“Bill Withers said there is no difference between a male song and female song outside of the male ego. That is the only difference. If you remove the male ego they deal with the same thing. “- Eric Roberson
So who is SHE?…
Some woman JACKED YOU UP, bro. All these songs are too real. Too honest. We even came up with a name for her, Songsaria.
[Laughs again). I like that. I’ve had a lot of muses over the years. I still pull from my elementary heartbreaks at times. A lot of songs–good and bad–were written about my wife and having to be truthful about the moment. We’d have an argument and I’d write a song about it, now everyone loves the song. Now I gotta sing this song that reminds us of this argument. But if God gives you the message I’m gonna honor it and follow it through.
My solo career started from a break up. My first album “The Esoteric” was about one girl, my ex-girlfriend. That started the whole thing. Though it was a tough time I appreciate it because she helped me make a great song and a career change as well. I had to learn to turn pain to profit.
So what does your wife think of this?
I can’t’ tell you how many times I’ve written a song and my wife is like “Who is THIS one about?” It’s the blessing and the curse of being with a songwriter. They’re going to document every beautiful and ugly moment you share. “Couldn’t Hear Me Over The Music” was written about every woman I’ve dated, including my wife who was then my girlfriend. I wrote that song on they way to church and when I got into the vocal booth is when I realized how much trouble I was in. That was probably the biggest temptation I’ve ever had to change a lyric. But I didn’t. The second verse, “My song’s about joy/ my song’s about pain/ she love them the same/ but to me she changed…” I wrote that in the car while driving. Like I said, I wrote my first album “Esoteric” about a break-up. The break-up was from a girl name Joy and “Esoteric” was an album about pain. Complete pain. And I met my wife after I did “Esoteric.” I met her because she loves this record that I did, but I’m still healing from my break-up. So the album she heard is about another woman and the pain I felt. That was a weird moment for us and I’m thankful we survived that rough start. But I wrote this song years later. My wife could have looked at it as a swipe to her but I was just being really honest. The whole song has little truths like that. From H.S. sweethearts to college girlfriends, there is a song about every last one of them.
Speaking of inspirations, I got to speak to Omari Hardwick about “Love’s Withdrawal” last year. How did you two come to work together?
Me and Omari became fast friends almost immediately. I met him at the NAACP image awards and he said “I love your work” and I said “I love your work” and I said “I’m working on an album” and he said “When?” and I said “Now!” Before I knew it I was picking him up from the airport. There are no accidents and we bonded on life in general. The creative part was easy. I had all of these different ideas and we were playing with what song we wanted to collaborate on and it became “Love’s Withdrawal.” More importantly, he was the person who was standing next to me when I found out my grandfather passed. He really helped me for that first couple of hours when I was dealing with it. I’d only knew him for a couple of months, but we’d bonded and I didn’t want anybody else to be there when I got that news. He’s a good dude and I look forward to more collaboration with him. He’s a wordsmith and I’m excited to hear not just spoken word but how he would write a song. I want to kidnap him and put him in a studio and tell him to write a poem to this melody.
You guys were telling on brothers with that record. That’s not normal for someone to be able to capture the vulnerability of men in a song that way. What’s the secret?
Bill Withers said there is no difference between a male song and female song outside of the male ego. That is the only difference. If you remove the male ego they deal with the same thing. We are missing her as much as she is missing us. In that late night hour we’re holding that pillow tight just like she is. We wanted to let women know that we want it to work just like they do. We get nervous just like they do.
How is Andre 3000 like Kendrick Lamar? See what Eric says on the next page!
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