It’s a warm spring night on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, where Eric Bellinger is about to perform in front of a full-house for the BMI Next Fresh Thing showcase taking place at ‘On The Rox,’ next door to the famous Roxy Theater. The Los Angeles native has caught fire as one of the industry’s most in-demand songwriters, and longtime member of the Writing Camp collective. Signed to a publishing deal through Sony ATV, Bellinger has co-written some very familiar hits, starting with “Lemme See You” and “Go Missin’” by Usher; the Jennifer Hudson & Ne-Yo duet, “Think Like a Man”; Justin Bieber’s “Right Here,” and the more recent “Fine China” for Chris Brown.
For Bellinger, his career is like a dream come true—now expanding his brand to include recording artist. This past April, Bellinger released a third installment to his mixtape series of all original music, titled Born II Sing Vol. 3. The full-length project features collabs with Tank, Sevyn, J-Doe, and production from Pop & Oak, Da Internz, Tommy Brown, T-Minus, and more. The “Intro,” courtesy of Usher, is the kick-off to 12 songs with Bellinger delivering both on the sexy (“Bed Medicine,” “ASAP”) and party sides of life (“Club Lights” and “Say No”).
Bellinger, full of personality and humility, hopes to soon be charting alongside the very artists he has penned hits for. “I’m definitely excited to switch up and be on the stage,” says the singer-songwriter. “I’ve been behind the scenes for so long. It’s been cool to have a lot of my peers come out and support me.” Invitees to Bellinger showcases and listening parties read like a virtual who’s who in the creative world, with popular producers and songwriters like Hit Boy, Kevin McCall, and Tank, all in attendance.
Going from songwriter to recording artist was a natural order for Bellinger; “That’s how it has been the last three years, I’ve just been writing. If there was a microphone, if there was a set up, then I was there; multiple sessions a day and whatever I had to do to get my name out there; I was doing it 100%.”
Despite his large network of major label relationships, Bellinger and his team decided to go the independent route when it came to releasing Born II Sing Vol. 3. The project is through his label, YFS. “I thought about taking [major] label meetings and seeing if they could help out, but then I thought with all the resources that we have, why not take advantage of social media and technology, and do as much as we can. If it comes to a point where we fill we reached our limit, then we’ll call out for help. The album has only been out a few weeks, and we’ve been getting phenomenal feedback.”
What’s going to separate Bellinger from the elite pack of prolific R&B singers like Ne-Yo, Chris Brown and Usher? “I look at myself as the new source, the new go-to guy,” he says. “I’m doing the same things those guys are doing, but I’m supplying them with hits, too. Usher is doing Usher, Chris is doing Chris, Justin Beiber is doing Justin, but I’m doing me. Humbly, I’m in there working with those guys and we are all out here doing our thing.”