusing on the character the song calls me to be.
Parlé: What advice can you give to a fan who is trying to aspire to the greatness in them?
Eric: My advice is something that is a practice, it’s a life diet it’s the art of “getting out of yourself,” applying the things that would lead to you being healthy for you to get ahead. We are our best critics and our own worst fear, even our success can cripple our steps; it should all be about process over product, it should all be about being in the now. So I can work at being the best way I can, so I can be better prepared. Above all else, trust in God, because he will see you through it all, but in all we must learn to get out the ways of ourselves, and when we do things will happen; that’s why it’s a life diet and continuous practice. I know for me, my only rule is “Do I feel Goosebumps,” because I know its right when I feel them.
Parlé: What’s the name of the upcoming album?
Eric: Tentatively it’s named, Musical Monologues we’re 6 to 8 songs in. The album will only be 12 songs. I do think Musical Monologues describe the direction for the album but it’s hard to say because with the next song the album title can change. The only thing left is to obtain the features for the last couple tracks, which I won’t jinx by saying their names
Parlé: What do you want your fans to take from B sides, Features, and Heartaches?
Eric: I want them to know that they made this album, as much as I made this album. I want them to know that I would not be here without them, that I am a successful independent artist because of them.
Main image by Christian Ortiz for Parlé Magazine
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