One of the most essential aspects to grasp about Bella Alubo’s music and her artistic prowess is its sheer uniqueness. In an industry teeming with female vocalists who often share similar tones, Bella Alubo’s vocals truly set her apart. Yet, her distinctiveness isn’t limited to just her voice; it extends to her approach to music, erasing the fine lines between genres. With an exceptional ability for profound lyricism, Bella Alubo’s musical creations are veritable works of art that, if stumbled upon, prove to be pure gold.
I vividly recall encountering Bella Alubo’s music back in 2017, particularly the track “Radio” featuring Ycee. There was an undeniable joy encapsulated within her voice, carried by the melodies and imbued with rhythmic charm. Bella Alubo stands as a sonic virtuoso, poised to make a profound impact in the Nigerian music landscape. If you’re not yet aboard the Bella train, the question of “why” should undoubtedly resonate within your senses.
Bella Alubo is an artist who lets her music eloquently speak for itself. There’s no need for her to overtly showcase her prowess or musical embodiment—it’s evident in every project she releases. From “Re-Bella” to “Bella’s Buffet,” and now “Lagos 101,” her music encapsulates the entirety of the conversation surrounding her talent.
Her most recent masterpiece, “Lagos 101,” released this August, cements Bella’s wonder as a newfound anthem. The magic woven into the track-list traverses a myriad of themes, gracefully dancing on the borderlines of various sounds. The EP showcases her venturing into new sonic territories, further underlining her artistic evolution.
The shocker Bella Alubo delivers in “Lagos 101” featuring Falz leaves listeners unprepared. She delicately serenades the beat of the track with pidgin, embracing elements of amapiano. Through this track, she elegantly eulogizes the social state of Lagos, describing the city’s hustle and urging residents to “shine their eyes.” Falz’s contribution amplifies the track’s impact. Witnessing Bella’s fluidity on “Lagos 101,” as she navigates sliding percussions and frenetic melodies, is indeed a blissful experience.
After the breathtaking display of her versatility in the project opener, Bella Alubo reintroduces her signature sound in “Hold My Phone.” This track serves as a gentle reminder of her craft and showcases her velvety songwriting skills. Exploring her yearning for sanity and the cathartic power of music, Bella professes, “dance away my pains, dance away my tears, dance all night.” While the exact source of her emotions isn’t clear, the track’s message resonates unequivocally.
Bella’s hip-hop persona shines in “G.O.A.T,” where she collaborates with TY Dolla $ign and the late Notorious B.I.G. While maintaining her Afro-pop essence, she seamlessly merges with the American sound. The track presents a blend of collaborative styles that celebrate life and vibes, with the rappers delivering eloquent verses on the good life while Bella joyfully exclaims, “I’m so in love with the life.“
And Bella’s commitment to embracing life to the fullest remains steadfast. The dancehall-infused “Party Gyal” sees her navigating the beat with finesse, her impactful lines resonating powerfully.
Exploring themes of feminism, girl power, and unyielding strength, Bella Alubo channels her might in “Unstoppable.” The opening declaration, “not here for the peace, I came for the war,” reflects her fearless nature and offers insight into her imaginative realm.
Following this, “Critical” and “Talking” reveal her vulnerabilities, romantic side, and tender facets. In “Critical,” vulnerability intertwines with romance against an electric instrumental backdrop. “Talking,” arguably the album’s standout, exudes full-blown romantic aesthetics, with the beat’s suggestiveness anticipating Bella’s vocals.
The subsequent tracks, “Moonlight” and “Another Level,” encapsulate Bella’s quintessential essence, her immersion into the melodies captivating and enchanting.
The cruel truth about the gospel of Bella Alubo’s greatness is that it isn’t preached enough. And as the curtain falls on “Lagos 101,” remember that the ‘G’ in the icon’s title stands for ‘greatness.’