New Jersey native Eric Roberson is ten albums in and has never released an album with a major label as an artist. Fans call him Erro, and undoubtedly have been a part of his musical sojourn from the beginning. Charlotte Erro fans packed out Amos’ South End on Friday, July 25, 2014 to support his latest project. “The Box” set for release August 12, 2014.
Roberson’s following was developed through hard work before the days of social media. Roberson’s music is infused with hints of jazz and a touch of old school hip hop. Roberson’s lyrics give life to grown folks’ music, and even helped him find love. Roberson met his wife, Shawn, after one of his concerts in the early stages of his career. The two bonded over a love for hip hop, a shared college experience at Howard University, and balancing her conservative nature with his free spirit.
Family is extremely important to Roberson, and he makes sure they are always near. In an interview with Examiner before his Amos’ South End performance, Roberson reveals how music has been passed down through the Roberson family tree…from his father to him and from him to his sons. His father joins him on “Do the Same for Me”, a song that brought his mother to tears. Roberson describes what happened when his parents visited him at the studio.
I had just finished the hook. I didn’t do the verses yet….I said ‘Pop, won’t you just get in there and sing man.’-Roberson
Advice: At some point, you should look at your parents as the people they were before they became your parents. It will open up new layers of your relationship, and may help you in your own romance.
Roberson lit up when speaking about his wife of six years (this August), Shawn. “She completes me in every way,” he said while smiling. The only sticking point the two have is spending money on Roberson’s out of the box wardrobe.
The funny thing is, she doesn’t like to shop…I personally don’t like shopping with my wife because she’s talked me out of some major purchases before. You know I’ll grab a pink jacket or a polka dot blazer or something crazy. She’s like ‘You’re not going to wear that!” I’m like, ‘Yes I am going to wear it!’ Then we go somewhere and everybody’s complimenting me on it and she’s like, ‘Alright it ain’t that bad!’
Advice: If you want a successful relationship, it is great to know what you can work together on and when it is best to leave some undertakings alone.
The Robersons have two sons ages two and soon to be four.
My youngest looks just like me, but has my wife’s personality. The oldest, you know it’s interesting, I think he might have more of my personality, but he looks like my wife…My two year old is very much into music..very much into playing music. The three year old is more into singing…both of them sing all the time, but the two year old is the one who’s like drumsticks in his hands all the time, he’s picking the guitar up. You’re like, Lord have mercy, this boy is really about to try to take a gig in a minute.
Advice: Allow your children to explore their individual personalities, and you just might see yourself in them.
Music takes a lot of time and energy so I try not to separate them from it. My family was with me a great deal of the time while making this album. They fueled me and kept me focus.-Roberson
Roberson is so inspired by his family that the title for “The Box” came from his sister’s boombox that he borrowed as a kid. He would listen to the boombox as he did his homework until he was no longer allowed to. At times he would record radio music on a cassette tape so that he could play it back.
At first, he began to listen and study the musical sounds he was hearing and would sit in his room and flip through record after record of musical artists from different genres: hip-hop, gospel, soul, jazz, rock and whatever else he could find in the stack of albums. Different genres of music taught Roberson about musicianship, songwriting and performance. The first time he heard Commissioned, he was emotionally moved by the lyrics. Listening and watching Stevie Wonder taught Roberson about musicianship and production and Tribe Called Quest made Roberson instantly say to himself, “This is the way music should be” at the age of 15. To this day, Roberson still loves to incorporate a combination and mash up of all of these musical flavors he heard as a child with “The Box”.
As The Box Tour, featuring Roberson and Algebra Blessett, continues, you will witness Roberson put his Musical Theater degree to work in skits and theatrical performances of hip hop songs. While on stage at Amos’, Roberson performed a Biggie Smalls song in the tune of a Frank Sinatra sonnet. It was both comical and impressive.