In today’s musical landscape, you can practically imagine any single type of artist along with how they might act outside of their music and that one individual more than likely already exists. Both current-day musicians and entertainers alike – especially in regards to modern pop and its youthful and experimental status – have an unfounded and unmatched level of creative freedom to build their brand in any way they would like. But in this saturated and at times even slightly fabricated musical state that we live in, is there still room for pure talent and genuine personalities to share the same body?
The answer to that question is a resounding yes, whether any experienced and matured critic would like to say otherwise. And this fact is displayed ever-so-vividly by what is shaping up to be the next wave of pop music for the masses — a scene that sees its most prominent acts displaying values of humility, originality, and a sense of community more than any other musical movement before it. Expressing one’s true self is a routine, not a choice, and perhaps no other act in this scene expresses themselves at a higher level than Ericdoa does day in and day out.
The 18-year-old Connecticut native has built a reputation as an absolute golden child of this scene in a variety of ways, whether that’s through his wide-ranging yet supremely focused approach to his music itself, his careful passion for both his close contemporaries and their own ventures, and most prominently, his active, honest, and eternally entertaining presence on social media — the main source of his ever-growing status as a rising musical figure.
But with this online transparency comes the pressures of reality, and it is safe to say that despite countless outstanding tracks being released this summer along with a successful alternate reality game project under his alter-ego Dante Red in the Deer Park Knights (DPK) saga, Eric has had nothing short of a tumultuous and crushingly emotional 2020 of his own from practically every angle of his life.
And yet, people still see these trials as simply “Eric being Eric” — a fact he has come to slightly, but as discussed in the following interview, he has plenty to get off his chest as to what it means to be, as he puts it, “the most down bad musician in the history of mankind.”
Recently you’ve expressed on your socials that life has not treated you well at all this year. Outline exactly what has gone down as of late that has caused you speak out like this.
You can check the books on this one, I have never met a single artist who is as down bad as I am right now. I am deadass 90% of the time depressed and 10% of the time just okay. Let’s just go through the list: I’ve been banned off of Airbnb, I’ve lost over $3000 from other Airbnb stays, my car has been broken, our basement flooded, I was almost homeless for a minute, basically everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. This is my down bad arc…
Now with all of these things happening and your sadness being pretty obvious online, people have still treated you for the most part as the same person you’ve always been. Why’s that the case?
A lot of people see me first as “the guy who gets flamed a lot” and a musician after. That’s the truth bro, and it lowkey hurts to say but it’s the truth. I am Bobo the Fool. I am here to tapdance for everyone’s entertainment and they love it.
Do people’s “playful” jokes about you contribute to how down you’ve been during all of this?
Oh yeah. Most definitely. It literally destroys my mental health. But it’s fucking hilarious and I let it happen so much and here’s why: a lot of people are like “ugh Eric why are you always upset you do it to yourself, it’s your own fault” — and they’re right, I do. Because I use people making fun of me as something that doesn’t inflate my ego. I have a personality that is very addictive, and that’s dangerous honestly. If you put the way I’m looked at compared to people like Quinn or Glaive, like people really love them and barely make fun of them like people do to me… (laughs) my side is DIFFERENT.
You definitely have mixed feelings about this method right?
I genuinely think letting these things happen was a huge mistake. I might love how it humbles me, but I don’t recommend anyone going this route. It is not for the faint of heart I swear. I really be laying in my bed looking at my DM requests wanting to end it all sometimes like that shit is crazy. But it keeps you level-headed when people are literally berating the fuck out of you constantly.
Does it make those truly sincere and heartful comments that much better though? I know you get those too, you can’t even lie.
Oh for sure it definitely makes those ones feel special and so much better. I’m honestly just different about it all, I feel like everyone should do that type of shit from time to time but with me it sorta got out of hand. As an artist you have to stand your ground and make sure people don’t mess with you though, that’s another thing too. For me it’s just half support and half getting flamed I feel like, and that just makes it so my ego doesn’t get to the point where I feel like a god.
But the way you act online is so iconic and memorable at this point and despite people using you like that, most if not all of them absolutely adore you. Has that ever crossed your mind?
First of all that makes me so worried because I know damn well an A&R is looking at me confused as fuck when I tweet “who up playin with they worm” at 2:30 in the morning. But again I just let so many people say shit to me so I don’t get to the point where one bad comment could knock me down.
