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SoulTracks.com Review Of Eric Roberson Wind EP

By Eric Roberson

SoulTracks.com Review Of Eric Roberson Wind EP

By Melody Charles

Eric Roberson - Wind

For every heart-tugging, tear-inducing ode to relationships, there are just as many peeling back the curtains on the dark side of love: “Love Is a Battlefield,” “Woman to Woman,” “As We Lay,” and, of course, practically every drop of Beyonce’s Lemonade. It can be a struggle to put together, and damaging when it falls apart, so when a performer old enough to wear the battle scars of love can still wax rhapsodic about it all, taking you back to your first crush, rosy beginnings and the sugar-sweet promises of ‘happily ever after,’ you’ve got to embrace it. That’s what Eric Roberson conjures up, and delivers, in his latest EP, Wind.

The second in a trilogy of empowerment-themed releases (following his spring release, Earth), Roberson’s Wind certainly has a supple, soothing pace throughout, with lingering melodies that rise, fall and spin like a breeze. His compositions still pack substance within, idealizing love while examining and questioning its motives and contents. “Sky As Green,” for instance, finds Erro’s character acknowledging his own sharp edges and wondering if anyone will one day accept what he brings to the table: “Open up your mind, give me part of the time/open up your mind, just a little bit of love would be fine,” he croons over a foundation of horns and keys. “…I’m just searching for something that will last.” 

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Eric Roberson - Earth (2017)

By Eric Roberson

Eric Roberson - Earth (2017)

Eric Roberson - Earth (2017)

When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things. (1 Corinthians, 11:13)

Paul wrote this guidance on the transition into adulthood two millennia ago, and we live on a planet of seven billion people who still struggle with it today. And if it is tough for those of us out of the limelight, it is particularly difficult for entertainers, working in an industry where attraction to youth is virtually reflexive. So we often hear from familiar artists whose years of experience provides them with something to say, but who instead spend too much time chasing elusive popular trends – a typically unsuccessful chase that shortchanges their artistry. There is a cultural thesis that underlies this chase: that the immaturity and impulsiveness of youth is exciting, and that the perspective and emerging selflessness that come from aging, parenting and mentoring is akin to irrelevance and unhappiness.

So it is refreshing to hear Earth, the first leg of the EP trilogy that Eric Roberson plans to issue throughout this year. Now approaching a dozen albums into his career, Roberson has always been a man of our time, and importantly a man of his time, consistently providing fresh grooves that hint of R&B, hip-hop and gospel, even as he sometimes transparently and sometimes opaquely tells the real story of life.

Those who have lived a life will stop cold for cut #5, "The Hospital Song." With a gentle piano and one of the most subdued vocals of Roberson's recorded career, the song captures, in three and a half minutes, the cycle of life and family - and the building where they come together: "A hospital is a big old box / filled with joys and pain / one whose life is ending / another whose begins." It is a show stopper on his current tour, and the studio gives it an even more ethereal feel. In its soul, it is a 19th century spiritual brought forward to the world of 2017, and it works beautifully.

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Eric Roberson on His EP Trilogy, Trump and Music That Matters

By Eric Roberson

Eric Roberson on His EP Trilogy, Trump and Music That Matters

Eric Roberson is so low-key that if you sat next to the guy in a coffee shop you may not realize that you were sitting next to a human jukebox of hit records. Also known as Erro, he has written, produced, and done background vocals for the likes of Jill Scott, 112, Musiq Soulchild, Dwele, Carl Thomas, Will Smith, Vivian Green, and Charlie Wilson.

After years of writing, recording, performing, and touring Roberson manages to find new ways to creatively elevate the way fans receive his music. His Earth + Wind + Fire EP trilogy was announced in February, and he released Earth in April. Roberson created “The Process” to go along with his trilogy; an experience that gives fans an inside look into the creation of all three projects. Fans who are a part of “The Process” are able to watch songs as they are being created and provide feedback in a private Facebook group.

Roberson talked to The Boombox to discuss his project and his seventeen-year career as an independent artist and life after fatherhood.

