Erin Barra is a solo artist who occasionally plays with ‘The Hitters’ - Jamey Zebrack (keys/producer/engineer), Matty G (guitar), Will Rzad (bass), Ji Money (drums) and Jared Salvatore (co-writer) among others.
Rich, emotional soul, which cleverly utilises electronica. Signed to Mama Barra. Discography to date includes Soul Revolutions (2007) and Illusions (2011), Undefined and Refined.
Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, before relocating to NYC, Erin Barra has swiftly established a name for herself as one of the most interesting and unique acts in the field of soul music – due to, among other things, her revelatory implementation of electronic music elements. Indeed, it’s a genre she has devised a catchy title for – she calls it ‘digital soul’.
How has she come to hone this particular sound? It’s been an eye-opening process to say the least, and one which has seen her take an ambidextrous approach to whatever she can get her hands on. “I've gone from Singer/Songwriter to R&B artist,” she recounts, “to Rock Chick, to Multi-Instrumentalist, to DJ/Producer and now I am all of those thing simultaneously.” Think that sounds like a tall order to juggle all those elements successfully? Well, just fire up one of Erin’s records and prepare to have your mind changed.
Raised by a vinyl-loving family whose record collection spanned from James Taylor, Simon & Garfunkel and Led Zeppelin to The Doors, Erin has plenty of other influences whose creative legacy has helped shape her sound – “Stevie Wonder, Bob Marley and Bonnie Raitt” among others.
Erin is also a huge advocate of artists who decide to take a more independent slant. Sceptical of the nature of the old-school music industry, she’s one of a select few performers who help to point the way to an exciting (and resolutely commercial) future. “Being a woman in the electronic music scene, I feel like there's a pretty level playing field,” she explains, “and I consider everyone to be my peer from major label artists to people playing their first gig.”
This sense of openness and optimism is certainly a refreshing one. While her rise up the musical ranks might have been quick, it’s certainly not been a cakewalk. She’s philosophical about the more difficult moments –“All are the best learning experiences, and make me stronger” – while celebrating the great ones. She’s particularly proud of when her “second album got picked up as is and I signed my first Distribution Contract.”