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RESPECT. Interview: Eric Bellinger Speaks on Eric B for President: Term 2 EP and Staying Independent

Photo Credit: Cam Fairfax

Looking at his roots and upbringing, it is no wonder that Eric Bellinger has become an R&B sensation. A Los Angeles native and grandson of Jackson 5 hit songwriter Bobby Day, Bellinger has been involved with music his entire life. His love for music drove his decision to turn down a football scholarship at USC to pursue his real love.

Bellinger began his musical journey recording and touring with the R&B group AKNU (A Kind, Never Understood) and soon signed to Epic Records via legendary executives Max Gousse and Tommy Motola. His natural gift for songwriting became apparent and he returned home to hone his abilities under the guidance of his childhood friend and mentor Erika Nuri of The Writing Camp.

After signing a publishing deal with Sony ATV, Bellinger hit the ground sprinting with stellar contributions to major R&B and pop tracks such as Chris Brown‘s “Fine China,” “Love More” with Nicki Minaj, Usher‘s “Let Me See,” Selena Gomez‘s “Intuition,” and “Right Here” with Drake to name a few.

We were able to catch up with the talented artist recently to discuss Eric B for President: Term 2 and what’s next in his career.

RESPECT.: What was your inspiration for your latest project “Eric B for President: Term 2 EP”?

I had just dropped Eric B For President: Term 1 which was a more hip-hop influenced project. So I wanted Term 2 to be more relaxed, smooth, and chill. Didn’t want my core fan base to think I had abandoned the R&B vibes!

RESPECT.: Is there a single on this project that you can say is your favorite?

I think “Treat Yourself” might be my favorite. I tend to switch up like the consumers… I know I could be biased when listening to my music so when I see others comment or display their love for a particular song, I usually can be like, “you’re right… that one IS crazy.”

RESPECT.: When it comes to marketing your singles and videos which social media platform do you like the most?

I think Instagram is by far my favorite platform. It gives you the chance to be a little more creative, visually on the overall outlook of the page. Some people just post whatever with no format no strategy and that’s cool too. But for me, I think it allows me to express my love for the art a little further. I’ve been taking advantage of those 3 rows and using them since I first started my account.

RESPECT.: You have worked with the likes of 2 Chainz, Ty Dolla $ign, Justin Bieber, Wale, Usher, and more. Who has been your favorite artist to work with thus far and why?

I learn something from everyone I’ve worked with. Some sessions taught me what to do and some taught me what not to do. I think the Justin Bieber sessions were super cool. Watching him work was crazy. He’s so talented and fearless in that booth! One time when we were working he took a table in the booth and angled the mic against the table. I was like “aye bro… what you doin?” He told the engineer to hit record and he started making a beat on the table like we were in junior high eating lunch in the Cafeteria at recess… We ended up using that part as a breakdown in the song. It showed me that you can really do whatever you feel on these songs. There are really no rules!

RESPECT.: What was the best advice you have ever gotten from your grandfather, Bobby Day, for chasing your dream as an artist?

My grandfather was the first person I had ever seen with a studio in his basement. There were times we would be hanging out upstairs with the family and I would see him sneak downstairs to his cave. I always wondered what he was doing down there, (laughs). Later on, I adopted that exact same love for music. It’s extremely tough for me to not be in the studio – it’s the only place I wanna be. And I got that from my grandpa.

RESPECT.: Is there any other project we can expect from your camp this year?

I have three more projects in the works for 2017 and I’ve already dropped three! I have so much music and I just wanna get it out there! The world needs more great songs and I got plenty of em so I figure why not.

RESPECT.: What is the phone app that you use the most daily?

I think my rotation from Instagram/Snapchat/Twitter/text & email is a very sick cycle, (laughs). I’m addicted to my phone! I just think we’re at the point now where anything can spark into a million dollar idea so I’m always on the look out!

RESPECT.: What are some of your goals outside of the entertainment Business?

I wanna eventually start a clothing line. I also have some different ideas for products that will make songwriting super fun and easy. Also, I love food! So a restaurant is definitely in the works as well!

RESPECT.: What are some qualifications you look for in building your personal team? What different roles do you have within your team that helps you function every day? 

I’ve worn every hat in this music industry from artist to songwriter to a manager to label, to the stylist, to engineer, to a producer, to the graphic designer, to the choreographer, to studio manager- and the list goes on. So anyone that works for me or with me must be able to wear multiple hats!

RESPECT.: Do you have any ambitions to start your own label at some point? Would you ever sign another artist?

Yes! YFS aka Your Favorite Song is my company and we’re always looking for new talent!

RESPECT.: Where would he like artists to submit material for review?
They can tweet me, DM me, or even email me at [email protected]. SoundCloud links, preferably, YouTube videos, etc. Would like for them to kinda already be as self-sufficient as possible so I can just come in and fill in the gaps that I see could use a little help. Not really interested in developing from scratch. If they write their own music that is a huge plus as well!

RESPECT.: Finally, if you had to start your career over in 2017, how would you go about getting your music to fans? 

I honestly think with me being an independent artist it allows me to get the music right to my fans! No major label no major rules. With there being so many different platforms for music servicing nowadays it’s truly in the artist’s favor. There are so many outlets that I use and take full advantage of! From SoundCloud to YouTube to Apple Music, Spotify, Google Music, Tidal, and all the other online streaming services… I wouldn’t change a thing!

Images Credits by Cam Fairfax

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Written by Landon Buford

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