Neo-soul star Eric Roberson will bring his Road to the Grammys Tour to the Von Jazz Lounge, 245 E. Campus View Blvd. in Columbus, on Feb. 3.
From Staff Reports
Columbus OH -- Neo-soul star Eric Roberson will bring his Road to the Grammys Tour to the Von Jazz Lounge, 245 E. Campus View Blvd. in Columbus, on Feb. 3.
Roberson has become one of the top-selling independent soul artists of all time. He is nominated for a 2011 Grammy for Best Urban/Alternative performance from his 2009 album “Music Fan First.”
Beginning with 2001’s “The Esoteric Movement” and continuing through “Music Fan First,” he has sold tens of thousands of his five albums through his own Blue Erro Soul label.
Roberson is also an in-demand songwriter and guest vocalist, having collaborated with Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Vivian Green, Dwele and Will Downing, among others.
Roberson, 34, said he was influenced by neo-soul artists who blazed a trail in the ‘90s such as Tony Toni Tone, D’Angelo and Erykah Badu.
“I was a student of them,” he said in a recent newspaper interview. “As an independent soul, independent music artist, I consider myself as one of the top leaders in the movement, but … that’s tough to live up to.”
Many other artists helped shape Roberson’s sound when he was growing up.
“My parents had a huge collection of records – and it led me to be able to make discoveries in music: Stevie Wonder, A Tribe Called Quest, The Commission,” he said. “Man, so many. Bill Withers, his music, his way, his honesty in his lyrics.”
Roberson performs an estimated eight to 10 sold-out shows each month and said he enjoys traveling around the country and greeting his fans.
“When I’m on the road, I get to hear people’s stories related to my music, and that’s what makes it all worthwhile,” he said.
Roberson’s 2009 album was titled “Music Fan First,” which he says explains his passion for his music and the fans.
“If you are not careful (in the music business), you can become resentful,” he said. “I have a responsibility to this, but I also enjoy it and feel blessed. I have heard some artists say, ‘I have to perform … I have to do this, do that.’ For me, I have to get back to when I was a kid, and how much I love this – (how I used to) use music to soothe my mind. Before I can classify myself as a songwriter or a performer, I am a fan of music first.”
Roberson said the Internet has opened up a world of opportunities for artists like himself who have built a substantial fan base without the support of a major label.
“The labels are struggling right now, and as the leveling of the playing field continues, the industry will get back to focusing on the quality of music,” he said. “The goal is to share our music and hopefully, profit from it. In the future, maybe someone can make music (independently), tour as we do, and do it all on another level than what we are doing now.”
For tickets and more information about Roberson’s Feb 3 appearance at Von Jazz, call (614) 585-9177 or visit Vonjazz.com