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Rising Stars: Meet Eric

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eric.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I’m the son of Nigerian immigrants who came to the U.S in the early ’80s. Originally they went to Texas for some time where my Sister was born, then they moved to Oklahoma, and had me and my brothers.

I have fond memories of my time in Oklahoma as a small child, and still have friends from there to this day. When I was 8, my family moved to Baltimore Maryland.

Baltimore is home, wherever I go in the world, it will always be home. It raised me, and as I say “taught me lessons, good and bad”. Growing up pre-internet (which sounds funny to say, as I’m a young person), reading and writing stories was a passion of mine (of course the typical video games and basketball occupied my time as a kid as well), but to me, getting lost in a great book was like no other. Being upset that I was getting to the end of a book was bittersweet.

Then as I got older learning to write stories and using words to convey a point or describe a scene, to me, made me feel like my imagination was limitless, but specifically, I could put my ideas into a document… tangible item… and then what became my passion, putting those ideas, stories, and thoughts into music.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Definitely NOT a smooth road ha! And I say that proudly. One of the biggest things that I’m humbled by, is the growth that I have seen in my craft. I’ve written music as a child and I know it wasn’t always good, a lot of it was pretty bad in the beginning (at least in my opinion).

Not ashamed to say that. I buried myself in the art, and at a young age started to develop my skills, and even when young friends would give positive feedback, I, as many artists are, was my biggest critic, and knew I could do better, for the purpose of conveying my art. I always want to be a better me, sharpen my tools, not master the craft per se, as I feel we as humans are always learning (or should always be learning) and there is never a finish line to growth.

But to truly look back and see that I have drastically improved aspects of my skill set, developed new skills, am willing to try new things, and put myself out there, is an amazing sight for me. And on top of all of that, I’m extremely thankful and humbled by people who listen to my art and SEE the growth for themselves or relate on a deep level to my art. Friends of mine who can honestly say “Eric you have grown tremendously with your music, this is great to see”, that means a lot. Now… when you compound that with the daily struggles we face in life… trying to keep at your passion can be an obstacle course along the way.

Knowing me I could go on about that for days… I’ll say this (and maybe save the rest for the listener to hear in my music), but as cliche, as it can sound, me making music in the midst of life struggles, doesn’t solve my problems or bring total peace, but to not have my passion for music or the ability to create music while facing life adversity would be an extremely heavy weight to bare. I hope that makes sense… that is how much I love my craft. I need it, I love it, and I think we all should have something like that in our lives.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am an artist… a musician, specifically Hip-Hop. I’m most proud of my growth as an artist, my dedication to the art, and my ability to relate to others.

Relating to people in my opinion is literally what life should be about. And it doesn’t have to be music, but just being able to attempt to put yourself in others’ shoes, as the saying goes, and trying to understand another human, to me is a mental state to live by.

Be it a conversation, a story, a painting, and in my case music.

Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out.
Do this because you love it. Not for fame, not for money, not for accolades.

If you truly make your art because you love it and for no other reason, to me, you will always be headed in the right direction. That is not to say that you cannot make a living off it if that is what you desire, but understand that even if money doesn’t come with it, you enjoy what you made, or share your art with the world and let them have it should bring fulfillment, and maybe in hard times bring solace.

I’ve never lost my passion for creating music, it consumes me… but to say I haven’t had bad days with my art, or felt depressed, lost, uncertain, angry, tired, or hopeless… would be a lie. I have felt all of those things. And honestly, you need those feelings in my opinion to center yourself and find your way. Let your craft be a light for you to navigate your way.

It can be your journal that you may or may not share with the world… and who knows, it may be a light for someone somewhere that you may never meet. That to me is an awesome thing.

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