After spending the start of his career writing and producing for some of your favourites, Eric Bellinger re-introduced himself as a solo RnB artist. Last night he performed in New Zealand for the first time. Prior to the show, we sat down with him to get an insight into the man that is Eric Bellinger.
Kia Ora Eric, welcome to New Zealand! Sorry about the weather by the way.
Auckland’s weather is really temperamental like that. I always kick off interviews with this question because I feel it’s important – How are you?
Great. I’m feeling good. Cold, but I feel good.
You’ve written for some big names such as Chris Brown, Usher and Trey Songz. How does it feel to work with those artists? Is it more a one-off moment such as sending them songs to do or is it more of a collaboration?
More like a collaboration. I’ve had songs where I’ve placed and got on the albums that I wasn’t in the room with guys but any time there’s really like magic created it’s usually when we’re in there together. We’re able to pick each others brains and come up with the most high frequency, quality energy that we can because we’re able to bounce back and fourth with ideas.
You performed in a group then took on songwriting. What made you decide, you still need to release your own stuff as well as contribute to these artists?
I got my big break I’d say from writing. As I transitioned into the solo artistry it was fun. Even to this day I enjoy performing more than anything. But I know that the writing is definitely what got me in the building, I feel it’s what’s going to keep me here because I’m able to provide. A lot of the times when it’s just you and you’re in it for yourself , not too many people will lend a heaping hand. But when you’re there of service a lot of people are more willing to let you in the studio like “AYE WHAT YOU GOT FOR ME?!”
Eazy Call came out a few months ago. I love the collage, pasted wall, cover art. I feel like your album is great in a way that it takes it back to those more classic hip hop beats, you’re not necessarily trying to do what’s “in” at the moment. But there is a bit of everything in a way that you can go from a slow R&B jam to a club banger.
In saying all that, what was the creation process like for you and how long did it take?
I’d say maybe 5/6 months for the project to be completed. We definitely wanted to do just great music. A lot of the time I do albums with themes like Coven Season 1 & Coven Season 2. Eventually everything just kinds of flows and familiarities in all the music but with Eazy Call we just had a bunch of great songs. So it didn’t matter what the sound was I just wanted to put together a compilation more so, like a playlist. Cause nowadays people are just making their own playlists anyway so it’s like. . .
Their not really sticking to the same sort of sound.
Yeah exactly that’s why I gave it a little ride, a roller coaster.
I read that you’re involved in every step, would you say you’re a bit of a perfectionist?
Man, it’s crazy. I’m talking about from the end of the song, when it’s finished, if it’s 3:33 there’s not going to be 2 seconds of air. You have to cut it off right there, the transition has to be extremely smooth to the next song so you can just play it all the way through. The titles have to be perfectly on point. Everything, your right, just 100%. I’m a perfectionist, god I’m a perfectionist.
That’s like prior to releasing Eazy Call, you released Meditation Music which you released to coincide with National Meditation Day. It is definitely a meditative EP which you’ve made into 1 track.
That’s the same thing with the transitions. It was cool. I put it on soundcloud for people that wanted to listen to it broken up but when it was on iTunes I really wanted to have people enjoy it, how I created it, from the beginning to end. I even insinuated on the transitions even more on that album.
Yeah I saw people had reviewed it and it said singles but when I want Spotify it was 1 thing and I thought what? And I played it and realised it goes for about 20 minutes.
It’s cool right. I’m making it easy on people, just press play and walk away.
It’s actually really nice and chill to listen to actually.
Thank you. Even myself, I listen to it. I make it for other people but I also a lot of times tend to make music that I want to listen to that I maybe feel like is missing out there. Like man we need something like this or something like this, I don’t hear it, so there’s nothing left to do but create it.
Artists tend to stick to what they do than try those things as well.
As part of your new album & tour, you are doing a YouTube series called EAZY TV. It’s quite an intimate series. Do you enjoy sharing all of that with your fans & the world?
