SARAH COFFING | CULTURE EDITOR
Eric Hutchinson, a professional singer-songwriter, performed last night at The Old National Centre in Indianapolis to promote his latest album on The City & Sand Tour, which began in Boston on Oct. 27.
Hutchinson released his fourth album, “Pure Fiction,” this year.
While he has performed with many contemporary artists, including Kelly Clarkson, Jason Mraz and OneRepublic, he recently spent two months “being jealous of Frank Ocean’s voice.”
Despite the long hours spent on the road the last couple months, Hutchinson said he is still fascinated by traveling and the places he sees. But, he said the end of a tour is the hardest part of his job.
“Eventually I will get home, and I will sit down in my writing studio and just start all over again,” he said. “Having to build new songs from nothing is sometimes an overwhelming feeling and sometimes scary.”
He said overcoming this anxiety is the most rewarding.
“I can sit there and think, ‘When I walked into this room, there was nothing, and then I created something,’” he said. “That is sort of the glory of music and songwriting to me.”
He said his passion to follow music came naturally.
“I was already doing it before I realized what I was doing,” he said. “As a kid, I liked singing, and I started writing songs when I was about 8 years old. I would just make them up and sing them into my tape recorder. “
When Hutchinson was younger, his uncle Mike, a radio D.J., was a source of his inspiration.
“He did weddings and things like that,” Hutchinson said. “He just got me into current music, and we would do fake radio shows and record them. I think he kind of helped get me interested.”
Hutchinson also had a few teachers help him along the way.
A music teacher noticed he enjoyed singing and helped him learn to write songs and understand the relationship between music and lyrics.
But perhaps his guitar teacher taught him the most impressionable lesson: music is meant to be shared.
Hutchinson’s first taste of performing for crowds came from the two of them playing open mic nights together.
“You learn everything you need to know about your music when you play it in front of other people,” he said.
Hutchinson said the best part of a concert is exactly that: seeing his fans sing and dance to the music he creates.
“Music is so singular now,” he said. “You listen to it by yourself on your headphones, you pick out exactly what you want to listen to at all times, there’s no record stores anymore. Concerts are the last place you can be with other people and experience music.”
But last night, clad in tan dress shoes, a blue scarf, and a polka-dot shirt to match, Hutchinson strayed away from the music he creates.
He said he also adores Broadway, humor and, most importantly, food.
“I live in New York, so I go to a fair amount of shows, and I am just always looking for that goosebump moment where you feel moved somehow,” he said. “I think the songwriter is king in a lot of ways in a Broadway show.”
A few years ago, Hutchinson intertwined his love of food, music, and humor when he made a parody of his hit song “Watching You Watch Him.”
The new version, which he performed on tour, was called “Watching You Eat Shrimp.”
He said New York’s vast array of food choices has allowed him to become spoiled.
“Food is all I think about at all times,” he laughed. “I got in trouble recently on Twitter because I said I liked food better than music, but it is just all I think about.”
To Hutchinson, music is a way of life, but not all there is to it.
“I kind of just always loved doing it, and then here I am,” he said.