Today, 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.
Talking about the album, Bellinger had this to say:
“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 chimed in too, adding:
“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.
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 … a tribute to their big bro Usher, this week kicks off their #CouchStandingChallenge, based off their latest single Couch Standing … which 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.
Stream “Optimal Music” here