Eric Bellinger is a very busy man.
Recently wrapping up work on Usher‘s latest LP ‘Looking For Myself‘, which saw him pen the Rick Ross assisted ‘Lemme See‘, today saw him jet to London- readying new material for ROC sensation Rihanna.
So, as long time supporters of the singer/songwriter, That Grape Juice had the pleasure of meeting with him at a London recording studio yesterday for a rare sit down interview.
An interview, which saw him address his solo project, working on Kelly Rowland‘s long awaited new album and the pressures of being a writer in today’s industry.
That Grape Juice: Mr. Bellinger! How are you?
Eric: I’m great, love the site so this is great for me.
That Grape Juice: We’re happy to have you. So let’s get started. For those who don’t know, tell us how you got your start in the industry?
I started singing in R & B groups I was signed to Epic and Geffen I went through R & B groups for about 8 years.
In 2010 I decided I didn’t wanna do the group thing anymore and decided to do some writing,which eventually led to me being able to work with some amazing artists.
‘Think Like a Man’ was actually a song from me and a few other writers.
Tricky Stewart heard the song and loved it and he was the executive producer for the soundtrack and said if we tweaked it he would love to have it as the first single for the movie.
We went back inand changed some things around on the record, he heard it and it took off from there when Jennifer Hudson, Ne-yo, Rick Ross all got on it so it was pretty dope how fast things moved.
With Ashanti, I got flown to NY towork with her Jerry Wonder, he put on the beat.
It was crazy we came upwith that song so fast. I started hearing melodies, Busta Rhymes happened to be down the hallway and heard the song – he walked into the session and said “This song isnt finished until Im on it) so he hopped in the booth went in and it was hot.
That Grape Juice: Interesting. With dance music dominating the Top 100 today, do you feel there is pressure on acts to ‘alter’ their sounds to suit this and what challenges have you faced as a writer with regards to this?
A lot of people are doing the dance music – I commend Justin Bieber because I was in the studio several times and he would say ‘I will not do that kind of music only’.
You don’t have to follow the trend its cool to do your own thing.
So, I give a lot of respect to Justin because he switches it up a lot of his songs are R & B I did a song with him and Dip-lo at the end of the day -I don’t think you always have to go with whats winning.
He really reached out to a lot of different genres, He has a song for every single genre if you like rock, urban, R&B, club- I think he touched the masses and stayed true to himself. He really did his thing with this album.
I respect Jodeci I went all out classic song that people loved and took it back to the 90’s (3) Champion (Chipmunk+Chris Brown) Because the message of the song is “No matter what I’ve been through Im still here.”
Songwriters- we are put in the position to give the publishing to the artist.
You can choose to take 50% of a hit or 100% of nothing, I think its worth giving up the song. I think its a blessing even having a song on an album- Until you’re there you just have to be grateful for the opportunities.
Eric: I’m actually shopping with different labels right now seeing what situation would be best for me. Now that they know that I’m focused on my career I’m mindful of ‘which label will fit me’ who has success with R & B artist.
That Grape Juice: Kelly Rowland is one That Grape Juice’s bigger acts, so on behalf of our readers can you tell us anything about the new project, and what working with her was like?
Eric: I would give the album a 10. Kelly is a beautiful soul, she goes so hard and is creative with her talent. We vibe whenever we work together and have come up with some really innovative records.
That Grape Juice: We can’t wait to hear it. Some time back we caught wind of a deal between you and Tank, we now know you’re no longer working with him. How does it feel going from being his protegee to now being his competition?
Eric: I still talk to Tank a lot he keeps it real with me its a competition but its a friendly one.
Eric: Definitely the last song on my Vol II mixtape called ‘Help”.
That’s just the kind of person I am. (He begins to quote lyrics)“Speaking for that little boy and girl that’s home alone-encourage you to never give upon your goals I’m determined to better your soul”.
I’m really the guy that wants to lend a helping hand I’m just really spiritual guy that can sing and use his talents to help as many as I can.
That Grape Juice: Thanks for meeting with us Eric, you’re in London for the week?
Eric: Yeah just for the Rihanna project then I’m back in the US.
That Grape Juice: Great. Well good luck with everything and kudos with Kelly.
Eric: Thank a lot, you guys will love it.
Interview by David Asante, That Grape Juice London