The young pup with the golden pen has a flavor all his own, and it won’t be long before dyed-in-the-wool fans of R&B get to experience an entire album’s worth of ear-gasms, courtesy of Mr. Bellinger himself. “ASAP,” his first single, and ode to irresistible women everywhere, is also his emancipation proclamation, or rather, a popping of the proverbial cherry. The music video, which recently wrapped in the Hollywood Hills, is his coming out party as a solo artist.
Not that his transition from the shadows to the spotlight came out of necessity. No, the metamorphous occurred with time, most of which he used to build a client-list that consists of heavyweights like Usher, Brandy (Norwood) and the anomaly Chris Brown, for whom Bellinger’s work earned a Grammy. Nevertheless, despite mounting recognition from his peers and multi-million dollar customers alike, Bellinger never deviated from the central objective in his agenda—performing on stage to his own music. Wearing a ball cap, multi-colored sneaks, some jewelry here and there, and leather jacket that would qualify for any action flick in the 80’s, Bellinger emerged from the set of “ASAP” to set the record straight about what he brings to the dinner table.
“It’s always interesting and fun and exciting to write the songs and go to the concerts and see people performing your music, but then there’s always that itch that I could do that too or I can sing too,” he explained during a poolside interview. “It was just a hunger that was always there.”
“ASAP” likens unto most ballads in which the focus never shifts from the central character—a pretty girl (no surprise there). The difference between this example and others is how deliberate Bellinger expresses his sentiments and attraction for the young lady, his muse. It makes for a bold, yet silky smooth and narcotic-sounding wish-list of sexual fantasy.
“The song definitely comes from a personal place,” Belinger went on to say. “It starts with me seeing this girl at a party who is just bad as ever. I approach her and let her know that I have to take her back with me ASAP. You know how we guys do.”
ASAP, the video, takes place in a certifiable west coast palace. Expect at least 15 minutes of travel (with traffic) just to scale the hill which leads to the swanky neighborhood.
“Each room in the house will be featured in the video,” he added. “It starts with me waking up after having a little too much to drink at the party. I’m a little tipsy. So in sort of a dream-state I go into each room and find a different and equally beautiful girl while I’m searching for the one I first saw. The visual effects and make-up on each girl is bananas. The videography is crazy. I’m really excited and thankful man.”
Although his lyrics may be a touch racy, what’s faster is the rate of Bellinger’s success in only a short while. After suffering multiple, and eventually sidelining, injuries to his knees via prep-football, Bellinger, who admits to being disillusioned in the aftermath of it all, was ultimately forced to abandon his aspirations of competing at the collegiate level. Rather than alternatively picking up a 9 to 5 or furthering his education, Bellinger opted for songwriting, a specialized craft that he contends to have always had a knack for. It just so happens that his decision to walk the path less traveled panned out in a big way. Now that he’s been given the green light to spread his wings autonomously, Bellinger says there is no turning back.
“I’ve always felt like my music is good. Now I feel like okay this is [my] shot.”