Eric Burton was born in Los Angeles, California October 7, 1990 into a family that inspired musicians and was very much into the arts. I’m talking with him as he’s driving down 71, with the sun low in the sky overlooking the city skyline. “My mom was a dancer and aunt was a singer,” Eric said. “I definitely have been surrounded by the love of entertaining and the arts from a young age,” he shares as he’s driving to his next practice session.
His first experience singing was in the church choir. I could hear Eric’s smile shining through on the other end of the line as shared some of those first memories of singing for an audience. “I saw my brother was getting candy from this older lady for singing in the choir,” he said, “and I wanted some candy for singing too! I ended up joining the choir thanks to my grandmother’s encouraging words.” During choir performance, he learned about stage fright and the various other things that come with performing. But most importantly in his words, he “caught the bug.”
“I try to do my best to have something that speaks straight to the soul,” Eric says about songwriting. He says gospel and blues and music that goes back further than slavery comes from this yearning of the soul to be liberated and free. He is inspired by that vibe of liberation found in legends like Jimi Hendrix, Al Green and Otis Redding. “I like the artists from the 60s and 70s. I like their way of emoting a certain thing. I love the visceral feeling you get from old gospel music.”
You can listen to Eric’s music on soundcloud, where he has four songs available to the public. https://soundcloud.com/ericburtonmusic. “Colors” is the first song you’ll see when you go to the soundcloud. It came to him while he was in his upstairs bedroom in a two-story house in New Mexico where he used to play music on the rooftop. “It used to be really peaceful up there,” he says. “I would take my guitar up, play, fall asleep, wake up and play again. I cultivated this relationship with the space. I remember waking up to this baby blue warm sky and just taking the exterior of my surroundings in when I was writing my first songs and getting those feelings organized with visuals to commemorate how good it felt to be in that specific place.“
Eric came to Austin with a couple of musicians he met in Los Angeles California from the Santa Monica beach. “I was out there trying to make it and see how I could move forward, and learn from other starving artists,” Eric said. “A lot of them would be in places where there were a lot of tourists, and would get invited to do paid gigs at restaurants and other places.” He has since toured over four thousand miles with those musicians from Santa Monica up to Portland then back down to New Mexico and ultimately Austin where he was destined to meet his girlfriend.
Favorite meal in Austin: BBQ chicken tacos at The White Horse – with the green sauce. “I go crazy for it,” says Eric.
Eric Burton Music is an experimental project with various sounds and instruments from friends that Eric comes in contact with on his travels and now where he lives here in Austin. “It’s a cumulative product of the fellowship that I’m having with close friends. Most people might call it soul-folk with a little bit of rock.” Eric recently got an electric guitar so he says the sound is changing a little bit.
Catch him at Side Project Sundays this year February 19th from 3p-5p.