Eamon to release Life Is Good

, Editor on August 4, 2006 | genre: rnb

It’s not often that an artist can claim the Wu Tang Clan and Frankie Lymon as equal influences. By the age of 9, singer/songwriter Eamon was performing doo-wop across the Northeast U.S. as a member of his dad’s oldies review, learning to appreciate the legacy of acts like the Coasters, the Drifters and the Platters. Less than a decade later, he was filling stadiums around the world with now-generation hip-hop flavored anthems, charged by his own woman-done-me-wrong global smash “F**k It (I Don’t Want You Back).” His term for the unique blend of influences: “Ho-Wop.”

Artist: Eamon
Title: Life Is Good
Release date: 08/4/06
Label: Jive
Single: (How Could You) Bring Him Home
Buy at: Amazon

“There’s a lot more similarity between doo-wop and hip-hop than most people would think,” says Eamon (pronounced Ae-Mon). “They both started out on street corners—whether it was these doo-wop guys in the ‘50s and ‘60s or folks free styling in the ‘80s and ‘90s—as a genuine way for young people to express what they were feeling. I’ve experienced both sides; I feel like an old-school dude in a young person’s body.”

Eamon continues to apply his musical stamp to current pop culture with full-length second chapter Life Is Good due this fall on Jive/Zomba. The album’s lead single “(How Could You) Bring Him Home,” was produced by Happy Perez (Frankie J), with a video clip directed by Lenny Bass.

At 22, Eamon still has plenty of vim and in-your-face vigor that authenticates his Staten Island, N.Y., roots—but he has also matured as a singer, punctuating his Everyman point of view with a more thoughtful lyrical approach and a dexterous musical template that will surprise those who dared to consider him a one-trick pony.

“A lot of songs the last time were recorded was I was 16 to 19,” says Eamon. “When I wrote ‘F**k It,’ I was hurting and I think it hit a spot in people who weren’t used to a guy that had the nerve to express himself like that. I’m just like everybody else… I’m just telling it straight from the heart. People go through break-ups every day, and that’s the way they really talk. They might have been shocked, and maybe I wouldn’t make the effort to be as offensive this time, but it’s on point with the realness, you know?”

“I Don’t Want You Back” appeared an unlikely bid for radio success with its middle-finger send-off to a girl who was caught cheating (with its unforgettable refrain: “F**k what I said, it don’t mean s**t now/f**k the presents, might as well throw ‘em out/F**k all those kisses, it didn’t mean jack/F**k you, you ho, I don’t want you back”). In the U.S., the track spent nine weeks at No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 Singles Sales and hit the top 10 at both top 40 and rhythmic radio in 2003. The song sold 4 million singles worldwide and the accompanying debut album, “I Don’t Want You Back,” was certified gold.

Overseas, the story grew even bigger. Eamon’s message wowed the world, scoring gold or platinum status in Italy, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Norway and Switzerland. In Europe, he received the Festival Bar award in 2004 as the most successful international artist of the year. According to top40-charts.com, Eamon had the most-played song of the year, based on a worldwide sample of 2,650 top 40 playlist charts throughout 2004.

Ironically, Eamon was a tough sell when first shopping for a record contract. Manager Nat Robinson shopped the young artist to every major label, all of whom acknowledged his talent—and noted interest—but ended up declining, because they couldn’t envision how to break his obvious first single.

“They just couldn’t get the concept,” Robinson explains. “They said, this is certainly different, this is a hit, but ultimately, they all passed on him.”

Then Robinson took Eamon to longtime friend, Barry Weiss, head of Jive/Zomba. “He immediately locked into the vision. He got it and he signed Eamon on the spot,” Robinson says.

Robinson also convinced Star, then a DJ at New York’s powerhouse hip-hop radio station WQHT (Hot 97), to give “I Don’t Want You Back” a spin on the air to test reaction. The result: within an hour, 200 phone calls from a cross-section of listeners, including R&B fans as well as white kids from the boroughs of New York City. That proved what Eamon’s believers already knew: “I Won’t Take You Back” was a cross-format smash.

With his mettle proven, this time around, Eamon is ready to take his music to the next level. He says, “I want people to realize that, hey, this guy can really sing, to think, ‘I loved the last album, but he’s here to stay.’ It’s still all about true feelings and a soundtrack that goes with people’s lives, but I want people to know that my voice is as real as the messages in the songs.”

Launch single “(How Could You) Bring Him Home” is an ideal bridge between “I Don’t Want You Back” and the new material on “Life Is Good.” It again finds Eamon unlucky in love, as he returns home early only to find his girl surprisingly occupied—and then the crossed lover takes action. He sings: “I never thought that I’d do something like that/When I saw you two it hit me like a heart attack/Oh no, how could you let somebody in through our door/How could you bring him home?” The accompanying videoclip (directed by Lenny Bass) illustrates the complex conundrum that the singer faces, with a surprise ending that, in this case, allows the underdog to be a hero.

Other songs on the set demonstrate a broader range of experience, including “Love Lovin You,” in which our man at last finds success in romance: “Lovemakin in the morning time/She takin care of me every day/She know just how to touch my soul/Love lovin you/I love, love lovin you,” he relates.

Eamon also explores his journey into the confounding world of celebrity, while delivering a universal message that scorns anyone who challenges the effort to turn dreams to reality. In “My Time,” Eamon sings, “It’s my time to shine/And I’ve climbed from the bottom to the top/And I’ve seen big dreams/Crash down from the negativity that you bring/Never understood why you hate my life.”

Like most twenty-somethings, Eamon has endured a laundry list of relationships, both good and bad. And like most us, he is learning lessons along the way: “I fall in love quick and I always think this girl’s the one. But as I get older, I’m maturing and learning to slow things down, to take them one day at a time,” he explains. “You’ve got to feel the person out and realize that love doesn’t come in a couple weeks. It takes time.”

And even if he hasn’t lived through every experience he writes or sings about, the artist considers himself an ardent observer of the common man: “I see things around me and I’m inspired by them and I write it all down. Sometimes I’m watching a crazy movie or a TV show and I see somebody making a fool out of themselves and it gives me ideas,” he says.

As far as his personal relationship prospects at this point—given the persecution that has garnered him notoriety across the world’s airwaves—Eamon responds with evasive savvy: “Am I single? Hell, yeah. But even if I had a girlfriend, I couldn’t tell you that, right?”

"Life Is Good" by Eamon - release date: 08/4/06..

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