Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan delivered a pretty killer take on the national anthem during the Super Bowl this past weekend. Their soulful arrangement was a little different than what we’re used to hearing, but it was still one of the better (and more creative) renditions we’ve heard in recent memory.
And if they would’ve asked Eric to perform a couple months ago, he would’ve said no.
Eric recently joined legendary saxophonist and composer Tom Scott for an in-depth conversation on music, songwriting, weed, paying your dues, the disservice that shows like American Idol can do to an artist, and more. And of course, he got into his national anthem performance from the Super Bow this past weekend.
And for him, it really came down to two things… the Capitol riots, and the chance to sing with Jazmine.
“For me, it really came from two things… 1) the Capitol riots, when that happened, I could see the division. I’m 43 years old and I’ve never seen anything like that, none of us have. And I’m not a political person, I honestly don’t mean this politically… that broke my fucking heart.
They asked me just after that and my answer would’ve normally been ‘no chance.’ There’s no win here, it’s either lose or break even there’s no win. And then, because of Capitol riots, and then the way they presented it…”
When it was presented to Eric as an opportunity for unity, he was in.
“I’m a Caucasian country singer. She’s an African American R&B singer and he presented it that way. He said this country needs two different things, it’s about showing unity. He said ‘I don’t give a shit about your political beliefs,’ and I said ‘well, I don’t know that I have any.’
She’s one of the greatest vocalists I’ve ever heard in my life. She’s that good… I could not be more blown away. So I said yes, because of where we are in this country, I feel like this is important and 2) I’m not missing my chance to sing with this girl… She deserves to be a household name and she might be after she carries me through this shit. “
You can always count on Eric to keep it real.
And for more from Chief, make sure to listen to the entire podcast.