Eric Hutchinson's first taste of success came while attending Emerson College, thanks in part to the influential campus radio station WERS. The station supported the singer-songwriter for a number of years, helping Hutchinson establish a following and giving him the confidence to move to Los Angeles. In 2003, Hutchinson released his debut, That Could've Gone Better, on his own label. It soon came to the attention of Madonna's Maverick Records, who signed the singer. Unfortunately, the signing came at a time when Maverick was trying to extricate itself from its parent company, and Hutchinson ended up sitting in limbo. It would take two years to get out of his contract with the label, but once clear, Hutchinson released the aptly titled live offering ... Before I Sold Out. In 2007, online tastemaker/gossip columnist Perez Hilton raved about Hutchinson's next release, Sounds Like This, propelling the independently released album onto the digital charts.