November 29, 2021


documenting the nigerian story…

How Nigerian artistes can get more international collaborations – Bello Yusuf

No doubt, Nigerian music artistes have become the darlings of the world’s music and are presently enjoying international collaborations and are in fact in hot demand given the popularity of the Nigerian Afrobeat sound on the global stage. The Chief Executive Officer of Bellyflow Entertainment record label, Bello Adebowale Yusuf, believes Nigerian music stars can do more.

Davido, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Burna Boy and many others have taken their music to the global audience not only by the allure of their music but by collaborations who took their brand beyond the shores of the country. But collaborations don’t come on a platter of gold, there are things the artist must do to attract such success. Yusuf, in a chat with our reporter suggests ways an artiste can corner international partnership.

He said, “Just do good music, message in music doesn’t really matter to cut into international markets, good song productions help but good danceable music travels across borders with no visa.”

Continuing, he added, “They need to be more professional and develop a strong work ethic, very few artists have this. What in layman’s terms we refer to as hard work, in the industry is simply an artist exhibiting a very high level of professionalism in their career, and in instances like this we have seen “hard work” outshine talent. Artists also need to not only know the music, but also familiarize with the music business. They don’t need to be experts but know the basics, take courses and develop their music business acumen. To roll with the “big boys” requires the artist themselves to become some sort of “Person having ordinary skill in the art” to the music business. It’s a totally different playing ground out there than what we are used to here in Nigeria.”

Dousing the fears that most Nigerian music lack lyrical content and may soon be irrelevant on the world stage, the entertainment entrepreneur says Nigerian music lacking lyrical content does not affect its international appeal.

“Obviously, quality music is a prerequisite to more international collaborations, the message on the other hand has little to do with the music. We have seen people and even music professionals enjoy music they literally don’t understand the lyrics or what the artist is saying, but I think the message in this instance should be more about the emotions the artist transmit to his audience through his music, what his audience perceive when they listen to his music and really less about the fixation and use of those words that make up the lyrics,” he said.

In addition to being a prime record label, Bellyflow Entertainment also organises shows and events, all with the mission to connect celebrities and fans. Since 2015 when the label was established it has held many shows which have had many notable stars in attendance.