Jazz/R&B Saxophonist, Songwriter, Producer, and Performer, Eric Darius is thrilled to release his new single “That’s My Jam” that is out now. That’s My Jam is a song that Darius wrote that pays homage to one of his closest friends who recently passed, Willie Payne.
This upbeat, feel good song captures the exhilarating grooves and high energy of his legendary live show and already at the first week #1 Most added Song on Billboard charts and Groove Jazz Charts.
The song features Justin Lee Shultz. Darius most recently dropped, “Summer Feelin’” Featuring Paul Jackson, Jr., the first single from his upcoming album which became a rallying anthem of hope during the pandemic, capturing the feeling of togetherness.
“That’s My Jam” Is out everywhere at https://shor.by/EricDarius
What’s your story as an artist?
I am an international recording artist & saxophonist, singer, songwriter, producer, educator, husband and CEO of my own record label, SagiDarius Music. I grew up in Tampa, FL in a musical household (my father plays the bass, mother sings and plays the piano, brother plays the drums, and sister sings) and started playing the saxophone at the age of 10. I’ve always had a passion for music since I was a child and my love for it has fueled me my whole life. After touring worldwide at the age of 11 with Sonny LaRosa and America’s Youngest Jazz Band and seeing the positive impact my music made while in front of thousands of people during one show at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, I decided to pursue a career in music because I loved to connect with audiences and wanted to make a positive difference in their lives by sharing my gift of music. My pursuit of this has led to so many unbelievable opportunities over the years from getting signed to my first record deal in 2004, commercially releasing 7 albums worldwide, attaining 5 Number One hits on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Charts, performing with Grammy award-winning artists such as Prince, Mary J. Blige, David Foster, Carlos Santana, Jamie Foxx, George Benson, and many others. My life is a true testament that dreams do come true with hard work, sacrifice and dedication. I am walking in my God-given purpose.
What do you want your music to communicate?
I want my music to bring love, joy, hope, positivity and inspiration to those listening to my music. Music is such a powerful force of bringing people together and evoking emotion, and my goal with my music is connect the listeners to what I’m feeling in that moment in time and make a positive impact in their lives.
What are some sources of inspiration for your storytelling?
Music has always been a vehicle for me to creatively express myself and communicate with my audience even beyond words. Every song that I write is truly based on my life experiences and I try to capture moments in time through my songs. My musical inspiration comes from the people, events, and experiences that make me who I am. I often draw a lot of inspiration from my worldwide travels while I’m on tour being able to experience different cultures and ways of life. It opens my mind to so much imagination and creativity. Being that a lot of my compositions have no lyrics, I feel that it’s important that my songs take the listeners on a musical journey, conveys what I’m feeling in that moment, connects with them emotionally and tells a story. My music is and has always been a true, honest reflection of myself.
Who is an artist that you look up to more than others today?
There are many artists today that I look up to, but if I were to name one, I would have to say Bruno Mars. I love how he always stays true to himself and is fearless in the way in which he musically evolves, without conforming to what’s popular in society. He has been instrumental in bringing real music with substance to the mainstream world and I truly admire everything he represents. His music and approach to making music is a breath of fresh air in today’s music landscape.
What’s the record or artist that made you realize you wanted to be an artist?
David Sanborn’s “A Change of Heart” album was the album that completely changed my life and made me want to play the saxophone. My Dad was always playing music around the house, and that album in particular resonated with me and made me fall in love with the sound of the saxophone.
Tell us about your latest release and how it came about
My latest single from my upcoming album is called “That’s My Jam” which features child prodigy, Justin Lee Schultz. This upbeat, feel good song pays homage to one of my closest friends who recently passed, Willie Payne. He always lived life to the fullest and was the life of the party everywhere that he went! Any time he heard one of his favorite songs, he’d yell out: ‘That’s My Jam!’ and hit the dance floor. This is one of those jams that captures his infectious energy that I know he would’ve loved, so it felt right to name the song after one of his favorite pastimes…living it up and dancing like nobody’s watching! With so much going on in the world around us today, this song is about inspiring others to live their best life and just dancing to the rhythm of life. This song really captures the overall feeling of my new project!
What inspires your sound?
My sound is a fusion of all the musical genres and artists who continue to inspire me. I’ve never had boundaries musically as my music combines so many elements of Jazz, R&B, Pop, Hip-Hop, Reggae, Rock to Gospel. I like to blur those lines and make music that pays homage to the artists who came before but also looking towards the future of music with endless possibilities.
What’s your favorite tune of yours?
Every song I’ve written is special to me in a different way, one of my favorites so far is a song called “L.O.V.E.” which I wrote for my wife for our first dance about 4 years ago that stands for “Living Our Vows Everyday”. I get emotional every time I play that song because of how much it means to me.
Where are some things you really want to accomplish as an artist?
One of the things that I’m truly passionate about is paving the way for the younger generation by inspiring and educating them about Jazz, and doing everything I can to keep this art form alive. I feel a huge responsibility to help bridge the generational gap with my music and pay it forward. In addition to this, I want to expand my record label in the coming years to sign new, upcoming artists in an effort to create a platform for them and give them opportunities for commercial success as a recording artist. Music is so much bigger than myself, and at the end of the day, I want to use my platform to make a difference in people’s lives.
Favorite lyric you ever wrote?
My song titles are basically the lyrics of my instrumental compositions creating a picture or feeling.
Was there ever a moment when you felt like giving up?
There have been many moments throughout my 20-year career, where I’ve felt like giving up. The music business can be a very challenging industry to be in that can take its toll on you mentally, emotionally and physically. Navigating through the ups and downs is something that every artist has to deal with, but my love of music and the undying support of my fans are truly what keep me going during those difficult moments. I have devoted my entire life to my music and nothing will ever stop me from following my destiny.
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
David Sanborn, one of my saxophone heroes, told me the first time that I met him when I was still in high school was to listen to and study all of the artists who came before me but to then find my own distinctive voice, style and sound that makes me unique and always stay true to myself. I have never forgotten that and I pass that along to the younger generation every time I get an opportunity.
Where do you think the next game changer will be in the music industry and entertainment scene?
Social media networks have played a major role in the digital age of music allowing artists to connect with listeners in innovative ways in recent years. I think that fans feel closer to their artists now more than ever from personal, livestream announcements to online concerts and one on one interactions. I think that the music industry will continue to lead the charge as the tech industry advances and pushes boundaries. I think there’s a lot of untapped potential in the metaverse and I can see NFT’s playing a huge role in the way people create and consume music. The virtual world could potentially be a whole new space to operate and create new revenue streams we haven’t even conceived of yet that will push the music industry to new heights and completely change the game.