I think it’s admirable in the weirdest way how you just do whatever you want online like that and still keep your music at the highest level based on priority and quality too. Labels have signed and dealt with far more off-the-wall people than you.
I feel like something that people have to realize is that we’re all different, but at the end of the day we all still make music. Everybody just uses Twitter to post the stupidest shit, like you’re not gonna see a rapper talk about the fucking Dow Jones or something. Name one rapper who’s ever talked about the fucking Dow Jones, Bill. You literally can’t.
And I love how you use this to your advantage in the way that you do too. You do it better than anyone else in my eyes.
It’s because we’re all on Twitter to post straight TRASH 99% of the time, and our music. We’re not on this app to contribute a single thing to society other than that, and that’s what makes Twitter such an amazing and awful place at the same time. It’s a place for me to get my manic thoughts out of my brain.
I feel as though the rest of the scene would say the same thing because of how likeminded and close you guys are. But even with that being said, your music really doesn’t into any specific category compared to the rest of the scene. How do you see yourself in this light?
I really just keep my head down, and I always hear what people are saying like, “bro Eric is so underrated” and shit like that just because I really don’t have what a Quinn or a Glaive has in that way. And I really think it’s good sometimes to keep your head down and not be the scene’s favorite or the most appraised. I would say that I see myself as a bozo who makes music with a mic and doesn’t subject himself to a single genre. I feel like I’ve proven that I can really do anything, so I just be making shit.
You’ve had songs with these “forerunning” artists in the past though and that will obviously continue into the future, but what can you say about how you operate compared to how they do?
Honestly I would love to be called a “forerunner” and honestly some people do call me that, but really I don’t even know what I’m doing half the time, bro. Like Ash (Glaive) though? I love that kid so much. That kid is like family to me, like my own flesh and blood. I am so proud of everything he’s done.
And Quinn? Don’t even get me started, bro. She’s a superstar. She’s literally the most diverse and different person I’ve ever met in my life. And super down to earth at the same time, like she takes what she does so fucking seriously.
And even people like Sebii are you kidding me? A BALL OF ENERGY. Bro is just a big ball of happiness, and he’s really a whole different species. I think he was hatched from somewhere when he was born, deadass.
So you’ve obviously had your place in this scene for quite a while and have made these connections for a reason, but what has been your biggest concern regarding any issues within the community itself?
People have their opinions, but this is the biggest thing for me. We need to stop the entire crucifixion of people for the dumb shit that they do. And I’m not talking about the people who do shit that’s disgusting and a crime, I just mean you shouldn’t crucify people over the internet for shit that you really don’t know enough about. I think we literally need to get rid of people who are horrible and despicable because if you’ve done something that heinous and is that socially frowned upon, you don’t deserve a platform. But at the same time, there are people who do some things that you have definitely done yourself, and it that case, you don’t deserve the right to crucify someone.
Is there any sort of solution to this in your eyes?
Honestly, we should just try and be the best people that we can be. Just use your common sense, it’s literally that easy. It isn’t hard to think for yourself and see the bigger picture too. We’re all human and we all make mistakes, and a lot of the time, it’s the same stupid and childish mistakes that some of these young ass 15-year-olds have made.
With you being an “older” figure in the scene compared to those people, do you see yourself as something of a mentor to them?
I don’t want to sound like a cocky bastard, but honestly yes. I treat every one of these kids like they are my family. All I want for them is to not to some stupid shit, or sign a dumbass contract, or some other crazy shit. So I’m just always looking out for them. I’m always calling them to ask them what’s going on, how their mental health is, how school is going, if they’re keeping their grades up, literally all that shit. Because I’m a little older, I feel like it’s my place to endure all the bullshit when I was their age, and then tell them to not do the same shit I did.
Now with all of this scene anxiety mixed with real-life sadness contributing to your overall mental state, where does your music moving forward stand as a result? Will it be influenced by these things?
Oh my god, yes. I am taking everything that has been going on and turning it into exactly what I’ve always wanted to make, what I’ve always wanted to do. I am just trying to release the best music I’ve ever made and could possibly make. This is just what I have to do, like I gotta eat, I gotta pay rent, so if I can do those things and have fun while doing it, that’s all I want. With all that has been going on, I can feel the fun sometimes getting sucked out of everything, but I never want it to be like that. So I’m not conforming to anything, the next step is always different.
I’m just being Eric.