Yeah definitely. I feel like we’ve entered into a place nowadays where the world really. Wants to know who you are as a person and what you’re going through, your daily life, what’d you do yesterday, what’d you do today and it’s far beyond the music. The music used to be enough but now it’s not enough anymore. Nowadays they wanna know.
That’s why instagram live is so great sometimes.
You got instagram live, you got Snapchat, you got everything you know. And as I opened up more I saw that I got a lot more fans. Because people were able to buy into a lot more ammo. There was more that I was able to push out and they were actually able to fall in love with my character, who I am as a person and my family. It’s just a lot more well-rounded and I think the EAZY TV series has really allowed things to open up.
You’re very active on social media. Do you think that’s a very important part of what you do?
Extremely important! You know it’s interesting because as I watch, the more I post of course I get the more engagement. You know when I don’t post, it’s kind of quiet. Definitely gotta always have a bunch of content, bunch of footage, bunch of pictures, just to make sure people can stay in the loop and keep up with everything I’m doing.
You have a positive energy about you, is that something that’s you try to maintain?
Yeah 100%. I think the Meditation Music was not only a project of music that I put out it’s actually like a lifestyle that I’ve adapted. Not too long ago I really really kind of fell in love with the lifestyle of yoga and meditation.
I love yoga so much.
Isn’t yoga the best?! You know I think that has really changed my life. It’s crazy to say that but I’m never stressed. If anything happens like “YO THEY STOLE…”. I’m just like I’m going to meditate.
Yeah I think people would be surprised at how much breathing helps.
Yeah it really really does.
You have a beautiful little family who seem to add to that. Does your son want to be like you?
He copies everything I do. I hold my hands up, he holds his hands up. I laugh, he laughs. I put glasses on, he puts glasses on. I brush my teeth, he brushes his teeth. I run around the house, he runs around the house. So it’s really really cool to have a mini me.
You’ve done a couple of shows in Australia already, you’re here and then you pop back. How has this side of the world been treating you so far?
It’s been freezing but man it’s really good. I think in LA and New York and all the cities in the states, there’s a lot of people that are in entertainment, that are artists that are striving to do the same thing that I’m doing. So it’s a lot different when you come out here to perform for people that really just want to see some entertainment and their not afraid to scream, make some noise, clap their hands and jump up and down.
We don’t get a lot of artists that pop over here so I think when they do everyone is just like lets do this.
Exactly lets go crazy right now, now’s the time.
Are you excited about your show tonight?
Yeah very excited. A lot of the shows on this run have been different you know. Some have been clubs shows, maybe appearances, maybe hosting but this is gonna be the first one or one of the first that going to be more concert based. So I’m very excited to see the Eric Bellinger fans come out and show out.
Okay I have some random questions that I love to just throw in:
What’s a rumour you would like to start about yourself?
You know how James Brown back in the day when they’d say “hardest working man in show biz”, that one. You know how they always say there’s somebody out there working harder than you, I’d like to be that guy working harder than everybody. That’s me, I don’t stop, 24 hours around the clock.
What is something you want people to know about you?
That everything that I’m saying, everything that I’m doing, everything that I stand for and everything I believe in is like 100% true. My real life. There’s no gimmicks, there’s no fakeness. This is all like really real. The smile, you know people always ask “are you always this happy?” And I’m like yeah I really am, it’s really lit right now.
Anything else to add?
I’m just happy, I’m just blessed to come all the way across the other side of the world and do my thing. I just really want to stress to the supporters that I appreciate it. As an independent artist it’s a lot more of a grind and it takes a lot more dedication, a lot more strategic marketing, strategic releases, strategic everything. We really put our all into it. So when it’s received the way it is, it’s always just a great feeling so I just want to say thank to everybody!
Thank you so much for doing this interview and have a great show!
Interview conducted by:
Art & Photography by Shelley Te Haara