SoulBounce: Eric, it’s good to see you again.
Eric Benét: It’s good to see you, too, my fellow freckled sister.
SB: Hey now! Yes, sir!
EB: I’ve got freckles on my nose. [laughter]
SB: Wow! I never knew!
Okay, so SoulBounce has renamed this month, Erictober —
EB: And I love it!
SB: Yes, we love you, too that’s why.
EB: Thank you, thank you. That’s dope.
SB: Yes, Erictober in honor of all things you.
EB: I love it, I love it!
SB: There’s your new album, your 50th birthday —
EB: Wow, 50!
SB: I know, right? Because you don’t look a day over 30.
EB: God, bless you for that lie! [laughter] God bless you for that fabrication.
SB: C’mon man, it’s for real. I mean, you know what you look like. You see yourself in the mirror.
EB: I’m trying to hold it together with some gum and duct tape.
SB: Well, whatever you’re doing, you’re doing it right.
EB: Thank you.
SB: You’re living well, loving well, life is good. We can tell.
EB: Yeah, life is good.
SB: Would you say that these are maybe the best of times for you?
EB: Yes, I would say so. It’s like when you get to this place in your life where you’ve really settled into your thing and who you are, and you’re comfortable with it. It’s dope. It’s like when you’re in your twenties, you think you know everything, but you don’t know shit. [laughter]
SB: Ha! Right.
EB: Then by the time your thirties come around, it’s the depressing truth that you face, like I really don’t. Like, I’ve really got a lot I’ve got to figure out real quick because I’m 30. Then, by the time those are over with, you get to your forties. I think that’s when start realizing, okay you know what, I ain’t got it all figured out, but I’m okay with it because I’m starting to really enjoy this journey. Then, you get to where I am, and it’s like, oh yeah, I’m really having fun now. So, it’s a great space to be in. I think I’m the strongest creatively that I’ve ever been, and I’ve been honing my version of writing and producing for the past like thirty-some years. I’ve gotten me down to a science, and it feels great.
SB: So, is that why the new album’s title is your name?
SB: Because it’s everything that you are.
EB: I never title an album until it’s finished, and I’ve gotten a chance to live with it. The album will kind of speak to me and tell me, “This is my name.” When I was doing that with this record, it was just so authentically descriptive of like a really pure representation of me.
I kind of felt like what we just talked about. I’m at this point in my life where I’m feeling good about me, my music, what I’m doing, my family and my kids. Yeah, it just felt very natural to self-title it.