Singer Eric Roberson Performs for ASCAP ACOUSTICS

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Nicole George Middleton, SVP of Membership at ASCAP interviews singer Eric Roberson

His music is a smooth mixture of what some may call neo-soul and R&B. 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.

Now with singer/songwriters and ASCAP have come together for what they call ASCAP ACOUSTICS. ASCAP ACOUSTICS is a two hour session, where attendees, many aspiring songwriters and musicians come to listen to a Q & A followed by a performance from an ASCAP artist. ASCAP is home to more than 600,000 music creator members across all genres – the greatest names in music, and thousands more in the early stages of their careers and they are owned and governed by their members.

On Monday, May 22, 2017, an audience was in for a treat with the mellow and soulful sounds of Eric Roberson. Also, while listening to the Q & A and performance guests enjoyed a catered meal provided by none other than Dallas BBQ which provided the setting of being in your living room or back yard in the summer.

Eric Roberson is a native of Rahway, NJ 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 buzzworthy success.

Eric’s latest project, Earth, was released on April 21st and digital pre-sale orders of The Product and The Process are available now, exclusively at Eric’s website. The Product allowed 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 giving 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 and in this innovative type of way. A private members-only Facebook group has also been established and it allows fans to 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 his personal influences onto 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 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 for 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.

The performance and conversation with Eric Roberson was nothing less than fun, educational and inspiring. He really is a singer/songwriter for the fans and with that knowledge, how is it possible not to like and admire the work. For more information on Eric Roberson, visit his website or stay in touch via social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Eric Roberson

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