In the third episode of DJ Paul & HNHH’s “Mafia Radio” podcast, Academy Award-winning songwriter and singer Eric Bellinger talks about ghostwriting, winning a grammy, and how to make it in music in 2020.
“Stay ready, you don’t gotta get ready.” That’s the mentality Compton-born artist Eric Bellinger approaches his work with-- an attitude that has served the 34-year-old singer and songwriter well, considering he has racked up an impressive 100+ song placements since his emergence as a songwriter in 2010, as well as consistently releasing several projects a year of his own, including his most recent album,Eric B For President: Term 3.
In this episode, Bellinger relives the surreal feeling of watching the 2012 Grammys while in the studio with Usher and seeing his and Chris Brown’s F.A.M.E crowned “Best R&B Album” of the year. Usher then immediately turned to Bellinger and said, “You ready to do it again?” Bellinger, who got his start demoing songs in 2010, has since joined forces with nearly every one of the world’s favorite artists, including Trey Songz, Ashanti, Wale, and Big Boi.
“The writing, though, I definitely parked in that area for a while, just ‘cause I started striking, and you gotta strike while the iron is hot. Man, I was getting calls from everybody, all the R&B guys-- Trey Songz, Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Usher, you name it. Rotimi, John Brown, Jacob Latimore, B. Smyth, Ne-Yo-- I done worked with everybody when it comes to the pen game behind the scenes.”
Image by HNHH
The singer-songwriter also speaks on his latest album release, Eric B For President: Term 3, which was strategically released on October 30, days before the U.S. presidential election was set to take place, “It was just a good time, to really piggyback off the campaign and the election, and then the old-school “Eric B. [is] President,” I was paying homage to those guys at the same time.”
The pair touch on the stark difference between the music industry when they first set foot on the scene, when talent took precedence over all else, versus today, when new artists are expected to have a social media following, be marketable, and tick all the boxes that did not even exist prior to the arrival of social media.
“I’m kind of old-school, man. I look for the talent. ‘Cause I look at it like, ‘If I really build this talent, and I have this machine that’s running off of talent-- no gimmicks-- talent, the numbers may not be there, but I feel like there’s more like-minded people like myself that do want to see it, but they just don’t have the resources and they don’t have the time to go out there and find the artists, and I personally do have the time to do that.”
Bellinger and Paul delve into how this shift in priorities among recording labels and music industry executives has made it increasingly difficult for artists who don't come from money but possess the talent necessary to become successful, to rise above those who do come from money-- regardless of whether or not they can necessarily match the musical prowess of their less affluential counterparts.
For more from Bellinger and DJ Paul, watch the full episode above. For a look at last week’s episode featuring DaniLeigh and Guapdad 4000, click here. Bellinger will be putting on a virtual live performance with Dreamstage on November 27, called the Eric B. For President World Tour. Learn more about that here.