One of the more organic artists of our decade is Jon Bellion. He went a somewhat unconventional route in rising to where he is music, and is still making the climb. He recently released a new album entitled The Human Condition. The best way to describe his music is that it is the kind that comes from the soul. Few artists have the special gift of being able to beautifully put into words something you feel but can’t really describe. Some of his songs are more comical, like one of the first songs he ever released, “Dead Man Walking,” about hooking up with his older sister’s best friend (…oops) and all the way to pieces that really just grab your soul and make you realize that everything in the world is going to be ok, such as “Hand of God.”
Check them out here:
“Dead Man Walking” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZoJZddsSfM
“Hand of God” (Outro): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wKghaa16v0
He has been able to build a strong following through social media, somewhat slow but mostly strong and steady. It has shown that hard work of allowing your fans to trust you really does pay off. Although he was signed a few months after he dropped out of college, he agreed to write only if he was able to release his first three albums for free as downloads online. Which of course didn’t make the record labels happy. But flash forward to five years later and his first release on iTunes led to his concert being 90 percent sold out even before the album dropped. From staying true to his brand and building that relationship with his fans, he was able to build a community that has led to people cheering for his success and who most importantly trust him as an artist.
This past year in anticipation for the release of his album, he had a Fan Experience contest where fans submitted videos as to why they were his biggest fans. He then traveled to their home and played unreleased music live in their home. Not only did he stay and play, but he also spent time and got to know his fans and listen to what they really care about. He shared these experiences over Snapchat, which really brings a connection between those who got to experience it and others who watched from across the country, like myself. These personal experiences and his slow rise to “fame” have led to him being one of the best-kept secrets of our generation. Once you hear his music, the tunes may sound a little familiar. Before he wrote for himself, he wrote for artists like Rihanna and Eminem, by writing the chorus to “Monster” and was featured in Zedd’s song “Beautiful Now.”
With his unique style of mixing soul and hip-hop, it isn’t hard to fall in love with his music. Don’t know where to start? Here are my top five for new listeners:
“Guillotine” (The Human Condition album)
We all come with a little baggage. But, sometimes we are lucky enough to find someone who is willing to stand with us and laugh at our mistakes, while believing that there is much more ahead of us than what lies behind us.
“One More Time” (Single Release)
Kind of similar to “Dead Man Walking,” that love or lust that we all know we shouldn’t have, but one more time couldn’t hurt? Yeah we’ve all been there…
“Jim Morrison” (The Separation)
Quite honestly just a bada** song about being a bada**. Also not to ruin any surprise, if you ever get the PLEASURE of going to one of his concerts (trust me, do it) the encore performance of this song will probably be the best encore you will experience.
“Pre-Occupied” (The Definition)
A song that I personally relate to, as it describes the societal pressures that we have to follow a certain path. That certain characteristics we may inhibit may be seem as flaws such as an inability to focus or be book smart, however these little pieces of ourselves are what can make us so great.
“Weight of the World” (The Human Condition)
This is perhaps one of my all-time favorites from him off his latest album. It describes a relationship that if we are ever lucky enough to come across, we should cherish. With someone who takes the weight off our shoulders and makes us aware of how great we really are, and that we have so much within ourselves to bring to the world.