For the first time in his career at Mavin Records, I saw Korede Bello struggle in a video.
The singer on Tuesday November 22, 2016, released the video to his new single ‘Do Like That’, and he did struggle. The struggle came from him changing his persona and essentially growing up in the video.
The 4-minute video directed by Konstantin has the singer playing the perfect lover boy and throwing his charm at a lady (light-skinned of course). He half-dances, refused to smile, chases her through different rooms, enjoins her to ‘bend like say you want to kneel for Daddy’, and eventually gets drawn into an embrace. He attempts to dance all through, setting himself up for a hot dance step that never surfaced.
But the clip offered more than just a video of half-dancing and romance. It is indicative of a record label that is seeking to break their artistes out of his current stereotype and make him grow into something more sensual.
As an artiste, Korede Bello’s branding has been a very strong asset in his growth. His strength so far, lies in his weakness of play. The young man is breezy, fantastical, and Jheri-curled. Possessing a ‘cute’ frame, and a smile to kill, the singer is a cross between Bruno Mars and a younger Michael Jackson without the dance moves.
He has been groomed and branded along those lines, with comic sensibilities thrown into his work to give him an appeal that few in the Nigerian music industry possess.
This has been devastating in its effects. Korede Bello is the most loved singer of the new Mavin stars. Why young women love Korede Bello is simple to decipher. He appeals to the little girls in them and evokes feelings of love, cuteness and beauty. They want to hug him like a stuffed doll, and feel his warmth and innocent energy course up their veins and warm their hearts.
Korede’s creative process is to make songs that stride the fine line between alternative and pop. He also throws in teenage love for effect. ‘Godwin’, his one true hit song so far was off the radar, an anomaly that struck a general nerve, and lined his pockets with financial reward.
But the new video seeks to change of all of that. Where there was humorous dancing, there are backup dancers, a jacket to add a suave edge, and a no-smile policy. Instead, he is a grown up singer, one with needs and wants, who stares at women with desire in his eyes.
Perhaps this has been the ploy all along, to sell Nigeria a young, lovable chap, only for him to switch it up and metamorphose into a ‘bad boy’, much like what Wizkid did with his 2011 ‘Tease me/Bad Guys’ video which was shot by Kemi Adetiba and had him switch from the lovable kid to a ‘Bad Guy’. One that slapped booties, generated Baby Mamas and smoked a good blunt. That was successful.
Mavin Records is going for a similar story for Korede Bello. His new lyrics now have suggestive lyrics, which includes egging a lady to ‘come feed me’, go on her knees and bend like she’s packing her money.
These are interesting times for Korede Bello. Watching the transitioning from a cherubic angel to a ‘Yoruba Demon’ will be quite the spectacle.