Bradley musician becomes a Grammy-winning songwriter | Local News

Bradley resident and musician Eric Swanson walked the red carpet Sunday at the Grammy Awards in Las Vegas. As SOJA’s manager, Swanson performs frequently with the band and wrote two songs on the latest album, “Beauty In The Silence”.

The album won Best Reggae Album, making Swanson a Grammy-winning songwriter. The musician was born and raised in Kankakee and graduated from Bishop McNamara High School.

The album includes “This Heart of Mine” and “Jump”, both written by Swanson. In addition to writing “This Heart of Mine”, Swanson also performs on the album track.

“When they announced SOJA, it was kind of like the world stopped for a split second,” Swanson said of the win. “Then we exploded with excitement.”

He shared that he was proud of the band and “can’t thank them enough for believing in me and letting me write on the album.”

“Our whole team gathered outside the press office and hugged each other,” he recalled. “Everyone started calling their supporting families back home.”

Swanson explained that there were two Grammy ceremonies – one in the late morning where the award for SOJA, among other things, was announced, and then the evening TV broadcast. The musician said there was “a different glow for everyone that night”.

When asked what it felt like to be a Grammy-winning songwriter, Swanson used the words “unreal, grateful, and grateful.”

“There are a lot of people who have supported me and believed in me over the years and still do. I feel like this accomplishment is for them as much as it is for me,” he said.

“Although I’m not in the band, the guys have always treated me like their brother,” he continued, saying the band still encourages him to write and they often chat about music and music. theory.

Swanson shared another behind-the-scenes secret, saying the Grammy award that appears on TV is a prop and winners don’t receive their personalized awards until months later. He will receive a certificate for his winning contributions to the album.

Overall, he said the night was “surreal” and he was happy to have his wife, Susan, by his side to share in the moment.

“As a team, we really enjoyed the moment on the red carpet, trying to be present and relishing the accomplishment,” he recalled.

Describing the big day, he said that “after you navigate through all of safety, you pass and just walk the halls with Mike Tyson, or sit by QuestLove. Then Chris Stapleton passes. There’s actually a real calm in there.

“Although there were thousands of fans outside, inside the event it seemed like everyone was pretty relaxed and there to celebrate their passion for music together,” he said. he declares.

“I love that music can lighten the energy of a room and take you to an island,” he said.

He noted that one cannot play reggae without thanking all the ancestors of reggae music who inspired musicians like him and members of SOJA to start playing the genre.

“Thank you Jamaica for inventing this amazing music and sharing it with the world and allowing this kid from Illinois to fall in love with it over and over again,” he said.

Other nominees in the category included Gramps Morgan, Sean Paul, Spice, Etana and Jesse Royal. Swanson gave the lot “big ups”.

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