He is charming and down to earth, Korede Bello is his name but known by music lovers as the African Prince. He shot into limelight after the release of his first single, I love Naija and ever since, the mega super star has not relented from releasing hits and club banging songs. The 18 year old guitarist, songwriter, singer and composer is currently scoring musical points in the Mavin Records Camp in just a year of being singed to the Mavin record label. In this heart to heart chat, he reveals his sojourn into music, how he met Don Jazzy and his plans for the future.
How did you decide to have the wink as your trade mark symbol in every video you feature in?
I don’t know. I just find myself doing it. And there is someone I have in mind whenever I do it. I know pretty much that a particular person I know will be watching it, that’s why I keep doing it. Whenever you watch me winking in any musical video, I’m winking at you lol. It has helped grow my fan base.
How does it make you feel that your new single, Godwin, is currently enjoying massive airplay?
I feel great and honored that the music industry is currently appreciating my kind of music and style; Godwin song is my own way of appreciating the almighty for all he has done for me and what he is yet to do as well. As I do this interview na godwin!! When endorsement deal click na godwin. This song is a blend of everything,highlife, afro-pop and the likes.
How did you get involved in music?
I started doing music a long time ago. It started when I began to listen to the songs played by my parents; they both loved different kinds of songs. My father loved the indigenous music while my mother preferred foreign music. I grew up listening to diverse music. I fell in love with music and it fell in love with me. When I was in school, I was always participating in social activities and I represented my school in acting, dancing and singing competitions. My first music group was formed with my friend when we were in primary six and that is when I wrote my first song. When I got into secondary school, it was a different ball game. I was better and more into writing songs. But when I got into senior secondary school, I began professional music by recording my songs in the studio. My first official single was recorded when I was in secondary school.
Didn’t your parents have any problem with you getting involved with music at such an early stage?
I love my parents so much and one of the reasons is because they support me and would put their money on anything that would make me happy. I came from them; they love music and they love supporting their son. The only issue they had, especially my mother, was my staying out late. She did not want me to stay out late because as of then, I was just writing my West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination. I had to be in the studio mostly at night and my mother did not really like that. Aside from that, everything was fine. My father got me my first guitar and paid for my first studio session. They are big fans of Korede Bello .
How did you meet Don Jazzy?
Since I started music, God has always been good to me. I can never be grateful enough. One thing I have learnt is that once it is time, it is actually your time. The truth is that if anyone had told me about two years ago that I would be working with Don Jazzy, I would say it was a big lie but I am working with him right now. A lot of people listen to your songs but it takes just one person to make a difference in your life. That is what happened to me because I released a song called ‘Forever’ and people loved it but it just took one person to listen to it and introduced me to Don Jazzy’s friends. They were also astounded by what they heard and they introduced me to Don Jazzy. He invited us to the studio with my manager, Casmir, we recorded some songs and that was it. When he heard my song, and he called me a mega super star and that was it.
What have you learnt from your association with him so far?
Mavin Records is about the biggest record label in Africa. Being part of this label is blessing. That means you have to work hard. You have to be up and doing. You also have to have a global mind. Don Jazzy is one of the humblest people I have ever met. Despite his position, he listens to everyone. The first thing I noticed when I joined the team was Don Jazzy’s humility. He is one of the biggest and most influential artistes in Africa, but when you are sitting with Don Jazzy, it feels like you are sitting with your brother or a friend. It takes that much to be humble. Another thing I’ve learnt from Don Jazzy is his openness to other people’s opinions. This is probably one of the things that have gotten him that far. You cannot do it on your own. There are so many things I have learnt from him which we probably can’t exhaust here. But of them all, humility is prime. People call me humble, but I want to be as humble as Don Jazzy.
How would you describe your kind of Music?
It is sweet music which is not defined by its sound, but by how it makes you the listener feel. My kind of music is also defined by the content and purpose because we musicians are life givers; we give life to people through the song we render. My music could be pop, RnB, classic, jazz as the case may be but the most important thing of it is that it should be able to appeal to the listeners.
Which artiste would you love to work with in the nearest future?
I will like to work with TuFace, Asa, Nneka, and some great upcoming artist people don’t know about yet. Right now, I am not revealing any secret now but i’ll be featuring some A-listers on my album.
What attracted to you music in the real sense?
I think music attracts me to her; music has been toasting me for a very long time right from when I was a baby. But in the real sense, my parent back then played lots of records in the house with our turntable, a compact disc player and listening to this ignited and strengthens the love of music in me. Music actually discovered me and I am really grateful to God to that. I wrote all my songs which made me popular in school back then. I got inspired through my environment, friends and my country.
What would you say is your greatest achievement so far?
My ability to glorify God with my song through my single, Godwin, and it is being received massively globally. That is my greatest achievement. Whenever people are happily dancing to my song, it really makes me happy. You know, to be able to do a song that the old, and young would be able to listen to and dance to but still be able to glorify God really goes a long way. I am very proud of that and its effect is overwhelming.
You are now an associate member of Information Management Africa, what has it got to do with your music?
I am a student of mass communication; I believe that as a musician, we are mass communicating to millions of people around the world. I am someone that likes to pursue knowledge because I believe no knowledge is a waste. One has to keep learning until you are not able to learn again. And I believe you know what I mean by that (laughs). All I am trying to say is that learning is continuous.
How have you been able to cope with female fans especially?
Well, I think the question should have been in the reverse as how are my female fans coping with me rather. They are all my girl friends as I am sharing the love with them all. I appreciate them so well.
Are you in a relationship?
I am actually in a relationship with my fans that I call Belovers. I am also in a relationship with God.
What should your fans be expecting from you?
Well, all I can say is that they should expect the very best from Korede Bello and Mavin records soon.
These days we get to see musician make cameo appearances in movies; When should we expect to see Korede in Nollywood movies?
Lets keep fingers crossed because everything we do here in Mavin records always comes turns out dramamtic lol, so yeah! A movie is not out of reach so my fans should expect to see a trailer coming soon “ Starring, Mavin’ finest, The African Prince- Korede Bello in …..”.
Any endorsement deal?
Yes I got signed up with woodin Nigeria as their brand ambassador. The Woodin brand represents a youthful brand, a youthful Africa.
My brand value is young, easy going, upright, accessible, and most importantly, fun loving. God ultimately is the one that qualifies me being the brand ambassador. And it is an amazing thing for me.