When Jon Bellion heard Eminem and Rihanna perform the chorus he wrote for their smash hit “The Monster,” his first thought was of Hauppauge.
“I used to work at a catering hall in Hauppauge,” said Bellion, calling before a rehearsal for his Governors Ball set last week. “Anybody who works as a server in a catering hall, more power to you, but I wanted to make music. When I heard the song, I thought, ‘What a blessing. I’m not going to have to work a 9-to-5 job any more. I can just keep working for my art.’ ”
Bellion was right. “The Monster” became a Grammy-winning No. 1 smash and its success gave him the chance to work on his own music until he felt it was ready to make his major-label debut. That happens Friday, when the Lake Grove native’s “The Human Condition” (Visionary/Capitol) arrives in stores. And in those 14 new songs, Long Island is never really far from Bellion’s mind.
In the wistful “80’s Films,” which even includes a cool Prince-ly guitar solo, Bellion sings about meeting up with a high school friend in a Smithtown parking lot, where she tells him, “The island is long, but life is short in this town.”
In “New York Soul (Part II),” he raps his respect for Billy Joel.
“I’m born and raised Long Island,” Bellion says, laughing. “Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Ben Gibbard — melody-driven guys. … They shaped me, molded my music.”
However, Bellion has a surprise for fans who only know him from his mixtapes and his album, not from his live show.
“The live show is more rowdy, more like Rage Against the Machine,” he says. “I know people come expecting soft music like the album and they end up in a mosh pit.”
Bellion’s live show certainly won over the massive Governors Ball crowd, getting thousands bouncing along with his intense performance — something he has done throughout his career.
“You can’t really force kids to like music,” he says. “I’m a firm believer in an organic fan base. I know a lot of people don’t know who I am, but there are already 10,000 preorders for my album. I have a fan base eager for more stuff. That makes me more than happy. I know I have an army behind me.”
WHO Jon Bellion
WHEN|WHERE 8 p.m. July 29-30, Webster Hall, Manhattan
INFO $23; 866-777-8932, ticketweb.com