Got back down to Nashville yesterday and golly is it crazy hot down here. Excited to be back and hosting 7 more shows around Nashville this summer. I’m getting ready to officially move here in January! Eric Lee hails from South Florida, then took a career opportunity in California and is now taking a chance releasing his own music. I sat down with Eric and talked about his latest single "Come Break My Heart", how the pandemic was a sign for him to release his own music and how Chris Stapleton and Kacey Musgraves have impacted his music.
Get To Know Eric
"I grew up in South Florida. I'm a singer-songwriter and my latest single "Come Break My Heart" was released in February; it's the 8th single that I've released. I’ve got an album coming out this year at some point that I'm really excited for.
My earliest memories of the music that piqued my interest was driving around in the car with my grandmother listening to Dolly Parton and The Judds on cassette tapes when I was 7 or 8 years old. I was raised by my grandmothers and my aunts, so they have always had a profound influence on me. Any music they played I gladly appreciated. My uncle got me into The Eagles - who are incredible - and friends and cousins got me into Marty Stuart, Dwight Yoakam and Brad Paisley. Those are some of my heroes. When I was a teenager in south Florida, I had a friend putting bands together that were primarily doing Rock music. I started out as a guitar player. The band never had anyone that was great at singing and I wasn't great at singing at that point. Nobody wanted to pick it up so I said "the hell with it", I would do it. Singing was rough at the start to say the least. My grandmothers were at a lot of the shows supporting me. It meant a lot.
I went to an audio engineering school in Miami. It was a year course and was great. I then had an opportunity present itself in California to produce music for other artists. It included making music for advertisements and television. That's what has been paying the bills. I took a chance on myself when Covid hit since everything else stopped. I never really wanted to do the solo thing because I hate working alone. I love working with friends, putting a band together and sharing fun times with people. I finally stopped making excuses and went for it. The response has been better than I ever could have imagined."
A Sentimental Song You Can Hold Close To Your Heart
Eric Lee showcases his Rock and Country Music influences as they come together in a majestic song that celebrates unconditional love and how no relationship is perfect. One of Eric's purposes with releasing music is to be able to have a voice and have something to say in his music. "Come Break My Heart" encapsulates that in every line. Eric is new to the artist scene, as his debut single "Same Dirt Road" was released in 2020. Excited to see what the future holds for Eric Lee. He's taking a chance on himself and I believe it's going to pay off.
Inspiration Behind "Come Break My Heart"
Written By: Eric Lee, Frank Palazzolo and Asia Whiteacre
Produced By: Eric Lee, Mixed By: Vance Powell
"I came up with the line "come break my heart as long as it stays in your hands". I wrote that down during lockdown, when my wife and I shared a ton of great bonding moments, but also had many patience-testing moments. I hope people can relate to this song because of that. She loves the song too. It's a unique take on a love song. At the core, it's a song about celebrating unconditional love through the good times and the hard times. We all have our imperfections, but love is about supporting each other. This is a special one for me. I'm so grateful for the support I've received from Apple Music, Spotify and Tidal on this one."
Q & A With Eric Lee
Q: What was that "light bulb" moment when you knew you wanted to pursue music?
A: "There was never one moment. If I thought of just one, maybe I would say when my dad gave me a guitar. He grew up playing guitar and he taught me a few songs to play. I lived with my grandmother, my parents split up... very complicated story to go through. But my grandmothers were always there for my brother and I, to be our parents. We really appreciate that. My grandmother took me to guitar lessons every single week. She was there for everyone and is definitely a huge reason I'm pursuing music. My maternal grandmother was the one my brother primarily lived with and she passed away in 2010 from cancer. My paternal grandmother is still alive, in great health and she's always been supportive too. She loves seeing me do a solo project and it means the world. I lived with my aunt for a time as well. All these women have always had my back and kept me on track to make music.
I love recording and I love making music with other people. Once the pandemic hit, I continued building up a catalog of my own music and waiting for the moment when I had my own voice. I feel that's what makes certain people my favorite artists. They have something to say with their music and are uniquely themselves. I've been trying to tap into that for a while. I had to feel there was a reason for me to release music."
Q: Who are some artists and songwriters who influence your music?
A: "Dolly Parton, Dwight Yoakam, Chris Stapleton, Willie Nelson and Kacey Musgraves to name a few. Kacey Musgraves released her first single "Merry Go 'Round" . She's a singer and a songwriter that stands out. When it came out, it showed me I too be in this genre as a solo artist to bring my own sound to the table. Her "Golden Hour" album - the entire album top to bottom is just incredible. It's a country album with minimal production and is beautiful. I have a whole lot of respect for her. There's a reason I chose to work with Vance Powell. Chris Stapleton is that reason since they worked together on pretty much everything he's put out. You can hear the influence in my music. The night my wife and I met, we slow-danced to "Tennessee Whiskey". Chris Stapleton is such an inspiration to me because he embodies the marriage of traditional and modern Country. I try to do that with my music to honor the tradition of Country Music with some modern production to engage the newer audience."
Q: What does Country Music mean to you?
A: "Growing up in south Florida, I grew up around southern hospitality. Not to say we didn't get rowdy or into any debauchery. When you really get down to it, we had our core values. I get to sing about those things in my music, which I feel motivated to do. So many other genres... you think about Pop, Alternative, there are theatrics and has to be an angle. With Country Music I can be myself. That's one of my favorite things about it and people get what I'm putting down. I can put it out there that I'm married and show my true self. People support it and me. The community in Country Music, there's a very healthy mindset in that regard. I also love that it continues to evolve."
Q: What advice would you give to your younger self?
A: "Probably to calm down. I've always been like a duck; I look calm, but underneath the water my legs are going a mile a minute. I struggled with anxiety during my teenage years and I learned a lot through that experience. I would tell myself just to calm down and have faith. Even though I wanted to form bands, because I hated doing music alone, I would have told myself to just do it. Go solo and embrace what you have to say. I don't regret anything. I think I'm right where I'm supposed to be."