We plug to you Eric Bellinger, a singer-songwriter from Los Angeles, California. Being the grandson of Jackson 5 songwriter Bobby Day, Bellinger definitely inherited a few musical genes. Bellinger was part of the R&B group AKNU (A Kid Never Understood) before getting signed to Epic Records by Max Gousse and Tommy Mottola. After recording and touring with AKNU, Eric discovered a passion for songwriting, and the rest they say is history.
Eric is currently part of songwriting group The Writing Camp who have penned hit singles for artists such as Rihanna (SOS), Beyonce (Halo) and Leona Lewis (Happy). Eric recently released the third installment of his Born II Sing series, hosted by DJ Ill Will. Asides releasing mixtapes, Eric continues to work with notable artists such as Chris Brown, Usher, Keri Hilson, Ne-Yo, and Jennifer Hudson to name a few.
For my first plug, I’ll review the track that introduced me to Mr. Bellinger, which features recording artist Jhene Aiko. As an avid fan of Jhene – since I reviewed her 2011 mixtape Sailing Souls – I listen to every song she’s featured on. I’m referring to the track “Ex Again”, which unfortunately isn’t on the Born II Sing Vol. 3 mixtape but is a great listen nonetheless. Eric’s breathtaking voice that crisply laces the soothing instrumental captivates you from the moment you press play. The churning drumbeat accompanied by subtle organ chords in addition leaves you totally immersed in the song. Both Eric and Jhene Aiko take turns narrating a situation where each one is hoping they’ve found true love, uttering the words “till death do us part… I don’t ever want to ex-again”. The duo vocally compliment each other with highly relatable lyrics sung with the utmost sincerity.
Moving on to Eric’s most recent work is the mixtape Born II Sing Vol. 3. Following a resounding seal of approval from R&B veteran Usher on the mixtape’s “Intro”, the track “Bed Medicine” follows. “Bed Medicine” is a late-night slow tune where Eric showcases his vocal range and falsetto, speaking of himself being the remedy in his carefully crafted play on words. Truthfully, most of the 13-track mixtape – which really should be an album – slots right into the sensual playlist. From the mixtape’s lead single “ASAP” produced by $K and Jerren Jkits Spruill to “Body Language”, which features a melodic reference to “Can You Handle It” (2009) by Usher, “Bed Medicine” is just the intro to it all.
This next song “Club Lights” featuring R&B veteran Tank moves away from the baby making songs to being one of the easy going/feel good R&B tunes on the mixtape. “Club Lights” is filled with playful & humorous lyrics from the duo, who try to avoid a case of drunken vision where “everyone looks good after a certain number of drinks”. Listen out for the catchy one-liners such as Tank’s line “you know I can’t trust no picture, can I see you with no filter”, which gets me every time.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t listened to any of Bellinger’s previous works as a recording artist, but I now look forward to listening to the prior mixtapes in the series. With a host of other dope tracks such as “What You Want” featuring Treasure Davis, “Somewhere” featuring Victoria Monet and “Get A Loan”, this mixtape contains some of the best R&B songs I’ve heard in quite a while. While all the songs on Born II Sing Vol. 3 come highly recommended, I should put a disclaimer – you wouldn’t want to listen to them alone.
Download: Born II Sing Volume III – Eric Bellinger