STORY WRITTEN BY GARY GRAFF
email@example.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitter
Jon Bellion was for a time primarily known for his work behind the scenes in the music industry.
He shared a Grammy Award for writing the chorus to the Eminem/Rihanna hit “Monster.” He also co-wrote and produced Jason Derulo’s “Trumpet” and sang on Zedd’s “Beautiful Now.”
But now the Long Island-raised singer and rapper is enjoying his own time in the spotlight.
His debut album, “The Human Condition,” came out in June and scored a Top 5 debut on the Billboard 200. The single “All Time Low” has given him an all-time high on the singles charts, and Bellion is busy establishing himself as a touring act — a headliner, in fact, thanks to his success.
All told it appears he does belong out front, and Bellion, 25, is enjoying his time there so far…
• “Monster” may have put him on the map, but Bellion speaks of the collaboration as an almost happenstance occurrence. “I just wrote a great song one day, and it ended up being a song for Eminem,” Bellion recalls. “I still haven’t met him. I’ve met Rihanna. I just got blessed to write some great lyrics one day, and I sent them to Shady (Records) and they liked the chorus, and a month later I got a call Rihanna was gonna jump on it. And that was it. It came out and was this smash No. 1, and I’m thinking, ‘This is crazy!’ It was just a step forward for my career.”
• Growing up, Bellion was a jock, playing basketball and volleyball in high school. But by 11th grade music was his primary passion. “My goal to this day is to make a living doing what I love,” says Bellion, who was influenced by his mother playing Paul Simon when he was young. “If that’s the case, I’ll be a happy camper. All this (success) is exciting and cool, but it’s not throwing me for a loop. I’m just happy to be making a living making music. The rest that happens is cool.”
• Bellion set out to make “The Human Condition” an album about…well, exactly what the title suggests. “I just wanted really relatable songs,” he explains. “If that means me being brutally honest about myself and someone can relate to that, that’s great. I just want to bring comfort to people. We all want to feel love. We all want to feel accepted. We all deal with pride. We deal with tons of different emotions that we don’t realize, especially in these times of social media. So I wanted to make an album that brought people together, the biggest, largest, to-the-point, well-constructed, beautiful, simple album I could. Hopefully that’s how it’s perceived.”