The SoulBounce Q&A: Eric Benét Reflects On Life, His New Album & 20 Years Of ‘True To Myself’


SB: The first single, “Sunshine,” how did that come to be?

EB: “Sunshine.” It was really dope how it came to be because there was really no theme for the album, but I got with my boy Demonte [Posey] and I was like, “yo man, let’s get the baddest cats in LA over here in the studio and let’s just hang out.” I had a couple ideas for songs and he always has a few ideas for songs and if we get the baddest cats over here, I know they’re going to have some. So, I was like let’s get them over here and see what happens. We did that, and we were hanging out for a couple days in my studio. We came up with all of the songs on the record.

SB: Nice!

EB: I think it was the end of the second day, where everybody was done for the day and folks were packing up. It was another good productive day of writing. My guitar player, Jairus [Mozee], he was just in the corner still noodling, he hadn’t packed up yet and everybody else was ready to go home and he just started playing. (Hums the bassline to “Sunshine.”)

(Animated) I was like, “WHAT IS THAT?! Do it again.” He was like, “What? This?” I was like, “Yup! Keep it going, keep it going.” Then, I was like, “Drummer, give me this.” (Mimics the drum beat.) Then everybody just fell in.

SB: So it just came together organically?

EB: Yeah. What you hear, everything they’re playing, is that jam session.

SB: Wow.

EB: Yeah, so I went and wrote some words on top of that. And, like every song on the album, lyrically, I come from that real vulnerable place of going through my emotional Rolodex of things I’ve been through, things I’m going through and things I’ve learned. One of the things about relationships is that it’s very cyclical.

SB: Ah yes. Speak on it.

EB: The first little bit is the honeymoon stage, everything is perfect. Then, when that wears off, everything ain’t so perfect. Then you might get to a point where everything is annoying.

SB: (laughter) So true.

EB: You’ve got to get back to all those things you used to do in the beginning and rediscover how and why you loved each other. And then the cool thing is, if you can manage to get to and through that rediscovery part, it’s like so much better, it’s like rock solid.

It’s almost like if you fracture a bone in your body. When the bone heals, where it broke becomes so much stronger than the rest of your bone. Did you know this?

SB: No way! I did not know that.

EB: Yeah. So, that’s kind of what it’s like. That’s where “Sunshine” came from.

SB: Then there’s the “Sunshine Remix." We’ve got to show some love to that because of Tamia.

EB: Oh, man that was just incredible being in the studio with Tamia again. She’s just so dope. Her talent, her palette, that she is able to pull from, has so many colors. She’s got that vocal strength, yet she has that tender thing. She has the strong woman vocal thing, and then she has that “I need you to hold me right now” vocal thing. (laughter)

SB: Yes, Tamia is pretty incredible.

EB: She’s an amazing vocalist and a joy to work with. We were emphatically discussing the idea of us going in and doing a whole project together.

SB: Yes, please! (laughter) The people need this.

EB: Yeah, I think so. I think so.

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