Nowadays to be a “successful” musician you don’t necessarily need immense talent. All you need to have is a pretty face, active social media accounts, and a viral video or song to put your name on the map in the music world. The fact that people are obtaining fame and record deals from merely a six second video is astonishing to me, yet there is a market for Vine and social media stars in music.
In music I value originality, creativity and artistic ability. Yet, in this new age of media and communication very few musicians actually have these aspects that used to be necessary before the Internet came around. I had all but lost my faith in true music and artistry.
In the summer of 2012 I was browsing around looking for new music as I frequently did in my high school days, and I stumbled upon a video posted by Visionary Music Group showcasing their new artist. Visionary Music Group is also the home of one of my favorite artists, Logic, so I figured if they signed a new artist I would probably be a fan of him or her as well. What I heard and discovered was a unique sound and spin on music that was missing from my music collection. The video was a cover of Drake’s “The Motto” performed by an up and coming 22-year old artist named Jon Bellion.
I know what you’re thinking. How outlandish for me to like someone who covers a Drake song right? Yes, I have made it no secret how big of a Drake fan I am. Regardless, this new video was like nothing I had ever heard or seen before. Jon Bellion is a guy that sings, writes, and produces all his music. An artist who does what very few other musicians can.
After this video I had to have more. I searched to learn more about Jon Bellion, but there was little I could find about him other than his first mixtape Scattered Thoughts Vol. 1. This tape was a solid effort that he released at 21 before being signed by Visionary. Other than that, I couldn’t find much more about my favorite newly-discovered artist.
I didn’t have to wait long though. In early 2013 Jon released his first official Visionary Music Group project entitled Translations Through Speakers. At 10 songs long, I finally had some new Jon Bellion material. This project played through my headphones until the end of 2013 when Jon released another project called The Separation. Like all of his other music I’ve heard, The Separation continued to evolve Bellion’s sound to something that can’t be bound by any particular genre.
September 2014 rolls around, and so does another Jon Bellion project. The Definition was Bellion’s best project by far and gave me chills my first listen. It is filled with a whirlwind of emotions and openness that gave us an insight to the “Beautiful Mind” of Jon Bellion. The Definition had it all. At this point I figured that this guy could do no wrong.
What I love about Jon Bellion is that he sings about real life experiences, isn’t afraid to be vulnerable on the mic, is easily relatable, and genuinely makes me feel something when I listen to his music. He is one of the few modern artists I’ve seen that enjoys making music solely for the fact of making music. He makes music to share his soul. The money that came along with it is just a part of the process.
I had the opportunity to see Bellion this past May in Omaha, and he performs like a kid still in disbelief that he gets to share his music with the world. Bellion also released several “The Making Of” videos from The Definition that puts you in the studio with him as he’s honing his craft. I have never seen someone have more joy and delight as he is creating something new.
Recently, Bellion has been releasing acoustic versions of songs from his collection including his latest singles “All Time Low”, and “Woke The F*ck Up” as well as songs from The Definition including “Human”, and “Run Wild”. These may arguably be better than the studio versions. In these versions, Bellion is jamming with his friends and having intimate moments with just him and his piano. Goosebumps.
Thank you, Jon Bellion. You have restored my faith in music and what it truly means to be an artist. Your passion, drive and message are pleasures to watch grow with you as a person and musician. I applaud you, sir.
Check out more of Jon’s music on Spotify: Jon Bellion Spotify
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