For San Antonio R&B virtuoso Eddie Brickerson (better known as Eddie B.), failure is not an option. In fact, his last solo project, F.I.N.A.O., a 2007 mixtape consisting of a whopping 21 songs, spells it out with its abbreviated title. He followed up on F.I.N.A.O. with a stunning string of hooks, appearing on tracks with a slew of rappers nationwide, including Jadakiss, Nipsey Hussle, The Game and Devin the Dude.
Through Nipsey Hussle, Brickerson was eventually offered a deal at the Cinematic Music Group and Epic Records, which he turned down to avoid being pigeonholed as a gangsta rap artist. He then connected with producer Demacio “Demo” Castellon, husband to Nelly Furtado, and flirted with EDM as a member of Smashmatic. Eventually their production work ended up in the hands of Timbaland and Brickerson was soon invited to the Hit Factory, signing to the studio’s Demolition Crew. After fulfilling the contract in 2012, he returned to San Antonio to focus on his education and family.
“This is where I call home,” says Brickerson, as a piano fittingly echoes Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love” in the distance. “I represent San Antonio. When I’m out and I’m doing all these things, I’m a reflection of the city. All my accomplishments, I feel like it’s owed to what I learned here where I was able to hone my skills.”
It was in Business Careers High School where Brickerson first discovered the power of his gift. A friend was singing 112’s “Anywhere” in an Algebra class filled with the type of noise that accompanies a teacher exiting the room. When Brickerson jumped in for the second verse, the entire classroom went silent. After a surprised pause, he was encouraged to continue.
Following graduation in 2002, he moved to Columbus, Ohio, where the majority of his extended family still lives. Within a year he signed a deal with Sony as a member of the group Fatty Koo and was managed by David Sonnenberg, who also handled John Legend, The Fugees, and The Black Eyed Peas. The group achieved mainstream success through their 2005 BET reality show, Blowin’ Up: Fatty Koo, and received the key to the city of Columbus before eventually going their separate ways.
Returning from a brief hiatus, Brickerson’s latest project is a stirring six-song EP titled Melodies for a Goddess. The new release features the best of his songwriting and production work from the past few years, including collaborations with producer Square Boogie, part of the Demolition Crew. Available as a free download on August 26 (via eddiebrickerson.com), Melodies’ highlights include the Jodeci-esque single “Cravin” and the soulfully cinematic “Grass Ain’t Greener.”
“For me it wasn’t about having a lot of money or none of that stuff,” says Brickerson with a smile. “It went back to sharing my passion and my love and hopefully identifying with other individuals who enjoy that music and want to hear something that’s refreshing. You’re not gonna hear any cuss words or nothing that’s derogatory towards women. It’s really kind of taking it back to the essence of music, uplifting people, and telling great stories.”
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