Eric Bellinger celebrated the release of his Eric B for President: Term 2 with a listening party on the beach, with the Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter sharing the eight-track project Friday (March 10) with an intimate group of fans feeling the breeze and watching the sunset in Santa Monica, California.
“I wrote it on the beach, so I wanted people to hear it on the beach,” Bellinger told HipHopDX at the event. “When I was thinking of venues, I was trying to think of stuff that had the vibe that I wanted to capture and I couldn’t think of anything and I was like, we just gotta go to the beach. We gotta get a generator, we gotta get some speakers, we gotta get a microphone set up and we gotta just go to the beach. And they came out. It was dope because I feel like it felt right with the sunset and looking behind us and everybody’s just, you can’t beat a good view. I feel like the music matched the mood of the atmosphere, so I couldn’t be more happy with the turnout.”
He crafted the smooth project, a stark contrast to the more Hip Hop-centric Term 1, in a studio just down the street from the shore where his fans were gathered. Bellinger released a mini-documentary to go with Term 2 to give the fans a behind-the-scenes look at his creative process.
“Whenever it’s time to create, it’s tough to beat the vibes over there,” he shares, adding that the video is about ” just letting people in and explaining and showing them rather than just hoping they get it.”
One of the crowd favorites was “Treat Yourself” with Wale. Bellinger first performed it in order with the rest of the project, then after the sun was down, he did an acoustic set with just a guitar player and himself. He shares how happy he was with the crowd response.
“It was lit,” he says. “It’s the first time, I just put it out and they was rocking with it like it had been out for two months on the radio, so that’s a good sign for me for the first listen to be so strong, so I can only imagine the response and how it’ll be received when I’m performing on tour and people have been rocking with it in they cars, at home, in the gym and it’s they favorite song for real and they singing the song the way I’m singing the song.”
Bellinger had previously collaborated with Wale and says their chemistry was instant after the MMG rapper’s “One Reason” single. “Treat Yourself” is a continuation of their genuine friendship.
“Wale is somebody that is someone that I’ve looked up to for a long time just for his passion, his passion he wears it on his sleeve,” the Compton native shares. “He wears his heart on his sleeve and he really does it for the culture. He’s offended when certain things that aren’t Hip Hop criteria go down. And that’s just who he is and I’m the same way. So for us to link up, it’s like we both were speaking the same language. From the first session we had together we wrote ‘One Reason’ in that studio the first time. That ended up being one of his singles, so it just goes to show how fast our chemistry really was established, but to have him on this record, it was a braggadocious record. It’s a stunting record and he fits the description perfect.”
Another standout guest appearance on Term 2 comes from singer/songwriter Tayla Parx, who appears on “Island.” Bellinger shares how this collaboration was a new experience for him as he hadn’t worked with somebody whose skill set was so similar to his own.
“A lot of people have been telling me about her, ‘Yo, have you heard of this writer? She’s like the same vibe that you were on,’” he explains. “‘Cause I started off writing then I moved into the artistry. She was writing first as well, then she started putting her stuff out, so when I linked with her, it was like, ‘So what are we gonna do? Everybody been telling us to get in together. We gonna write a song for somebody? What are we gonna do?’ It was really that question. I’ve never really had that question in a session because I usually know what I’m doing. But because I was with someone that does the same thing I do with both, I had to ask, ‘What are we doing today?’ She was like, ‘We give enough songs out. Let’s do one for us.’ I was like, ‘I’m with it.’ I had ‘Island’ already. The second verse was open. Literally, I was waiting until the right time to ask somebody to get on it and once she said that, I knew I needed to play that one because of her tone and her register and her runs that she does. She does a lot of runs on there and it was a perfect fit. We knocked the song out the same night.”
From here, Bellinger is preparing to tour, first overseas and then returning to the United States. The listening party was just a taste of what Bellinger is excited to experience with his fans. But while he’s prepping for more Term 2 promotion, he says he’s always working on music and seeks to keep himself motivated as an artist.
“I don’t stop. There’s no off time,” he shares. “It’s like ok, cool, that one had its run. Next one. I like to always be looked at as like a new artist. I look at new artists like they’re hungry. You see somebody for the first time and they’re working and they just got a show. The intensity that you see and the energy that you see sometimes is a lot more aggressive than someone that’s been doing it for five to 10 years is because it isn’t new to them anymore. But for me, I try to keep recreating myself every project. That’s why I usually do polar opposite when I put out another project. Ok, last one was Hip Hop I had my hat to the back. Now I’m smoothed out with blond hair. So just recreating it and people are starting to see what I’ve been doing for a couple of years. I’m not switching anything up, I’m just staying consistent, but people are just I think catching on a little more and they’re starting to appreciate what I’ve been doing over the years.”
Stream Eric Bellinger’s Eric B for President: Term 2 project and see the cover art and tracklist below.
- Naked in the White House
- Make You Mine
- Know/Vibes f. ELHAE
- Too Cool/Boujee
- Treat Yourself f. Wale
- Island f. Tayla Parx
- Malibu Nights f. Victoria Monet