Eddie Roberts' Payback, Color Red & The Sound Mind Collective partner to launch Musicians' Relief Fund

Article Contributed by Leah Concialdi | Published on Tuesday, March 31, 2020

The Payback 501(c)(3) has partnered with The Sound Mind Collective and Color Red Music to establish a Musicians' Emergency Relief Fund in support of musicians facing economic hardships as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund provides an opportunity for live music supporters to contribute directly towards the financial stability of performing artists who may not be able to meet basic needs as cancellations increase. Eligible applicants will receive microgrants ranging from $100-$500 to cover housing, food, medical care, and other necessities.

Founded in 2014 by Eddie Roberts, guitarist, and bandleader of The New Mastersounds, The Payback is an initiative focused on combating youth and families experiencing homelessness in cities across the U.S. With musicians facing more hardship than ever as a result of the economic impact of canceled gigs and lost income, Roberts and his partners in The Payback, Color Red and The Sound Mind Collective found it a necessity to step up to the plate and offer support for those who may be struggling to make rent and mortgage payments and cover immediate housing necessities.

“Musicians who rely on live performance to keep a roof over their heads and provide basic needs for themselves and their families are on the frontline of the economic crisis caused by this worldwide pandemic. It seemed appropriate that The Payback switched its focus to supporting the most at-risk musicians from falling through the cracks during this time,” says Roberts.

The Musicians’ Relief Fund has received contributions from multiple companies who want to come forward to help musicians in their community. One donation came from Cervantes’ Masterpiece Ballroom’s owner, Scott Morrill. Located in Denver, CO, home to Roberts and Color Red, both Morrill and Cervantes’ have been longtime partners and supporters of The Payback and The New Mastersounds.“This is an extremely difficult time for musicians who make their living from performing live shows. With so much uncertainty in how long this pandemic will last, it’s more important than ever for those that can help to chip in. Eddie has always been very thoughtful with raising money for different charities in the past and continues to help the music community with the Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund,” remarks Morrill on chipping in.

Applications will be reviewed in the order that they are received. Musicians and industry personnel wishing to apply can do so here: https://www.eddierobertspayback.com


The Payback 501(c)(3) was started by Eddie Roberts, guitarist, and bandleader of the International funk group The New Mastersounds, funk & soul group, Matador! Soul Sounds, and founder of Color Red Music. As a musician who spent much of his time living in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, Eddie developed a deep sense of connection to the neighborhood while also witnessing the day-to-day reality of widespread homelessness. Eddie has since moved to Denver, CO, where the number of youth identified as homeless has doubled over recent years. Through our benefit concerts, The Payback has raised tens of thousands of dollars in both San Francisco and Denver. We are proud of our role in bringing together all-star musicians such as Zigaboo Modeliste, Oteil Burbridge, Robert Walter, and Jennifer Hartswick to raise awareness for this important cause.


The Sound Mind Collective (SMC) is a Brooklyn, NY based organization of independent musicians, DJs, producers, and industry professionals dedicated to fostering a more equitable and community-conscious music landscape in NYC. Since its formation in 2017, SMC has hosted six professional development workshops for independent music creatives, and three diverse benefit concerts with community partners that raised funds toward youth empowerment programming, resources for victims of domestic violence, and advocacy for more just police oversight. SMC is proud to partner with The Payback 501(c)(3) and Color Red Music on this emergency initiative to support musicians in need. For more information about The Sound Mind Collective, visit: www.thesoundmindcollective.org


Color Red is a record label, media platform, and distribution network founded by Eddie Roberts of The New Mastersounds. Headquartered in Denver, CO with outlets across the world, Color Red releases all-original music with a goal of supporting independent artists. Roberts founded Color Red in 2019 after identifying a gap in a unified platform where artists could collaborate to produce independent music and make sure their efforts are captured from dollar one through streamlined royalty collection and distribution. Backed by an all-star team of the industry’s finest producers, entrepreneurs, and media directors, Color Red is a music revolution that connects artists and fans alike with a common love for quality, original music. For more information and to view Color Red’s catalog, visit: www.color-red.co