What is your name?
My name is Abiodun Bello, but most people know me as Mr Bello or just Bello.
Tell us a bit about yourself/background?
I am 100% Nigerian, I was partially raised and lived there for 10 years. Ever since I came from Nigeria in the 6th grade, I have only gone back to Nigeria once, which was in the 8th grade. Since then I have not been back there. I hope to go back soon. This experience of growing up both in Africa and the U.S. has made me more diversified and well rounded culturally and traditionally with both backgrounds.
When did you start doing music?
I started my music this year, around July/ August 2016. But I have been singing years ago, since childhood. I am self-taught. When I listen to music I just feel and enjoy it. My mom said I have been passionate about music since my childhood days, that I have always loved music.
How was the reaction/feedback from those around you (family/friends)?
The reaction I have received from most people is that they were surprised. Many did not know I was a singer. When I did the cover/re fix to One Dance by Drake; many were shocked because they did not know I sing and that it was really good. Some feedbacks I received were: keep being consistent, that I have a lot of potential, a great voice so I should push it forward. It was not just from people I was familiar with but strangers as well.
What inspires your art?
Love for music itself is what inspires me. The melody, the beat, the sound, gives me a great feeling. Music is a passion for me. I think of things other artist that have not done, and ways I could give a different perspective on it. In addition, music is something everyone can relate to. This is a commonality amongst the human race, a universal language some might say.
What is your favorite piece and why?
If you had to choose one song that resonates on a deeper level with you what would you choose? As times goes on, I have always had a different favorite song. So I cannot just choose one, my favorite music today might be different from my favorite music a week from now.
Who would you like to work with /who inspires you/ which artist do you admire?
I would like to work with a lot of different artists. I don’t just have one but a few if I had to say are: Chris Brown, Kanye West, Trey Songz, PND, The Weeknd Banky W, Wizkid, Brymo, Sean Tizzle and Yeanka. What inspires me is my daily life, what goes on in my life and what is in happening around me in the moment. So if I had to say who inspires me, I guess it would be me. I don't want to write about a fancy car or stuff I do not have. Things that are actually occurring in my life or related to my journey inspire me.
The artist that I admire
Afrobeat- Wizkid because he has a lot of drive, and knows good sound and music altogether. American R&B artist -Usher, since his youth, he has been passionate about music. He is a great musician and well rounded.
Pop Artist- Justin Bieber, mostly from his last album “Purpose.” That album has a lot of content, talking about his journey and life. I like music like that, music that talks about something deep. How people expect you to be, but who you really are, things like that are relatable.
My first goal was getting college out of the way, which I have done. I wanted to be well rounded and have a higher level of education before I fully pursued music. Also knowing Nigerian parents they wouldn’t want to hear otherwise. Education has helped me better my writing, vocabulary, choice of wording and structure when it comes to music writing. Now my main focus is on music 100% and also exploring the world, traveling.
What advice do you have for anybody out there who wants to be an artist like you?
My advice for anyone that wants to be an artist like me is to first off, know yourself! Know that this is what you want to do, know the skills that you need, and know your potential. You have to know that this is something you want to do 100 percent. Make sure you do not let anyone change your mind or make you weary in your decisions. Stand up and put your all into it, “go hard or go home.”
Take us through the journey of your first creation
My first official creation was my Single Ololufe. Megaboi brought up the idea, he was picking my brain about how I felt about music and what I wanted to do with it, because he had heard me sing and believe I’ve got what it takes to make it. But this didn’t happen until two years after. I wanted to finish school first, so when I finished college, we had spent hours together at his place just creating and vibing. He played me the beat and then he told me to freestyle to it. I heard the beat and the first thing that came to my head was the hook. “ Babygirl you're the one one I want, Babygirl you're the one I need, Ololufe me je ka lo......” After that hook everything flowed around it, I made it about myself, but also something of content that others could easily relate to.
What song/playlist am I most likely to hear on your iPod if I listened now?
Most likely to hear a song from the album Purpose by Justin Bieber or The Weeknd “Star Boy; or an afrobeat song; or sometimes hip hop. For example, if I am going to the gym I play hip-hop to put me in the mood. If I am heading to a Nigerian/African party then you’re more likely to hear afrobeat song being played by me. It all depends on the destination and the mood I am in that determines the song that gets played on my list
How do you balance your music and other obligations?
I have time for music and I have time for other stuff. I work and I also have a balanced system in which I make sure it all do not get intertwined.
Soundcloud: Mr Bello Music