Eric Bellomo knows a lot about some of the greatest music of all time. What he really wants to know, however, is why people fall in love with their favorite artists.
Instead of a podcast or radio show, he created a forum much like a book club to answer these questions. Bellomo is the co-founder and CEO of 500: 1 Music, an online music community and music book club that has partnered with More Than My Complexion (MTMC), a Vallejo-based multimedia and art collective with Vallejo artists. MTMC is led by Danny Ali, artist and Creative Director, and Kolawole, artist and co-founder.
MTMC, says Bellomo, “makes music and focuses on visual storytelling. Our collaboration, in short, incorporates their experience in the discussions I lead. “
The premise of the partnership is that every album is someone’s favorite, so it aims to consider the why of that question in a community outlet. Additionally, the club believes there is a middle ground between listening to music on headphones and attending a live performance.
The idea and name – 500: 1 Music – came to Bellomo during the pandemic when he was reading a Rolling Stone book that listed the 500 greatest albums of all time.
“I was isolated and read the 2003 version of the book and then listened to each album listed in its entirety,” said Bellomo. “It started with Outkast’s” Aquemini “album and went all the way to the Top 50 when Rolling Stone released their most updated album in 2020. So I started over with Arcade Fire’s” Funeral “, but it turned on a light bulb in there. my head. I wanted a means to interact with other people and find out how they got into these albums and artists. In a way, I wanted to create a book club for music. “
Bellomo says the club currently has more than 350 members, with each discussion of an album or artist comprising 15 to 40 people attending at any given time.
The forum takes place on average twice a week and the number of people depends on the collaborations as well as the genre of the album or artist. Bellomo said the age involved in the discussion ranged from people in college to people in their 40s.
Be that as it may, Bellomo almost always asks the same question first.
“How did you discover this artist / band and what was your reaction to hearing him? What did he do for you? “Said Bellomo.” We were once doing a forum about a punk rock band called Pool Kids and one person said when they first heard the band they were depressed and their music helped them. to get out of that depression. Another couple said that Pool Kids were playing while they were driving to the house for which they would sign a lease. Some people say they joined a band because they were going to a concert where another band was the headliner and instead, they remembered this band, the opening, a little more.
“I am increasingly looking for a personal reaction,” Bellomo continued. “There’s a specter of how to experience music, whether it’s listening to headphones or going to a concert, but my theory is that I want to find something in between. How did a person discover that artist? I want to know how music affects someone personally. I want to know about sometimes vulnerable information and am trying to be the main facilitator for this.
To find out more about the group, visit www.500to1music.com/discovery.