Jola Bello recently released a single titled 789.
Hi, JB! Can you tell us a bit about yourself? How are you coping with the lockdown?
Hi WTS. I woke up to these interview questions. I’m super elated to be on this platform, really! I am Jola Bello; singer, songwriter, and fashion enthusiast. Well, the lockdown has been meh but it’s been great on the other hand cause I’ve able to work effectively. I mean no one’s got an excuse not to get busy.
What was growing up like for you?
Growing up was super duper amazing. I wish I could be young again and literally enjoy the freedom from growing up,that nostalgia hits hard! I grew up in IBADAN, the city of brown roofs (the calmest city so far). Well, I’m the last of 5 girls. One interesting things about my childhood was that I was literally everyone’s favorite and I used to get away with everything. But now adulthood has set in ; you win some and mehhhh some!
What kind of music did you listen to, growing up?
I listened to a lot Adewale Ayuba, Kolington, Barry Wonder (Barrister), Wasiu Ayinde etc, thanks to my Papa and later in the early 2000s and late 90s I used to listen to a lot of Whitney Houston , Maria Carrie , Michael Jackson and Destiny Child , JLo with my sisters as music evolved.
Did your early music experiences influence you to start creating music?
Yes, I remember falling and bruising myself cause I wanted to get a dance move in my parlor just to entertain my family. Cause I listened to more of RnB, fuji, and highlife. I can see the reason why I can create genres like afro soul, trap soul, etc.
When did you start creating music? When did you start pursuing it professionally?
I started music back in 2017, and I didn’t know I was gonna make it a profession back then ’cause I literally started singing from a rhyme game with my friend “Wills”- he’s also an artist now. Well I started taking music seriously in 2018 when I dropped my first single on LOFN(1) playlist curated by WTS (oouuuu)!
Who & what inspires you to make music now?
My life experience inspires my music (cause I’m an happy child lol) , people around me,the culture of my people , I draw my inspiration from the Universe. You can call me the Vibe Queen… I listen to a lot of Asa , Fela , I sucker for reggae music ; I listen to a lot of Bob Marley, I’m a Burna Stan(the old burna), Wizkid fc for life , I love Tiwa Savage , Jhené Aiko.
Do you play any musical instruments? Can you produce and engineer yourself?
I neither play any musical instrument nor produce but I always make sure I’m involved in the production process of my sound on a hundred.
When you create, what’s your process like? What are some things you do to get into the zone to create?
I don’t need to get in any zone to make music, once I’m happy and at peace(good vibe/energy) I’d create magic!
Do you make music for yourself or does your audience influence your direction?
I basically do Afro soul, I’d love my music to make you FEEL, I want my music to make you feel whatever emotion it is… be it Happiness, sadness , anger etc cause emotions are what makes us human!
Have you ever performed on stage? How did it feel?
Yes I’ve performed on stage before; I performed at Max FM 102.3 FM, it was a freestyle show for emerging artist, and I also performed at TVC Wakeup Nigeria. And many more…
How is support from your family regarding your music?
My family has been supportive from the beginning even until now . I’m lucky to have them.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your career as an emerging artist?
The most challenging part of being an emerging artist is patience. As an emerging artist you know where you want your music to reach but there are barriers, promotion wise and etc.
Will you rather be independent or sign to a record label right now? Why?
Well if I come across a label that wants to invest in me, why not?! But until then, solo does it .
What have you learnt the most so far in your music and life journey?
You have to be on the move(growth) to achieve the goal , you can’t achieve anything being static. You have to learn and grow!
Many artists have distinctive visual brands. What would you say is your fashion style? Do you have a stylist?
My team and I, are presently working on that , I’m working with one of the coolest Celebrity Stylist “Michael Odyssey”. So that’s still under construction.
How frequently do you release music? What influences your decision on when to drop music?
Yes yes , more music is on the way . Proper planning propels dropping a project.
Any projects coming soon?
My last project was based on the fact that that track was single worthy ,and we felt like the audience would love it and we were right , cause it’s doing numbers . My next project is way better , I can hear growth from my latest works and I’m super excited about them.
If given the chance, would you: Reinvent the wheel or build a new chariot?
My next project is cocktail of the old Jola Bello and the newly invented Jola Bello.
What’s the goal for you? What would a successful career for you look like?
The goal is to carry the African/Nigerian sound to all the Nations of the World. I know a few of our indigenous artists are there and beyond, but it won’t hurt to have more of us in that spot!
Would you take a 9 to 5 job to supplement your income – do you currently have a job – or do you do music full-time?
I have a business of my own that I run along side music .
Where can people reach you on all platforms?
You can reach me on ; IG: @jola_bello , Twitter: @Bae_loo , Facebook: @JolaBello, Email: Mojolaoluwabello@gmail.com.