HotNewHipHop talks with singer/songwriter Jon Bellion about getting writing credits on Eminem's single with Rihanna "The Monster," as well as the plans he has for his own music.
Eminem's new album, Marshall Mathers LP 2, officially hits stores tomorrow. The lead singles he's dropped thus far have left fans with opposing views-- some stand by their fierce support of Em, while others wish the old drug-addled rapper would return. No matter what you're opinion may be, one thing is for certain, and that's that Eminem knows how to reach the mainstream ("The Monster"), as well as his hip-hop heads ("Rap God"). The Rihanna-featured "The Monster" however, wasn't all Em's doing-- a certain upcoming singer/songwriter by the name of Jon Bellion, who happens to be signed to the same label as Logic, was instrumental in creating the pop-infused record.
We caught up with the 22-year old New York native to find out just how the independently signed artist, who has only released one project thus far (Translations Through Speakers) managed to connect with one of the biggest rappers ever. While we were talking to him, we also found out some information on the singer himself and his own tastes when it comes to creating music. Read what he had to say in our exclusive interview below.
HNHH: For an up-coming artist getting a writing gig for Eminem is pretty huge. How did that even happen?
Jon Bellion: Basically I originally wrote a song and I wrote the hook and it was the producer's decision to take off all the verses and other things, keep my hook and send over to Riggs Morales over at Shady, who dug it and gave it to Em and it was history from there.
HNHH: Have you done a lot of songwriting? What other artists have you worked with/are you working with now?
Jon: I'm really working on my own stuff. A lot of people are reaching out for me to work on their projects, A&R's, Presidents of Labels and stuff to work for their artists. The past couple days I've really just taken the time out to work on my own shit.
HNHH: What's the difference in between the writing you did for "The Monster" and the writing you do for your own music-- like do you approach everything in the same way, or how do you differentiate in between writing for yourself and writing for other people?
Jon: For myself I try to create the most thought provoking and original music as possible but when I'm writing for other people my main goal is to just make the most massive record I can possibly make and attack the masses, that would kind of fall into the category of pop music, "popular music"- that's my goal.
HNHH: Who else would you really like to work with?
Jon: Too many people to mention. I would really love to work with Ben Gibbard, I have one record that I really want him on, really badly. Hopefully I keep writing big records and people want to rock out with me and that'd be dope.
HNHH: Do you have aspirations to be a pop artist or are you leaning more towards r'n'b? What genre would you classify yourself in?
Jon: This is my music, it might come off as pop because it is easy digestible and you can understand exactly what I'm talking about and it's not ucriptic, but my music is who I am, whatever I feel like making, I wouldn't mind to be a pop artist, I wouldn't mind being a "popular artist."
HNHH: Can you give the HNHH viewers some info on your background, where are you from, how did you connect with Logic's VMG camp?
Jon: Basically my manager Chris Zarou, President of Visionary lives on Long Island. He heard through the grapevine that there was this random kid making unorthodox pop music in his room. He found out and took a drive out to my house. Two years from then I gave him a call one day saying "do you want to manage me?" and we moved forward from there. During that time Logic had exploded on the internet a bit and that's how I met Logic.
HNHH: The-Dream has had a very successful career as a songwriter for huge pop stars, as well as with his own music as an r'n'b singer. Would that be something you'd like to emulate?
Jon: I'll be doing it in my own way...I'll be writing for others and doing my own stuff throughout my career, so it's been dope going all these directions. I'm just really humbled to be able to do what I love and make music and everything else past that is a plus. As long as I get to make music and not have to work at the catering hall anymore, I'm happy.
Check out Jon's new single "Ungrateful Eyes" which is off his upcoming second mixtape, set to be released this December.