Eric Hirshberg makes for one unusual Google search. On one hand, he is an LA-based singer/ songwriter who has been steadily building his audience over the last few years and is in the process of releasing his 2nd full-length album, “Second Hand Smoke.” On the other hand he is a remarkably accomplished, multi-industry CEO and creative business leader who has successfully built and led companies at just about every imaginable scale.
Hirshberg’s 2021 release, “Spare Room,” was streamed over 3 million times across all platforms and scored a viral hit with his song “I Want America Back” which was viewed over 1 million times on YouTube. Indie pop icon, Liz Phair, a longtime supporter of HIrshberg’s had this to say: “It’s such a thrill to see a friend take a bold leap forward in their artistic growth. There’s an organic truth captured in Eric’s music. Springsteen is an influence, but the lyrics are pure Eric Hirshberg, heartfelt and introspective. If you’re looking for a classic, roots rock Americana vibe, this is your jam!” AndRock and Roll Globe called Hirshberg’s first album, “an airy and infectious collection of tunes in the vein of the great LA singer/songwriters.”
Before releasing his first album, Hirshberg had a successful 8-year run as the CEO of the video game giant Activision, where he oversaw the development and marketing of some of the biggest entertainment franchises in the world including Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, Skylanders and Destiny. Before that he built and ran the world-renowned advertising agency, Deutsch LA as the CEO and Chief Creative Officer. During his 14 years there, he built the agency from a handful of employees with no clients, to a 500 person powerhouse that was named Agency of the Year by Adweek or AdAge six times. For his efforts, Eric was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Achievement and was named one of the 50 Most Creative People in Business by AdAge.
Since leaving Activision to focus on his lifelong passion for music, Eric has also kept one foot in the business world, advising a handful of innovative, early stage companies such as MasterClass and Beta Technologies. He has also created and directed multiple pro-bono ad campaigns for causes he believes in, Including the Democratic National Committee, UCLA’s Hammer Museum and The Holocaust Museum which was featured on MSNBC.
Eric is a creative polymath, a business leader and a singer/songwriter. He is happily married to Art Dealer/Jewelry Designer, Tara Hirshberg with whom he is raising two sons.
“I Love Not Drinking” celebrates the joys of life without alcohol — but rather than focusing on addiction, or hitting rock bottom like so many songs before it, it is instead a declaration of non-dependence and an inspired toast to the power and the joys of clean living. Out just in time for Dry January, the song features a beat constructed entirely of bartender sounds, from glasses clinking to cocktail shakers to ice-cubes stirring — it’s the perfect motivational anthem for the entire year.
“There are plenty of great songs about drinking and partying. But for those of us who just like life better without alcohol in it, well, now there’s an anthem for us,” says Eric Hirshberg on his inspiration for writing the song.
“I’m all about inspiring positive change through music and Eric’s song really delivers on that front,” says Aloe Blacc on his desire to lend his voice to the project.
Hirshberg adds, “I was thrilled that Aloe wanted to be involved with this song. He has a voice that is somehow both intimate and larger than life at the same time. This song is both highly personal, and also a bit of a sing-along anthem for the sober lifestyle. Aloe helps on both counts.”
“I Love Not Drinking” is the third single from Hirshberg’s second full-length album Second Hand Smoke due out February 2nd. Already, he’s released two tracks “Good Morning” and “Half Way Home” off the record which follow his debut album, Spare Room (released in 2021), which spawned the viral hit “I Want America Back,” viewed over a million times on YouTube.
Second Hand Smoke is an album about removing the toxicity from one’s life through an optimistic lens. From embracing sobriety, to ending toxic relationships, to the search for spirituality in a secular world, and maintaining optimism and hope as we age, the songwriting confronts its themes with a positive and productive lyricsal outlook. “I am someone who needed to live a lot of life before I had something to sing,“ says Hirshberg.
Elsewhere on Second Hand Smoke there’s profound inward reflection. “Half Way Home,” for example, is a mid-life dialogue between the singer and the younger and older versions of himself. There’s “It’s Hard To Be A Human Being,” which was inspired by a conversation between the artist and his longtime friend, mentor and inspiration, Norman Lear. The simple, inarguable wisdom captured in the title is in and of itself an idea that frees us from the illusion (or delusion) that life is supposed to be easy. There’s the ode to the universal human need to believe in something bigger than ourselves, “Everyone Believes.” And “Day One” explores both the death and rebirth we experience when we finally let go of those relationships that aren’t serving us. Hirshberg has found his voice through the lessons of his life.
Hirshberg, who has been writing songs non-stop since the age of 14, took an unusual path to music. He spent his college days and most of his 20s playing Los Angeles clubs with his band and trying to build a music career. And while he wasn’t looking, a whole other career took over; Hirshberg had a remarkably successful run as a creative executive first in advertising, where he built and ran the agency, Deutsch LA, then in video games, ultimately becoming the CEO of Activision (Call of Duty, Skylanders, Destiny, Guitar Hero), a post he held for almost a decade delivering record breaking results. (He is one of the only people ever to become a CEO of a company of that scale to have an art degree.) As he became more public as an executive, he became more private as an artist, until his musical life was almost completely hidden from public view, but his passion and output as a songwriter never diminished.
SOURCE: Official Bio