I sacrificed intimate relationships for my career — Korede Bello

Popular singer, Korede Bello, tells TOFARATI IGE about his career, his roles in the #EndSARS protests, celebrity lifestyle and other issues

Making music is a lifestyle for me, so I have a lot of unreleased songs. Whenever I feel the time is right, I would give my people (fans) a proper project. By the way, have you listened to my last Extended Play album, . There are beautiful songs in there, even if I say so myself.

I wanted had decided to go on road touring last year (2020). I had just introduced my fans to the newly rebranded Korede Bello but COVID-19 started before we could hit the road.

So, we had to restrategise and I came up with (which means ‘my house is your house’). With the help of , I was able to target a global virtual audience.

Yes, I do. I cannot disclose how substantial it is here because that is relative. However, I would say that when one has songs that are being streamed by a global audience, one is more likely to earn substantial royalty.

I never knew. I still don’t want to become an artiste. I am an artiste and I’m in the business of entertaining people. The currency is joy and the medium is art.

It has been grace. It started as something I enjoyed doing for myself and that gradually morphed into something I enjoy doing for others. Art is meant to be experienced and as long as I keep having new experiences, I would always find new ways to express them.

My sound is not just a sound; it is a feeling. And, that feeling is ‘joyful’. Music is a language of emotions. It is not about how many languages one can speak, it is more about what one is saying. Music is not really about how it sounds but how it feels.

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If love songs were not marketable, I think artists would have stopped singing them. If one outlines the biggest artists in Nigeria and their catalogues, one would see that they all have love songs as part of what made them ‘big’.

That would be service. When I try to do this for myself, I fall short of motivation, but when I think of the people I do it for, I feel the drive to push forward.

There are so many great artistes I would like to work with. For me, it is about the feeling, and not the sound. So, I love different genres of music and musicians.

That was exactly what I did. I articulated our demands to the security chiefs in person.

It can be very challenging to change a perception of one from the mind of someone that does not want that perception to change.

I would love to see more entertainers become more enlightened about how the business side of the industry actually works. I would also like to see more brand partnerships and endorsements.

I am a free-spirited soul; a bringer of light and goodness, just like my name, Akorede, implies.

That would be temporary separation from intimate relationships.

There are so many of them. But, one of the most memorable ones I heard was, “There were people before you and there will be people after you. It is what you do with the moment you have that matters the most”.

He had a huge impact on my career. One of the things I learnt from him is that if one really wants to grow, one has to be genuinely interested in helping other people grow.

For now, that is not where my head is at. There are so many other things we can do to grow the industry, and setting up another record label is not one of them.

I run a not-for-profit organisation called the Korede Bello Initiative. It was set up for the all round development and wellness of young people, with emphasis on mental health.

I would not use the word depressed. It would be more like seeking clarity because I have been at a place where I just did not understand what was happening and did not want to continue doing ‘the music thing’ anymore, especially because most people just want another hit song from one. They don’t really care about one as much as they think they do. It is a transactional relationship. I felt objectified that my perceived contribution as a human being and an artiste was limited to me having hit songs. I make different types of music for different types of audience because ‘art is relative’ but I guess some things may never change. Musicians are humans, not machines.

I don’t react to things; I respond. There is a verse in the Holy Bible that says, “Unless the Lord builds a house, the builders labour in vain. I have trust in God’s plan for me because He is the Master builder and orchestrator.

It depends on the type of energy it comes with. There are some things that are said that contain elements of truth but are not communicated properly, or with courtesy. In cases like that, I take what I need and leave the rest. I have also come to realise that if someone speaks to one with negative energy, it has nothing to with one. How one responds is up to one.

I can understand why some people do that. We are in a perception business. People pay one according to how valuable they perceive one to be. The challenge is to know when to apply wisdom. True value is not in how one appears but in what one personally believes about oneself.

My life is a story that is still unfolding. So, my only dream is to please God everyday as long as I am alive. Thankfully, there is more time to make that a reality.

Simple and sexy (laughs).

I would like to drop the habit of procrastination and master the habit of awareness— the ability to live in the moment and be satisfied with the will of God.