Abiola Ahmed Akinbiyi, 26 year old Okokomaiko, Lagos based Afrobeats singer popularly known as Bella Shmurda, had always believed he is a formidable force within the soundscape. And it has been what he manifests. Coming to limelight with the Olamide assisted “Vision 2020” prior to the COVID-19 pandemic breakout.
Bella’s rise at the time was fresh. He unleashed powerful street oriented singles and several projects that mirrored street life. His debut track, became like a revelation crowned from the records tag. From all the next year unfolded, it is satisfying to call those moments mysterious relating it with his spectacular talents. Bella’s vocal had been applauded by Big Wiz, one of the greatest Afrobeats star in his generation.
Bella Shmurda was like a prophet, although he didn’t spoke specifically that Nigerians would be encamped in lock down at the time. Nevertheless, thoughtful people felt something strange during and after the COVID-19 era. Also, Nigeria’s corruption hiked after he released his debut single with the street maestro Olamide. Recall, that it was in May 2019, his excellency Muhammadu Buhari was re-elected and inaugurated for a second term to rule Nigerians into their worst night mare. As funny as it has become, Bella Shmurda, saw it coming before this moment.
He created easy to groove songs and saccharine-like club bangers which Nigerians held unto in their tumultuous days. Days, where the prices of products were on the spike within the country. Atleast, young Bella Shmurda saw those caked hardship coming, and he was able to make records that made happy moments for Naija people. Songs that kept everyones foothold firm. Atleast, as some of you youths were able to rock in reckless abandon leaving your troubles and pain behind for the moment before sinking down with them after those cherished weekends.
Bella Shmurda saw those moments coming. So he made songs average Nigerians could engage with instead of slowly drenching in their pain and sorrow. A track like “Cash App,” though it glorified fraud yet it propelled us to rock our pain away. “Rush,” expected that you become carefree whether in the presence or absence of detractors. Bella, fueled the clubs with several endearing records untill now that he currently explores a new state of mind which reflects being the new born Fela.
Showing a genuine and enriched artistic prowess and powerful dynamism. On Hypertension, a debut project after releasing quite a number of projects, he tours ultimate freedom and appreciates his true self. A star studded album casting back his life, love, women, his city, the fandom, hedonism and everything in between. Bella Shmurda, adores that current frame of mind. While he went and made more favorite songs for revelers to bask in glee and happiness.
Bella’s present state of mind is freedom. However, this freedom has been what clutters the life of the Afrobeat(s) legend without the “s” pioneer Fela Kuti.
Right from the heavy conscious music he creates to how he fashions himself shamelessly. Bella Shmurda, acquires a style from the legend that has no interest in what others may say or do; whether you appreciate that style or not he is killing it confidently. He proclaims that he is the new born Fela, ofcourse not portending all that Fela Kuti has established for the culture — He is only administering something fresher and being himself in between from his style and fashion sensibilities.