Music

Voices Of Music: Bella Alubo is back from her 9 month recording camp with a new solo EP

2018 is really about to end, it’s been super crazy for everyone especially the creatives, innovators, founders and anyone young and active involved in the scene of the new age across Africa.. If you put in the work this is the year the stars have begun aligning.

It’s also been much more positive for a lot of women across the creative scene who’ve typically faced a lot of patriarchy. We are big supporters of feminism in More Branches, so much so we began a series called #WomenInMusic in our music branch to help do our part in documenting the incredible female individuals across the music business. Putting a spotlight on on their story.

Mabel Oine Alubo popularly known as “Bella Alubo” was one of the artists we profiled for the series, for her career run as one of the young female rappers in Nigeria setting a path for women in African Hip-Hop. Though she doesn’t like being boxed as a rapper, the genre bending artist has been underground since the release of her last project which was a joint EP with former label mate Ycee, a project that helped sow her versatility and increase her growing fan base.

With humble beginnings as a small-town rapper in Jos, to recently announcing the release of her forthcoming 3rd solo EP titled “re-BELLA”, Bella Alubo has been hard at work.

She hosted an exclusive listening party for the new EP yesterday, and released a new single today all with the managing force of her new team The Zone Agency (Founded by renowned Talent Manager, A&R, Osagie Osarenkhoe), her fans can be rest assured she’s got a lot to still give.

This will be the second time we’re having you featured on our platform, what’s been going on with you? Where’s your mind at these days? You’ve been under the radar.

Bella Alubo: It’s good to lay low sometimes. helps with planning & strategising for perfect evil genius execution (haha). I pretty much was doing a recording camp for months & it’s been a little hard not to feel pressure from people wondering what’s been happening and wanting a new release but it meant people were waiting on my music & that’s great to know.

The last time we spoke you were working on your EP? How’s that going?

Bella Alubo: I was reviewing my 2018 goals I wrote down November 2017 & its amazing I get to cross out “release solo project”. Finishing my EP is definitely one of my biggest achievements this year. 7 songs with features from West, East and South Africa is a pretty strong statement if i do say so myself.

You got your big break as a signed under Tinny Ent, you’ve moved on from the platform since then, why? Any new deals in the works? 

Bella Alubo: One thing I can say about my journey since I ever got in a recording studio is that it has been an upward spiral of growth and blessings. I’m very fortunate to be where i am and I’m grateful to everyone who has played a role in one way or another.

Guests at Bella’s intimate listening party last night in Lagos.

We once spoke about the lack of female voices in the music scene, since our last conversation have you noticed any change? And what other fellow female musicians are you excited about?

Bella Alubo: Gender inequality is still very active & the effects of sexism are still prominent in all industries. I’d like to hope things are getting better though. I’m a huge fan of Kahlo & particularly excited about her because she gets to do music outside of the box & show there’s no limits to how big a Nigerian girl can dream while still being undeniably Nigerian. My last most exciting discovery was Tems. I love her voice and production. I also love what Lady Donli & her team are doing with the tours & organically building a fan base. Efe Oraka, GoodgirlLA, 234 Jayda, Waye, Temmie Ovwasa, Tomi Agape & Gigi Atlantis are artistes I’m really excited about as well. Plus the first artiste to “blow” in a while is a girl so I also love that lol. Teni’s success is a win for the girl power movement.

There’s been certain backlash on the unorthodox-ness of Alté music scene in Lagos, do you feel you’re part of this breakers of the norm and what would you say being Alté actually means as a creative in music?

Bella Alubo: I had a conversation with someone recently and told them that my conclusion is everyone is Alté (lol)… Everyone who has been able to define themselves brand wise & stand out with their sound. If there’s no replacement for you, you’re alté. Tiwa Savage is very alté and so is Odunsi & Asa, Seun Kuti, DRB & LOS, Wizkid & Wavy the creator. I saw this Ajebutter 22 tweet that said “somewhere between alté and commé” which I found super funny. some music enthusiasts think that the fact you’re commercial doesn’t mean you’re not alté & vice versa. you can be very unique without feeling bad for getting successful and being sellable & vice versa.

What’s been the most important lesson you’ve learnt thus far in your music journey? 

Bella Alubo: Self belief is a decision. Don’t wait till you achieve enough or till you’re big enough or till everyone loves you to believe. When your validation comes from inside you then nothing outside can make you doubt your aspirations. I’ve learnt that I’m honestly my biggest fan and it’s amazing to feel so sure about what i’ve chosen to do with my life. One of my favourite books says “most so-called failures are only temporary defeat.” when you know something is your destiny, you can never stop no matter what. Self belief has been my most important lesson.

As the year comes to an end, what can your fans expect in terms of shows, content and your plans for the new year?

Bella Alubo: Something else I crossed off my 2018 goals was “have an event”. the private listening for my re-Bella EP was my 1st ever event & it was amazing to see people come out for me. Release season is always exciting and I’m glad I get to share this with everyone.

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