Singer and Renowned Photographer, Toyin Sokefun-Bello better known as TY Bello has sure carved a niche for herself in her two chosen field. Prior to pursuing a solo career, she was a member of the defunct gospel band Kush.
TY Bello is also a member of the Nigerian photography collective, Depth of Field. She is best known for her singles “Greenland”, “Ekundayo”, “This Man”, “Freedom” and “Funmise” and the most recent ‘ Logan ti o de’ with Tope Alabi. In this chat with MUTIAT ALLI, the mother of two spoke about motherhood, photography amongst others.
How did you get inspiration for Logan ti o de?
The song just came like waterfalls, it was effortless and easy
Did you expect the kind of feedback you got?
Pleasantly surprised, I knew people would love it but I didn’t know people would love it like that. They took the song vey personal, it meant a lot to people because it sounded like their story. When I heard the song for the first time, I cried, so I guess everybody had the same response.
When gospel artistes come for photo session you do music with them, where did the whole concept come? Is it for fun? Is it for album?
Have been doing spontaneous worship for almost three years, basically it’s a new way have found to make music. Basically following the instructions “sing a new song unto the Lord” I’m taking it literally, so I come together with other musicians and we sing songs we don’t know
You are talented behind the lens but we love you for the music and you bring out music as much as we hunger for it, why?
I think have found my new way, have always wanted to do it my way. I think spontaneous worship to me is more sincere and it’s more effortless in the sense that I’m not forcing things. So I think have found my space and I like it.
So we can’t expect more than that from you?
Never say never absolutely but we are gonna have a lot of albums coming up from the sessions. Right now we probably have like twelve albums.
Are you used to being called Iya ibeji now?
Absolutely, sometimes I forget it’s me and I would be looking behind me before realizing that its actually me….
Do you sometimes look at yourself in the mirror and believe that you have two kids already?
God has been good, He has blown my mind. Every day I don’t forget, I try to remember what He has done for me constantly…
Before and after being a mother for years you haven’t really changed, what is the secret?
First that’s a big compliment, thank you for saying that, I guess you just keep living life and enjoy your work, your life and family.
Would spontaneous worship ever see the members of KUSH coming back?
You know what I was thinking about it last week, which might probably happen. A perfect platform for us to get back together because in reality that’s what we did. When we rehearsed, We sang songs we didn’t know and they became real songs.
How often do you guys communicate and do you miss the sisterliness?
Of course, everyone is busy so whenever we get to connect it’s always worth it
Most of the time you carry a full hair, don’t you ever get headaches from it?
If my hair was smaller I probably would lose my balance, lol, I am just used to it and it fun.
What aspect of photography do you specialize in?
I’m a portrait photographer. Even though I still work in documentary and conceptual photography, my images have always been portrait, I’ve always been fascinated by the human face and I love making deep connections when I make images.
Tell us about your passion for photography?
I have always believed that creativity is a wellspring of many virtues. I’ve learnt that it’s important to never let any of the gifts you have been given go.
Music and photography have been those two things that stood out to me; I think they really have a lot in common. Although photography takes a lot of my time, I make sure that I commit to spending a certain amount of time making music each year.
What exactly inspired you to become a photographer?
I think my inspiration for photography came first from the enjoyment I have in helping people feel beautiful. I started off as a beautician and I found it very fulfilling.
I found photography a more exciting platform to explore this. I have also been greatly inspired by many of my mentors. From Jide Adeniyi Jones to Akinbode Akinbiyi and Jackie Phillips.