Korede Bello’s artistry on “Belloved” is a reflection of what he projects as the needs of his fans. And judging by his feedback mechanism, he is right on track.
Album – Belloved
Artiste – Korede Bello
Producers - Don Jazzy, Altims, Babyfresh, Cobhams Asuquo
Guests – Bellovers
Record Label: Mavin Records (2017)
Duration: 37 minutes
Korede Bello is a darling in the streets, amongst fathers and mothers, screaming daughters, adoring sons, and even the odd hard guy. He cuts across every demography that exists in this country, and he has achieved this by making music for everyone.
“Godwin” is still his biggest blessing. The 2015 single which spread like wildfire across the African continent carried his name and brand across lands and into the homes of distant native people. Since that victory, other songs have become hits, but none has truly captured the success that ‘Godwin’ did. He has since veered off that ‘thanksgiving’ persona, expressing himself in many other ways.
And what makes Korede Bello pop? What peculiar quality makes him tick as an artist and attract millions to his brand? On Instagram, he is sitting pretty with over 2 million followers, and on other platforms, he is not far off. The love he receives is phenomenal, and it is both a blessing and a burden.
This position is a blessing because money comes in when girls and their fathers fall in love with you and support your art with their money. But the burden is felt by the weight it places on your creativity to generate new material that would resonate across this little nation of fans, keep them coming back to you for more, and staying ahead in the game.
It is this creative weight he carries that drives the creation of his debut album “Belloved”. 11-tracks compact, and concise, Korede is the beloved son and prince of Africa. And although that fact often escapes music enthusiasts, it burns brightly in his heart and on social media too. This project is fan-driven, and designed to pander to every demography that connects with him.
You could feel that in the gratitude that follows the protean opener – ‘Korede’ – which is a 3-minute ‘thank you’ note and inward exploration into his past. That’s the Bello that’s on “Belloved”. Fan first. Expression later.
Romance and all its friends rule this project. For all of his diversity, he is thematically driven by the universal nature of love and how it is expressed. ‘Oh Babybe (Hermosa)’, with its riot horns and Flamenco roots is a tonic for mid-tempo enjoyment. He pours this sentiment along as ‘Repete’ is more extension than standalone track. The Highlife of ‘Butterfly’ and ‘Smile’, the immersive bounce of ‘Let him go’, and the theatrics of ‘Young Presido’ all offer a diversity that is tastefully disruptive and allows for engagement for everyone.
In between all of these pop preferences and tracks, there’s a more subtle and artistic Korede that lingers on the edges waiting for his time to emerge. You could seek him out on ‘Favorite Song’, a Cobhams Asuquo, where he is in touch with his most conscious and expressive side. The fans for this one will be limited, but they exist, and their needs are met with crooning and deft songwriting.
Korede Bello’s artistry on “Belloved” is a reflection of what he projects as the needs of his fans. And judging by his feedback mechanism, he is right on track. The fans want a fun, glitzy, and loving artist, who treats his celebrity as a small party, and winks at each and every one of them with tenderness.
He succumbs to their demands on “Belloved”. And that’s why they sing the loudest on ‘Good time’.
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