Eric Roberson is telling us how his fans shaped his current album.
Music Fan First, Eric’s latest release, couldn’t have been more appropriately named. Although it’s been produced and distributed through his independent label, Blue Erro Soul, his listeners had a huge hand in deciding what would be on the album.
Take “Borrow You,” for example: There were two versions of that song. Since Eric couldn’t decide which one to use, he and his crew put it up to the fans online, who told them which one they liked better. And Eric’s just fine with that.
“My fans have really put me where I’m at, right now, in this business, and I really trust them,” he told S2S.
A mix of hip-hop, soul and house, Eric’s sound is a little hard to nail down. That’s not a big deal for him because he wanted Music Fan First to reflect his personal taste in music.
“I wanted to make the record from what I’m a fan of first and foremost,” Eric explained. “We wanted it to be aggressive, but we still wanted to be musical. At the end of the day, we just let it go. We didn’t try to stick by rules. And I think it’s paid off.”
All of the music on Music Fan First is Eric’s original material, but he doesn’t just write about his own life; he also draws ideas from his friends. Inspiration will strike Eric anywhere (like just before a Stevie Wonder concert in London), and he is always prepared to capture it. The singer tells us that if he hasn’t got a pen and pad handy, then a cell phone will do just fine.
“I have very full BlackBerry,” Eric said with a laugh. “It’s funny I was getting ready to change over into a new phone, and I didn’t realize how many songs I had until I started transferring over. I had, like, 200 songs—or shall I say song ideas—just in my phone alone. I’m always writing.”
Eric’s family knows that if he takes a moment to himself, he’s just creating, so they let him be. And it turns out that some of the songs on his phone, like “How Could She Do It,” made their way onto Music Fan First.
It’s not like Eric is new to the music game, though. He’s been singing for 15 years, once having a deal with Warner Bros. Music. Unfortunately, things fell through there, and it took him out of commission for a while. When he did come back, he did it on his own terms with Blue Erro Soul.
To hear what Eric and his fans created, pick up a copy of Music Fan First in stores now. It’s also available for download on iTunes.
– Sonya Eskridge