Eric Roberson, singer, songwriter and producer from Rahway, New Jersey. Sometimes referred to simply as Erro, the name which he later used as part of his label Blue Erro Soul. He has collaborated with Philadelphia-based artists such as Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, and most extensively, DJ Jazzy Jeff. Eric was nominated for two Grammys in the Best Urban/Alternative Performance category. He was nominated for two songs from his 2009 album Music Fan First- “A Tale of Two” in 2010 and “Still” in the same category a year later.
Eric took time out of his busy schedule to chat with me to discuss his career, his up and coming UK tour dates and what the future holds.
Ray: How are you?
Eric: I’m great man. How about yourself?
Ray: Yes. Okay, where do I start? Your catalog of music is immense is all I can say.
Eric: Thank you.
Ray: Yes, it’s unbelievable. I’ve been listening to you from way, way back. You’ve done collaborations with this person, that person. What’s your thinking behind your whole musical career in terms of what spurs you on to keep on going?
Eric: I think a lot of it, one is just being in love with creating music. I think the first thing that when you have that much music done, I think, even just my catalog alone, not even what I have written for other people or what I’ve collaborated with people, we’re in the hundreds alone, so it’s either you’re crazy or you’re in love with it. I’ve started thinking I’m in love with having an idea and chasing that idea out of my mind, and into people’s ears. I don’t think keep going has never really been an option for me. I think for me it was always just making sure I can keep going, certainly more than motivating myself to keep going. Trying to stay healthy enough and current enough that it still provides so that I can keep going. I’m truly head over heels in love with what we’re doing. I love the friendships and the opportunity that it’s created for me.
Ray: Looking at your catalog and I know it will be hard to pick out a favorite album, all that. In terms of collaboration, what collaboration sticks out in your mind as being your, I won’t say favorite, but a memorable time when you were doing that?
Eric: There’s so many, but something that really sticks out, I think my song with Marsha Ambrosius. I think one because she was one of the first people from an independent side who really embraced what I was doing and like, “Hey, I’m coming to work with you. I don’t need any money for it. I don’t need anything. I just want to work.” I think that was pretty special because that was a big turning point for me. It’s too many to really name but I think the main thing is that the beauty is that it’s helped my dreams come true and it’s helped a lot of other dreams come true. It’s been an honour watching that. Watching someone’s idea come to solution and having opportunities from it. It’s been a great ride in that way.
Ray: That makes sense. You released albums last year, you had Fire and you had Wind. Are you working on a new album now? What’s like next steps and where do you see yourself going for 2018?
Eric: I’ve started recording again. I’ve been recording way more than I thought I would be at this time. I’m not even in a rush. Not to say that I’m putting out an album this year or anything. It’s just really I’ve already done six songs in the last two weeks that I really, really fell in love with. No sign of slowing down. It’s creating right now. I’m just taking advantage of this here and these ideas and just chasing them out of my brain. For me I trust the process a lot. For me it’s not really about the timeline, it’s about when the album is ready, when the music is ready.
Ray: When you feel it’s there to put out for people to listen to it.
Eric: Exactly, but we put out three albums last year. I also intelligently know that there shouldn’t be too much of a rush right now. People have a lot to chew on right now and we also do a disservice to the music we just did, by trying to quickly come back and do something else again.
Ray: What inspires your creative process in terms of writing songs because I’ve spoken to a few other artists and it’s always been, it’s their kind of — what they experience in their life from or what they see other people go through and that kind of life spurs them onto write and do that. What’s your creative process? Does it fall along that same lines or?
Eric: It’s pretty similar. What I’ll tell you that I don’t believe in writer’s block. I believe that there’s always something to write about. I believe more in writers blindness. I think that we choose to not identify the songs that are literally crossing our faces every day. I think if you try to keep yourself healthy from a writing standpoint, you’ll see those opportunities more. For me, I know how to write a song but I’m chasing inspiration now. If I see a couple walking down the street, whether they’re having an argument or whether they’re holding hands and they’re deeply in love, I’m going to look at that as an opportunity. Every room I walk into, every hallway I walk down, I’m looking at where’s the opportunity, where’s the song at because there’s always one. That’s pretty much kind of what motivates that for me.
Ray: That’s an interesting concept. Writers blindness instead of as you say writers block. That’s interesting. It totally makes sense to me. Obviously you’re over in the UK next month April 22nd. What can we expect?
Eric: Well, a great time. London is very much like a second home. Just from all the friends that we’ve made in — and how many States we’ve done all the shows. The history that we have of doing shows there. You can expect a party. You can expect a great time and full of emotion. My goal is to make sure people are dancing, make sure people are laughing and at the same time we need to go to other emotions and make sure people are almost crying if we need you to. The goal is to really do all that. For me I think we rehearsed and we get out of time. At the same time you want to kind of keep it loose to be able to make the left and right turn that you may need to make during the show too. Just so people can have that unexpected surprise that they didn’t expect during the show.
Ray: I suppose it all depends on how the audience reacts to the different songs and stuff, how you mix up the same as possible. It was a great honour to talk to you.
Eric: I’m grateful as well.
Ray: Hopefully I’ll see you when you come to London, definitely.
Eric: Definitely, you know where I’ll be, so I need to know where you’re going to be.
Ray: I’ll be there I’ll definitely come looking for you.
Eric: I look forward to shaking your hand and thanks for the opportunity man and I’ll see you next month.
Ray: Yes excellent. Thank you very much. Speak to you soon.
Eric: No doubt, thank you.
Soulgigs & Biggs Present…
Eric Roberson Live at the Islington Assembly Hall Sunday 22nd April 2018 + Hideaway Streatham Monday 23rd April 2018.
Date: Sunday 22nd April 2018
Location: Islington Assembly Hall, Upper Street, Islington, N1 2UD.
Tickets: Standing £22.50 + booking fee.
Ticket Link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk
Date: Monday 23rd April 2018
Location: Hideaway 2 Empire Mews Stanthorpe Road Streatham SW16 2BF.
Ticket Link: http://www.hideawaylive.co.uk/