Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter, Eric Bellinger, wants to make everything better. The artist, who has done just about everything under the sun when it comes to the music business, has collaborated with famed celebrities like Justin Bieber and Usher, opened for Ashanti while singing in an R&B group and, as a solo artist, released over a dozen records to date. Bellinger’s latest project, the forthcoming LP, Eric B for President: Term 3, highlights his smooth voice, intricate writing styles and steadfast relationship with his longtime wife. But, it may come as no surprise, that’s not the most noteworthy part. Bellinger wrote and assembled much of the album at home live in real-time with his fans during quarantine.
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“I set up a phone so they could watch,” Bellinger says of the writing process. “The idea was that they could say if they loved it, they could say if they hated it, they could send fire emojis – whatever it is, we were together.”
Involving social media into the creative process can be dangerous. One has to have self-confidence to open up to potentially thousands of people at any given time and share the creative process. Bellinger’s sessions would each last up to several hours and he’d receive input almost constantly from followers. Not everyone is comfortable seeing or showing how the sausage is made. But Bellinger is. He’s not boastful, not braggadocios. Instead, he’s steady, assured.
“I really am self-sufficient,” he says. “Over time, I’ve learned that God and the universe and everything around you, they lead you to what you’re supposed to be doing, based off your daily routine. I put my heart in the songs and I don’t worry about too much competition.”
While Bellinger may not have the massive machinery behind him at his disposal for promotion or hype like some of the world’s most famous musicians, what he does have is an eclectic and more-than-capable ear for composition. He also has the right support system: his wife, singer-actress-model La’Myia Janae Good-Bellinger. Together, the two help each other navigate their careers. Bellinger says that, as an R&B singer and performer, there is often an assumption that he has to spend time with many women to prove some old ideal of manhood. But, instead, he is a one-woman man.
“That’s my better half,” he says. “I look up to her and respect her. I was always trying to make sure I hit my career with the best foot forward. Having a wife in the music business – or any business – is really important for me. My music changed and shifted as I got with her – I wanted to talk about love.”
Bellinger, who remembers singing at three- and four-years old in the church growing up, was inspired at an early age by his grandfather, Bobby Day, who was a talented and accomplished songwriter in his own right. Day, among many other songs, wrote the hit, “Rockin’ Robin,” which was recorded famously by the Jackson 5. For an aspiring artist like Bellinger, the knowledge that someone else in his own family tree could achieve great success was crucial. He’s even used the song for his own work and intends to sample the track again for a project later on.
“To know about my grandfather,” Bellinger says, “that always made me feel like I could do it, too.”
Though he always loved to sing, it wasn’t until the early 2000s after high school that Bellinger began to take music seriously. After high school, he’d planned to go to college and play football at the University of Southern California. But, due to an injury and an opportunity to perform in a new R&B group, Bellinger followed his artistic ambitions. He performed in the short-lived group, going on tour and opening for Ashanti for a stint. But that taste of success only pushed him further. Today, he works with big names, helping to grow and accentuate their ambitions.
“I always love working with an artist who knows what their vision is,” Bellinger says. “Then I can help enhance their ideas.”
For his own solo work, Bellinger tries to cast a wide net. He says the music he makes is meant at times for young people and at others for those at retirement age. Cruising social media, Bellinger says he’s seen people listen to his tracks while cooking, at the gym, dancing and many other activities. That there are diverse uses for his songs tickles the artist.
“I may be on the come up still to some, a new artist in some cases,” Bellinger says. “But the world that we’ve built really does cover a lot of ground.”
With his upcoming release this week, Bellinger aims to showcase good work while also helping to raise awareness for voting in the upcoming November election. He wants to remind people – in case they forgot – how important it is to vote. Similarly, from an entertainment standpoint, customers can cast their lots for Bellinger by playing his music. Of course, the artist hopes many do. And he hopes they sense in the songs the honesty and raw display of self that he puts into his melodies and rhythms. He hopes fans see what he loves about music – that each track is a chance to achieve more.
“It’s about what’s real,” he says. “People don’t care if you’re skinny, short, purple, black or white. At this point, there is no such thing as a wrong song. I just love how one person can say a song is trash when they listen to it but it could go number-one the next day.”