What does each album in the trilogy represent?

Each one means something different: Earth was inspired by conversations with my grandfather. It’s very internal, how to be a better person, how to find my truth–my personal truth. And then Wind is more of an action album, it’s more acting out my love. My love for family, my love for my wife, romance, or just the good and bad of surviving, and keeping love alive.

Love is “roll up your sleeves and make it work.” I think Fire, which I can’t really speak much on because I haven’t created it yet. But as I create it, I’m guessing that’s more external, like how much I want the world to be better. How much I want to understand the stuff that I’m uncomfortable with. I’m writing a song right now called, “Slave Owners,” and it’s about walking around with pockets filled with slave owners–from the dollar bills to the twenty dollar bills–and just how we have to be comfortable with that.

My great-great-great grandfather was a slave in a town over from where my grandfather lives at. How we have to be comfortable with some of the negative histories on the land that we love and that gives us so much opportunity.

How has traveling to other countries and seeing different cultures influenced your music?

First, traveling to other countries reminds you that you’re small, which is something that my grandfather used to say. I recently went to Cuba, I did a soul cruise and I think [with] Fire especially you’re going to hear the influences of the culture that we saw in Cuba.

But even going to South Africa…that’s the beautiful thing about soul music, when you go to South Africa you’re not going to be the same person when you come home. When you go to Seattle you’re not going to be the same person when you come home. You have to be truthful and write about how you feel no matter what that scenario is.

Walking in your truth can be hard to do in the music business. How have you been able to walk firmly in your truth?

I made a choice very early on that who I was offstage I was going to be onstage and vice versa. I think I’ve stayed true to it, I think the challenge really came when I started having kids. The funny thing about the music business is that you are guaranteed to have a big show that’s going to happen on your son’s birthday. And you have to make a decision right there, are you going to take the gig, or are you going to be there for your child’s birthday? I’m going to be there for my kids birthday–period.

I don’t need a million dollars to be happy. Sure it would be great to have it and we would be balling out if we did but it’s not gonna be what brings me peace nor is it what’s going to bring me happiness. So let me focus on what’s going to bring me happiness and peace, and be satisfied and work hard for the money I do have. I appreciate being an independent artist and if I was signed to a Def Jam, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to be myself.

What made you transition from songwriting to creating your own music?

I started out as a songwriter because the other options were drying up. I realized you can make a living being a songwriter and there were these other opportunities. And for me I was just trying to survive in the music business–I wanted to be around the music business. Whether that was being a background singer, songwriter, vocal producer, or an artist. I think for me the artist thing started happening for me again when I started writing songs that I didn’t want to sell.

When it got too personal, when I  wrote a song about my hopes and fears, and who I was in love with it was hard to give those songs away. It felt like I was literally handing you my journal, I think I was always an artist though. Even when I was writing a song in the studio and just demoing it, I was still performing, so it wasn’t a big change to become an artist.

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Singersroom.com [EXCLUSIVE] Eric Roberson Talks New Album Trilogy, Working With Glenn Lewis & More

By Eric Roberson

Singersroom.com [EXCLUSIVE] Eric Roberson Talks New Album Trilogy, Working With Glenn Lewis & More

Two-time Grammy nominee Eric Robeson never seems to amaze his fans as an independent artist. As the “forefather of the independent movement,” Roberson worked with several notable artists including Dwele, Vivian Green, Jill Scott, and Musiq Soulchild. The singer, songwriter, and producer released his latest album, Earth in April.

Earth is a completely different album from his previous albums because it’s a part of the EP trilogy series, Earth, Wind, andFire (Roberson will be releasing two more albums, Wind on July 21st and Fire on Oct 20th). Each element has a different subject matter such as empowerment and love. Roberson completed the trilogy series within a year and continued to use his voice to address newsworthy topics. About the album’s concept, Roberson says, “I was writing songs that didn’t feel like they belong together. One song would be about empowerment and another about love. The trilogy EP was the birthed. ”

I spoke with Roberson about his latest trilogy project, working with Glenn Lewis, first single “Million Dollars,” and more.

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