Korede Bello is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. He is best known for his breakthrough single, ‘Godwin,’ that became a rage in Nigeria and in other countries. Associated with ‘Mavin Records,’ the biggest record label in the country, Korede infuses gospel-like sounds with pop tunes and creates an interesting fusion. Born and raised in Lagos, Korede inherited his love for music from his parents, who were ardent music lovers. By the time he was 7 years old, he had already started performing on stage as “African Prince.” Everybody who listened to him knew that he was destined to be a big star. In February 2014, Korede released his debut single, ‘African Princess,’ which became a major hit. Inspired by the success of his debut effort, Korede became increasingly active on the musical front and released more songs. He also worked solo and earned a highly respectable status among his fans. His biggest song, ‘Godwin,’ has earned him many awards and nominations at various Nigerian music award functions.
Childhood & Early Life
Korede Bello was born on February 29, 1996, in Lagos State, Nigeria, to middle-class Nigerian parents. He was the second child in the family and grew up with an elder brother and a younger sister. His younger sister, Jasmine Bello, was also interested in music and followed in the footsteps of her elder brother.
Both of Korede’s parents were ardent music lovers, and both followed two broadly different forms of music. This gave a young Korede access to a wide range of music.
While his mother was fond of foreign music, his father was more inclined toward native African music. His was an ardent Christian family, and that led Korede to become accustomed to listening to gospel songs every now and then. This helped shape his career later on.
When he was a kid, his parents noticed that their son wasinclined toward music. Thus, they supported him wholeheartedly. He was given a guitar, and his father paid for his music lessons. This was something extraordinary for a middle-class Nigerian child, as most of the families around him focused only on their children’s academic goals.
While his family supported him, Korede started making music at the age of 7. His neighborhood was not ideal, so Korede was not allowed to stay at the studio at night. It was also difficult for him to manage his education with his passion.
Once he earned his high-school degree, he joined the ‘Nigerian Institute of Journalism,’ where he studied mass communication. He then earned a ‘Higher National Diploma’ certificate.
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Blessed with a natural flair for music, Korede started making music at a tender age. He was 7 years old when he officially started working on his music at a recording studio. He was in primary school when he started his own band, along with a few of his classmates.
Simultaneously, he continued to perform on stage. He assumed the pseudonym “African Prince” and released his first-ever song, ‘Forever.’ He performed the song at several events and gained a lot of appreciation.
When he grew into a teenager, he drew major inspiration from African musicians such as Asa and 2face Idibia. His single ‘Forever’ became a hit on social media and was noticed by popular Nigerian music producer Don Jazzy. Don was instantly charmed by Korede’s strong hold on music and singing.
Don invited Korede to join his musical crew, ‘The Mavins,’ and when Don pushed the label ‘Mavin Records,’ Korede was offered a contract to work with them. He changed his name back from “African Prince” to “Korede Bello” when Don advised him to do so.
He signed the deal with ‘Mavin Records’ on February 28, 2014, and soon released his song ‘African Princess.’ The song was highly adored by his fans and gained more than half a million “views” on ‘YouTube.’ It was his solo offering, and its success brought him recognition.
Korede’s second official song, ‘Dorobucci,’ was a collaborative work with the other crew members from ‘The Mavins.’ The song was released in May 2014 and earned highly positive reviews from both critics and listeners. The music video for the song, however, was a mixed affair. While some critics loved it, others rejected it.
The song was nominated for ‘The Headies’ and the ‘Nigeria Entertainment Awards.’ It won the ‘Best Pop Single’ award at ‘The Headies’ in 2014.
The next song, ‘Adaobi,’ was released a few weeks after the release of ‘Dorobucci.’ This song was also produced by the entire crew and although it was less successful than its predecessor, it proved that Korede had made his mark as a talented young musician.
On August 15, 2014, Korede released a solo single titled ‘Cold Outside,’ which turned out to be a moderate success. By the end of the year, a few more songs were released, as Korede continued climbing the stairs of fame and name.
In January 2015, Korede’s life turned around completely. His breakthrough solo song, ‘Godwin,’ was released under ‘Mavin Records.’ While Korede himself handled the lyrics, the production, and the main vocals, Don was invited to provide background vocals to the song.
The song had gospel-like sounds mixed with contemporary pop sounds. The lyrics talked about how Korede was a religious man and attributed all his success to God. The music video of the song garnered more than a million views within the first week of its online release on ‘YouTube.’
In early 2017, Korede announced his debut studio album, ‘Belloved.’ The album was a critical and commercial success. Korede soon became the most popular male singer from Nigeria in the recent times.
Awards & Honors
Korede Bello’s most successful single to date has been ‘Godwin,’ which has earned him many awards and nominations. At the 2015 ‘Nigeria Entertainment Awards,’ the song was nominated for the ‘Hottest Single of the Year’ award. It won the ‘Best Song of the Year’ award at the ‘Golden Icons Academy Movie Awards’ in 2014. The song has also won awards at ‘The Headies’ and at the ‘Nigeria Music Video Awards.’
In 2016, he won the ‘City People Entertainment Award’ for the ‘Pop Artiste of the Year.’
Korede Bello has been romantically linked with several women over the course of his career. Tiwa Savage, Zahra, and DJ Cuppy have been some of his close friends.
Korede is a religious man and has been the same way since his younger days. He gives the credit of his success to God and to his parents.