Not everyone knows exactly who Jon Bellion is. You have heard his work though. He’s the architect behind Eminem & Rihanna’s Monsters that won a Grammy in 2015 and also co-wrote and produced Trumpets with Jason Derulo back in 2013. He has hit singles with Zedd and Illenium, and even has some of his own songs that have made it to the mainstream like All Time Low.
These are the songs that he may be best known for producing, but its his early work and older content that makes him so special. He is a musical genius, and I say that in every aspect of the word. His ability to layer different sounds and tell a story is something that seems to get lost in a lot of the music coming out today.
He began making these “Behind The Scenes” docs way back around 8 years ago which follow him in his creative process of producing his music. I’m not going to say this for fact, but I’m pretty sure he basically invented the modern album documentary. He had to at least have been one of the first. The guy just operates on a different level artistically.
I put the making of Luxury as the video atop this post because his mixtape The Definition was the last of 4 tapes that he dropped before producing his first studio album – The Human Condition. It just overall shows his self awareness and growth as a person who arose to relevance in the industry for being so incredible with his production.
He talks in this video how this song is the bookend to the tape that begins with the song ‘Munny Right’, a song talking about when he makes his money he’ll have everything figured out. ‘Luxury’ is then juxtaposed to it saying how he doesn’t want the money and fame to change him.
Throughout the mix he takes the listener on a journey of how he became a successful player in the music industry and some ways that has played out in his life. This isn’t as explicit as he makes it seem in the documentary, but that’s what makes the work all the more impressive.
Finding his dope Trumpet sample to just mold in with his signature Drum Pad, he has the entirety of the song basically written in his head. Only he knows how to extract that through his creative genius that is displayed in the documentary. He then uses the lyrics to talk about how this process is so good that he replaces actual lyrics for the chorus. The entire point of the song leads up to how he knows that his work is incredible, so he won’t do the talking – the instrumental will instead. Just look what he says. It’s so badass.
The Chorus an instrumental oh you think thats odd?
I don’t have to give you lyrics cause I know its God.Jon Bellion, Luxury (2014)
Then, by layering that with the idea that he won’t “drown in luxury”, it just further cements that he knows for his sake that sometimes it is best to take a step back, evaluate his situation, and let it play out. It’s that self awareness and humility that has built him into the artist that he has become.
This single doc doesn’t do Bellion justice. His and Visionary Music Group’s YouTube pages have plenty of videos that take you through so many songs throughout his career and really introduce to you what kind of legend this guy really is. I recommend all of them. ‘Simple and Sweet’ and ‘Ungrateful Eyes’ are two of my other favorites.
Beautiful Mind. Keep it up Jon.
@jacklesser_ & @thoughtless44