Anderson Street Chats with Eric Roberson about Note for Note Cancer Benefit
Anderson Street: Let’s talk about this fantastic Note for Note cancer benefit that you have coming up. How did it come about?
Erro: It came about through a young lady who works for the American Cancer Society. Her and her family were actually on the Capital Jazz Cruise and she does some events with my sister who’s actually a floral designer. We initially just started talking about maybe me hosting a gala or something of that nature but realization came about that the American Cancer Society has never really done a concert. I was like “hmmm… Okay” and then it just kind of spiraled. Initially, it was just me maybe doing a show and then next thing we knew we got Ledisi, and then Bilal. Lastly, Harrah’s Atlantic City, in which we’re performing, stepped in and donated the venue. From that point on, we were like let’s do it.
Anderson Street: What’s your connection to the cause?
Erro: My family has had to deal with cancer. Since I was a little boy I’ve seen the devastation of it and this was a way for us to give back. You know I do as much as I can already with certain causes when I can and cancer is one of them. This was a way to really give back big so I said let’s do it.
Anderson Street: How did this amazing lineup come together?
Erro: It’s funny because we reached out to a lot of people but most people had gigs or were out of the country. We really were trying to have 50 million acts but we just ended up with three. Ledisi was first, Bilal was second and then Tank. All of them are friends of mine and all of them I’m huge fans of in general. They’re just amazing singers and they’re the people who post on what is happening in the world as well. I think through their music , through their lyrics, but also just through who they are they’ll also help in healing. This show is not about raising money and raising awareness, it’s about healing, man. If you’re dealing with something, if you have a family who dealt with cancer or any form or fashion of any disease whether it’s diabetes or MS to whatever, come and let us help you take your mind off of things. Let us help you heal, start the healing process or continue the healing process.
Anderson Street: Can you talk about your friendship with Ledisi, Bilal, and Tank?
Erro: Indeed. Well you know, Ledisi… First of all, she’s crazy and I love her to death. Ledisi and I probably talk the most out of all three. You know while she’s working on her records we stay in touch. You know she’s good people and a good friend so I was really really happy when she was able to join on and be a part of it.
Bilal, I’ve been a huge fan of for years. This guy’s an alien! Like his voice and how crazy his performances are! But you know backstage, he’s really really down to earth. We’ve had some phenomenal conversations about parenthood and life. He’s helped me a lot in those aspects. Just speaking in balance and stuff of that nature. I really appreciate the advice that he’s given with me and my family.
Tank and I came up in that whole DC music area so we kind of would cross paths early on. He worked at a studio called Nice Light in Maryland and I would go there when I was at Howard. So he’s a person I just kind of kept in touch through the years. We’re more so see each other at the BET Awards or at the Grammy’s or whatever but it’s all love.
Anderson Street: What’s the format of the concert? Are you guys going to do something on stage together?
Erro: Oohhh man we’re still trying to figure that out. I know it may intertwine a little bit. I do know that we’ll probably have some kind of finale song but whether we’re all singing it together, I don’t know. What I will tell you the show is intertwined where one artist is going to come out do a couple songs and the next artist will come out and do a couple songs, the next artist, so on and so forth. It won’t just be one person does a big set and you won’t see them anymore. It’ll be more we’re going to weave everybody’s set together. It’d be great if we could so some stuff together though.
Anderson Street: My last and final question. We don’t talk about the fellowship of R&B artists as a community enough. You’re everybody’s best friend in the world of R&B. Can you talk about that relationship and why it’s necessary to have those types of relationships and allies within the industry?
Erro: Everything is contagious and negative things are especially contagious. My goal is to make positive things contagious. I try to be a part as much as I can with other people’s events and what they’re trying to do. The goal is to put yourself out there. This is a perfect example of trying to extend that fellowship. If this becomes contagious so that maybe somebody else has another event and challenges us to participate or share or grow or try another event, that’s what it’s all about, man. For the most part everyone who does music are really good people. Everybody still has their own personal struggles. Everybody’s dealing with family and the things of the nature. The main thing just prayer and understanding. It’s almost how you deal with your best friend. Some people have best friends that you gotta talk to every single day. Some have best friends where I may not see you for three months. When I see you we laughing we kicking having a great time. And that’s the overall goal. When we come together let’s make magic. Let’s turn pain to profit. Profit doesn’t always have to mean making money. Profit just means something good. Let’s make something good out of it. So when you and I talk or when me and KING get together. Let’s just make something happen better than what it was before we got together.
Anderson Street: I love that.
Erro: So if we can make that contagious and that’s not to say that there are not people who are already doing it, but I’m just trying to do my part. And if there’s some people that we can help who are dealing with some hard times with our music? Why not try to do it! Let’s try to amplify it louder than it’s ever been!