Korede Bello is the fresh-faced Nigerian singer who burst onto the scene with, ‘Godwin,’ a pseudo-gospel number in 2015. His personality was firmly woven into his intersectional music and its appeal to women. As you know, whatever women and trendy youth endorse in any music industry flies.
Korede Bello, then a 19-year-old instrumentalist became a star with a smash hit under his belt. But as the days rolled into years, he subtly struggled to match the shock value of 'Godwin' and it didn't help that his debut album was not universally acclaimed. Yet, he still had popular songs like 'Romantic,' 'Do Like That' and 'Butterfly.'
He kept making music, but Nigerians were not just paying attention as he completed his education and tried to find his balance once again. The music remained true to his identity and even commendable and ambitiously aimed to match his growth - from a fresh-faced teenager adorned by young women into a young man who has started to experience life.
Songs like the amazing, ‘Mr. Vendor’ and the underwhelming, ‘Bless Me’ were part of a number of releases, but their lack of impact is underlined in how Nigerians have wrongly tagged his more impactful 2020 songs, ‘a comeback.’ He never left.
With a more avant-garde brand in looks, fashion choices and even topical conversations, Korede Bello gallantly returned to his AfroR&B, love-themed roots and the pseudo-gospel sounds on, Table For Two EP.
The result is the viral Dancehall-Fusion single, ‘Mi Casa, Su Casa’ which women have accepted like premium Brazilian weaves on its way to social media success. While the song is aesthetically dreamy, with a lovey dovey hue, Bello brilliantly infused it with sexual innuendos to underscore his current standing.
Before then, he had released ‘Sun Momi,’ a guitar-based AfroR&B number that should have been marketed as a theme for weddings and valentine’s day. After initially sailing under the radar, the song has started to find its way into people’s hearts after the success of, ‘Mi Casa, Su Casa.’
If ‘Sun Momi’ is more Nigerian in lingo and African drum patterns, ‘Hey Baybe’ initially feels like a cut from early 2000s American male pop music until we hear the ‘Nigerianism’ in its hook. Its drum patterns then descend into the world of Nigerian folk as Bello makes solemn promises that could transform the wicked heart of a Yoruba demon or an Igbo woman.
‘Morire’ might be a good song, but it also seems like an attempt at recreating the avant-garde drum-based, pseudo-gospel smash hit that was, ‘Godwin’ with another record from the same cloth. Only time will tell if it was a good decision, but it also shows that a section of Korede Bello’s mind is frozen in time and he needs to melt that ice.
‘Table For Two’ sounds like ‘Oni Loni’Nje,’ the ID Cabasa produced song from 9ice’s debut album, Little Money. The difference is that ‘Table For Two’ is an adulation of a woman whom Bello wants to buy the entire Dubai, aboard rich guitars and Afro-swing percussion.
Korede Bello is not a kid anymore and this EP appropriately captures his growth, his understanding of what’s important to his music and what fans might want from him. He canoodles his amorous deliveries with gentle sonic palms and impressive songwriting and great production.
What Rexxie did on the ‘Morire’ beat - especially with that Yoruba Nollywood-inspired flute - has this writer’s heart like Igbo women usually do. Nonetheless, Korede Bello might have to accept the fact that Table For Two EP might not break through to the mainstream because some people will deem it a topical cliche.
To others, it will lack the required pop edge for acceptance. But regardless, it all depends on how MAVIN brands this EP. With good branding that reflects the target market of this EP, the lack of mainstream explosion of this EP won’t matter. But with derisory branding, conversations will be based around its aesthetical flaws of this EP.
Nonetheless, Table For Two will do more benefit than harm to Bello’s 2020 reps to fans who actually play this EP. Already, Bello has been one of Nigeria’s hottest artists of 2020 (so far) and that fact continues to sail under the radar. It’s up to him and MAVIN to work on amplifying that with more visibility. That cover art is not good enough though.
• 0-1.9: Flop
• 2.0-3.9: Near fall
• 4.0-5.9: Average
• 6.0-7.9: Victory
• 8.0-10: Champion
Pulse Rating: /10
Tracklist and Sequencing: 1.6/2
Content, Themes and Delivery: 1.8/2
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.7/2
8.5 - Champion