Korede Bello’s strength lies in his seeming 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 is being 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. Is the singer truly a star? Being a star is a relative term. For Korede Bello, the key determinant factor is the demography. Korede Bello’s stardom is divided along a demographic line, hitting its peak in the teenage age bracket. Teenagers love Korede Bello. They love his songs, his page, his curly hair, his boyish smile, his flashy outfits, his grooming and everything about him. That’s why he has over a million followers on Instagram. You can regard him right now as the Harry Styles of Nigeria. The One Direction star shares many attributes with Korede Bello, and he is a hit among teenagers. If Korede Bello were to have a show in a University Campus, he will be a phenomenon. But on stage at a party packed with CEOs? He’ll be ordinary. On the music end, Korede Bello is yet to convince. ‘Godwin’ still remains his only true hit song, with ‘Romantic’ still sputtering but unable to make a loud bang. Other songs ‘African Princess’, and ‘Cold Outside’ failed to spark. Although he had some personal success with ‘Somebody’, a collaboration with Asa. ‘Mungo Park’, his latest single, is yet to hit the radar. The singer’s marketing has helped push his music failings on the backburner. Mavin Records have a well-oiled PR and branding machinery that has the power to turn dust to stardust. Korede Bello’s strengths in many areas has made him a relative star, and although the volume of music he has in his discography can’t support that, the emotion he whips via technology and branding is an asset. A star can’t survive on branding alone (except you are D’banj). He has to possess substance to back that claim. The branding works with the music, acting as a marketing tool to sell the product. Without that, the center cannot hold and things will fall apart.
KOREDE BELLO – ‘MUNGO PARK