If you’ve ever seen Eriq Troi perform, he is a true one-man band. The multi-instrumentalist and producer records his own backing tracks, and taking a command of the stage through his bass playing, he emits the energy of a full roster of musicians.
More recently, Troi has been training his attention on other Akron-based musicians through his podcast “Blooming Where Planted – Unsigned & Unlimited.” Through music and interviews, Troi digs into the motivation behind these artists’ music, along with what it’s like to work and survive in Akron’s creative economy. As the name attests, Troi focuses mainly on unsigned musicians, revealing their vast potential.
The inspiration for the podcast, he says, emerged from being a fan of local music. “I can go within 50 miles of Akron and find some of the most amazing music in all genres,” he says. “I ask myself all the time, ‘Is anybody hearing this stuff? Is there a place where all of these amazing artists can get heard?’”
While there are a number of internet radio stations, which may feature the same guests, Troi was interested in learning more about the creative process and the stories behind the music rather than surface-level information about the musicians and composers. “Are these artists like me, just wanting to be heard amongst the internet noise and appreciated for their/my art called music?” he asks.
And while Troi’s format is unique for Akron (and uniquely Akron), he’s found examples to learn from near and far. “I heard a guy out of London, England, who gave me the idea to start my podcast. Wayne Boucaud of Blakin3D. He is the man. He’s my example of curation of all things soul and black in the diaspora,” says Troi. “My other example of excellence is Dee Perry. Her touch was so smooth and elegant. Her voice is always silk. I guess to describe my podcast would be if Blakin3D and The Sound Of Applause (Dee Perry) had a baby.”
Locally, says Troi, “The Akropreneur with Roger Riddle and Around Akron with Blue Green (even though that’s a TV show) are some local cats that have amazing and interesting content.”
Creative process aside, Troi also wants to celebrate Akron’s growing music scene, and he thinks there’s a lot to learn from the city’s storied music past, which ranges from a nationally known jazz and blues movement to punk and garage rock pioneers in more recent decades. “I think there are a lot of musicians on the scene who have no clue of Akron’s ‘colorful’ local music history,” he says. “At the same time, some of the old guys like me need to be aware that the good ol’ days are gone and there are a lot of new frontiers to cover.”
He adds: “Because I focus on unsigned artists, I learn that we are all trying to be heard. There are amazing stories behind the music. If you want to know the mindset of a city, community, place or any environment, just listen to its music. I hope that my podcast represents my little ol’ town in a good light on a global scale.”
You can tune in to the “Blooming Where Planted” podcast by visiting eriqtroi.com/blooming-where-planted-unsigned-unlimited-podcast and subscribing. You can also visit the podcast’s Facebook page here. Troi says he also has a few goodies to give away exclusively to his subscribers.