Korede Bello is young, handsome and talented. Currently with Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records, the dashing dude who featured in the monster hit, Doro-Bucci, in this interview with YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine, shed more light on the song, his career and more. Excerpts…
How did Korede Bello start?
Korede Bello started when he was really young. Korede Bello started when he was in school; he was debating, representing the school in social activities and he was quite popular in his school and neighbouring schools. He started dancing and miming Michael Jackson, Daddy Showkey and that was how Korede Bello started.
What were your plans when you set out?
When I set out, I did not have any plans. Honestly, I didn’t. There was no drawing board, or how my career should go. I just knew I wanted to do music, I wanted to be famous, I wanted to know all about the work. As I journeyed into the music industry, the music world, I began to understand that music is beyond just being famous. It is also a form of service to humanity, it’s a purpose, it’s a calling, and it is a medium of serving people with your talent and gift. It is a medium of alleviating people’s pain. It is a medium of making people happy, bringing joy, you know, giving life with your gift. But right now, yes, I thank God. It’s all in God’s hands. But definitely, I see myself as a mega, super star.
How did your parents react when they discovered you were going into music?
I think they already knew before me that I was going to do music because I was always singing and dancing around the house. But they were not surprised that I started doing music. They were supportive. My dad got me my first guitar and my mom always supports me. So, I don’t think they were surprised that I was going to do music.
Didn’t they think it was going to affect your education?
Definitely, my dad is an academic. He always wants us to go to school, you know, be knowledgeable about everything. He helps us with the assignments, he guides us through our academic work. He is always like pro-education. You have to go to school, you have to do this, you have to do that. But the reason why they probably gave me a free hand to do music is because academically I am not doing badly. I am up to date (laughs) with my studies. They said okay, no problem, he does well in school, let’s leave him to do what he wants to do. And my dad is a kind of person that,whatever it is that makes you happy, just make sure you are knowledgeable about what you do and about your studies as well. Be serious with your studies.
Tell us about your journey to Mavin Records?
A very interesting story, but let me just summarize it. It was God all the way. A friend of Don Jazzy listened to my song and he was really wowed by what he heard and he said Don Jazzy must listen to this. So, he introduced my manager and I to Don Jazzy and we got invited to the studio and Jazzy was literally singing my song from beginning to end. And it was really, really interesting for me. It was a surprise for me. So, we talked. It was like a mini interview for me, record songs, freestyles and some beats. That’s how it all happened.
How did you feel being with Don Jazzy?
It was outstanding, I was blown away. Because seeing Don Jazzy there, that I watch on TV, touring round the world, collecting awards. These are people that I used to idolize as the biggest thing to ever happen to me, the Nigerian entertainment industry and even the entertainment industry continentally. So, being part of the team such as Mavin with Tiwa, Dr. Sid, D’ Prince, being part of a record label like that, which is unarguably one of the biggest in Africa. I mean, you just have to be humble. I feel proud to be here. It still surprises me till tomorrow. Till today, I’m still surprised when I see Tiwa. Sometimes I ask: is this Tiwa Savage? (General laughter). This is my crush o! I still feel amazed working with everyone of them. It’s an amazing journey and I’m proud to be a Mavin and I enjoy working with everybody.
How has your relationship with other Mavin stars being?
The relationship is good. We are one family, everybody is good musically and personality-wise as well. And I am like the baby of the house. So, I look up to everybody, I learn from everybody. It’s a learning experience for me. Because these are people that had been in the industry before I was in. And it’s about seven of us: Don Jazzy, Tiwa Savage, Dr. Sid, D’Prince, Dija, Reakado Banks, and myself (Korede Bello). So, it’s a big family, it’s a force, a supreme heavy dynasty going on. So, yes, everybody is cool.
What about the fight for supremacy; this artist wanting his own album dropped first before another person’s?
(Laughs) There is nothing like that. There is a structure that everyone goes by and there is nothing like that at all.
How have you been coping being that you are still in school?
I thank God that I have been able to balance it. But it has been quite challenging mixing school and music professionally, because this is not the type of music; this is not what I used to do few years ago. Then, it was easier, but now more challenging, because I have to attend shows, I have to be in the studio. But I thank God. I give God all the glory. I’m a Mass Communication student; just finished my National Diploma and it’s like a one year internship for me right now. So, at the moment, I am doing my internship at Mavin Records (Laughs). So, yes, music for now, but I intend to further my education.
Tell us about your involvement in the Doro-Bucci video, how did you feel doing the song?
Doro-Bucci is a big song. I can never get tired of the song. There is Don Jazzy in the song, Tiwa in the song, D’ Prince, Dr. Sid, Reakado in the song , Dija in the song. These are people who are really good musically. I feel overwhelmed, I feel overjoyed working with each and everyone of them. I feel blessed to be a part of that song. That’s all I can say. I feel blessed and I’m proud of the Mavin family.
The meaning of Doro-Bucci has been causing a lot of commotion, particularly on the social network. What’s your take on the issue?
Yes, you see a lot of controversy going on-line; ascribing Doro to mean god, a god-like person, but Doro has nothing to do with a god-like status. Doro simply means best, perfect, excellent, good; you are the best version of yourself. That is what Doro means. Doro mega super star. I see myself as a Doro mega super star. That is the aim, that is the prayer. Don Jazzy is the Doro boss, Tiwa is Doro fine, Doro Eminado, D’Prince is Doro Baller, Doro Gallant, Dr. Sid is Doro Suru, Doro Lere, you understand. Everybody tries to represent, portray their personality. That is what Doro means. Doro is you, Doro is not a god, Doro is actually you, the best version of yourself, or the better version of yourself. The version of you that you want to be. Doro is Doro. Doro could be anybody, Doro me, Doro you (Laughs).
What are your plans under your new record label (Mavin Records)?
There are big plans for Korede Bello. The Korede Bello brand. Lots and lots of big plans, but right now, we are working on more visibility, more videos and for more people to get to know who Korede Bello really is and yes, doing some tours next month. Going on tour of the UK, Mavin in Manchester and in 02 Arena. More videos, more visibility, more songs, more collabos and my initiative. Will be doing some charity work prior to this journey with Mavin. More visibility for the Korede Bello brand.
Which are your new singles?
Cold Outside and African Princess.
How did you get the inspiration?
For African Princess, it is dedicated to all the beautiful people, all the beautiful ladies, beautiful women in Nigeria and all over Africa. It is just a way of saying you are beautiful, you look good the way you are. That’s what inspired that song. Their strong personality that has been making Africa proud. That’s just the message. You as an African, you are beautiful, you are just perfect the way you are. And for the other one (Cold Outside), the inspiration just came as I was playing with my guitar and the melody. After that, I played it for Don Jazzy when we were together in the studio and he just started making the beat. We wrote it together, finished the song together and we were done in like three days.
What do you aspire to achieve under Mavin?
I aspire to be a mega, super star, I aspire for the Korede Bello brand to be a worldwide brand, I aspire to give life through my music, I aspire to give joy, I aspire to be a blessing to people, to be a blessing to Mavin Records family, a big blessing to my family and everyone that comes in contact with Korede Bello or my music. I aspire to be big, I aspire to be rich, I aspire to be mega.
NB: First published October 2014