Eric Bellinger and Nieman J debut their first collaborative album Optimal Music via OFF TOP Records/EMPIRE Distribution. The 11-track project features Wale, Young Thug, Jeremih, Joe Moses with production from Foreign Teck, J. Gramm, Mike Free, and Cassio. Enjoy this audio stream below after the jump and please share this with friends.
Bellinger explains, “When Nieman said he wanted to do a joint project, I was hype from the jump. Every time we link on something whether it’s music or anything else for that matter… it adds that magical touch! When you’re collaborating with someone, TRUST is an essential factor. It’s so hard to come by in this business but when you do have it… It’s a deadly weapon!
Niem really outdid himself with this one tho, just like I knew he would. He set up writing camps with producers and songwriters. He came up with concepts and was fully hands-on during the entire process. I heard him saying in an interview that he wanted to give me the experience of a major label and that’s exactly what he did. I was able to go in and re-record demos and finish up songs that needed a hook or verse here and there. This was heaven for me. To go in and just be an artist, allowed me to focus only on adding my flavor to the records. It gave me the chance to zero in on vocal arrangements, coloring harmonies, and fully stacking my backgrounds… You know, all the fun stuff!”
Nieman J adds, “I’m a creative who had taken a step back to handle the business side so that Eric could get his story out the way he envisioned first. I feel that now is the perfect time because we’ve not only fulfilled that, but he’s been blessed with incredible success as an artist, husband and business man.
Creatively I’ve already contributed to Born II Sing Volume 2 and 3 and The Rebirth. The Rebirth was a classic album we put together. But now, Optimal Music is a project that he could sit back and relax on instead of having to pick every beat and write every word and pick every cover art and every color and font. This time I rolled up my sleeves and picked every beat. Picked every concept. Picked every writer. Put this whole project together and Eric got to chill out and come to the studio and record much like how a major label artist does.
Optimal Music Tracklist:
1) Cheat Code Mode ft. Young Thug & Joe Moses
2) Couch Standing ft. Jeremih & Wale
3) Alone ft. Blxst
4) No Evidence
5) Say Less
8) Diamond In The Light
9) Young Draco
10) Save Me ft. Elliot Trent
11) Blessed ft. Wale, RjMrLA & Joe Moses
It also let me show a different side other than just being a manager. I can put together a full project from beginning to end: A&R, Marketing, Finance, Strategy, All of the above. With the resources I have, I’m better suited than most to put these types of projects together. This is an album full of songs that just flows and sounds good! This is Optimal Music!”
Following their viral #ClimaxChallenge that was a tribute to their big bro Usher, this week kicks off their #CouchStandingChallenge. Their latest single “Couch Standing” delivers the club party to the crib. With the challenge, participants imagine that they’re back at the club, in their own section, rocking out on top of the couch! Bellinger’s Instagram and TikTok accounts are hosting the challenge videos. “Couch Standing” is the album’s fourth single following the sensual “Say Less
,” the smooth and soulful “Blessed
” and certified banger “Cheat Code Mode
Meanwhile, the pair continue to host their ongoing live acapella singing competition dubbed Malibu Nights via Instagram Live. Each contest consists of 8 singers who perform live for 3 rounds while viewers comment and vote for their favorites until a winner is ultimately crowned. Moreover, Neiman Johnson has launched a new series via YouTube called Optimal Music where he discusses challenges faced in music, television and film with talent and executives behind the scenes. Episode links below.
Nieman and Eric discuss staying independent in music
Nieman and Atlantic Records VP Dallas Martin talk music, marketing and indies vs. majors
Nieman and All Eyez On Me actor Demetrius Shipp Jr. discuss the film/tv business
Born and raised in Compton, CA, Eric Bellinger is a Grammy Award winning songwriter and critically-acclaimed R&B star with sinfully smooth vocals and an affinity for soulful melodies. The grandson of Jackson 5 songwriter Bobby Day (“Rockin Robin”), Eric has been engulfed in music his entire life. He’s racked up an astonishing 100 song placements and co-penned hits for pop and R&B stars Usher (“Lemme See”), Justin Bieber (“Right Here”) and Chris Brown (“Fine China”), Wale (“On Chill”) and won his first Grammy Award as a songwriter on Brown’s best R&B-crowned album, F.A.M.E.
“…This Grammy-Award winning songwriter has been able to establish a reputation for himself that has him working alongside the likes of Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Tank and Justin Bieber to name a few.” – Billboard
Bellinger’s extensive writing discography spans to R&B royalty like Jennifer Hudson, Trey Songz, Janelle Monae, Boyz II Men to pop superstars Selena Gomez and Jojo to hip-hop chart toppers Nicki Minaj, Kid Ink, The Game, Wale and Nelly. Not only a skillful songwriter, Bellinger is an equally talented singer/rapper. He has a prolific catalog of music with 5 EPs, 10 albums, 2 collaboration projects, a mixtape and a holiday album that have amounted to over 1 billion combined streams.
Starting in 2013, he made his solo artist debut with In The Meantime and Born To Sing volumes 1-3. 2014 brought his critically-acclaimed official full-length album The ReBirth. In 2015 the R&B hitmaker released the first installment of his signature mixtape series Cuffing Season, Cuffing Season Part 2 and In The Meantime Part 2. 2016 he debuted Choose Up Season, Eventually and Eric B for President: Term 1. 2017 was Eric B for President: Term 2, Eazy Call and Nine. Last year, his anticipated debut album follow-up The ReBirth 2, Saved By The Bellinger and Cuffing Season 3. This year, Eric has released his themed album Scenarios with Grammy winning producer Chase-N-Cashe [Lil Wayne, Drake].
On April 24th 2020, Eric will release his 3rd collaboration album Optimal Music with his long business partner Nieman J. The album is curated from top to bottom by Nieman J and includes guests vocals from Wale, Young Thug, Jeremih, RJ, Joe Moses and more.
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