TY Bello

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TY Bello
Ty Bello talking iconic photography Nov 2017.png
TY Bello in 2017
Background information
Birth name Toyin Shokefun
Born 14 January
Ogun State, Nigeria[1]
Genres Gospel
  • Singer-songwriter
  • photographer
  • philanthropist
Years active 2003–present
Associated acts
Website tybello.com

Toyin Sokefun-Bello (born 14 January), better known as TY Bello, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, photographer and philanthropist.[2] Prior to pursuing a solo career, she was a member of the defunct gospel band Kush. TY Bello is also a member of the Nigerian photography collective, Depth of Field.[3] She is best known for her singles "Greenland", "Ekundayo", "This Man", "Freedom" and "Funmise".

Life and career[edit]

TY Bello was born in Ogun State. She attained a degree in economics from the University of Lagos. She briefly practiced journalism and eventually ventured into photography.[4] TY Bello emerged onto Nigeria's musical landscape as a member of the defunct group Kush, an acronym for Kinetically Ushering Salvation into Hearts and Homes. Other members of the group included Lara George, Dapo Torimiro and rapper Emem Ema. Kush gained popularity in the early 2000s with the single "Let's Live Together"; the group managed to release an album before disbanding.[5] TY Bello was the official photographer to former President Goodluck Jonathan during his tenure in office; she also does work for Thisday fashion magazine.[6]

"Art is about collecting experiences and expressing them. For me music and photography are similar art forms. I collect experiences, stir them in myself and express it in my own language. Just like my photography, music is my language."[2]

-TY Bello, speaking about her photography and music


In 2008, TY Bello released her debut studio album Greenland. It was produced by Mosa Adegboye and took two years to develop. The album earned her a Nigeria Music Award as well as a Sound City Award. TY Bello describes the album as a journey of her everyday life. The music of Greenland embodies the themes of love, family and nation. The album's title track is an inspirational song written to motivate Nigerians to liberate themselves from a place of despair, to a place of hope.[7]

2011–13:The Future, The Jubilee Collection and anti-rape campaign[edit]

TY Bello first revealed plans about her second studio album, The Future, while speaking to Ariya Today.[8] The album was originally slated for a 2011 release, and was ranked 12th on Nigerian Entertainment Today's list of the 12 Albums To Buy In 2011.[9] The singer said she worked with producer Mosa and recorded the album in a few months.[8] On 19 February 2011, TY Bello released "The Future" as the lead single from the album of the same name.[10] The song urges Nigerian youth to be the change they seek. The music video for the song, directed by Kemi Adetiba, was released on 3 April 2011; it features cameo appearances from Tara Fela-Durotoye, Sound Sultan, Chude Jideonwo and Banky W.[11][12] Ore Fakorede gave the song a rating of 7 out of 10 stars, adding that its "soft tribal drums, synths and a piano provide a vivid backdrop for TY to contrast her unmistakable voice against, and this she does brilliantly, bringing the poignancy in the song’s lyrics to life."[13] Dapo Osewa of Sahara Reporters described the video as "a narrative in itself that dares to capture the varying and boundless composition of emotion that is the face of the Nigerian."[14] Makeup brand House of Tara launched The Jubilee Collection, a limited edition line of makeup inspired by TY Bello's "The Future" single.[15]

In October 2011, TY Bello was one of the celebrities featured in an eight-minute anti-rape video compiled by the Nigerian Ministry of Youth Development. The anti-rape video shed light on the victim of a gang rape at Abia State University in September 2011.[16] In December 2013, TY Bello released her single "Yahweh" featuring Wale Adenuga. The song features additional vocals from Nwando Okeke and Mosa. The first line of the song was written in 2004 during a photo-shoot.[17]

2014:The Morning Songbook[edit]

On 10 October 2014, TY Bello released her third studio album, The Morning Songbook, for free digital download via SoundCloud.[18] It was released without any promotion and comprises 10 tracks, including "Yahweh", "Thirsty" and "Jesu Jesu". The album features collaborations with M Sugh and Fela Durotoye.[19] Udochukwu Ikwuagwu of the Breaking Times gave the album a rating of 7 out of 10, while stating that it is "a well composed album though the themes seem (-ed) ‘all-familiar’. TY Bello and Mosa deserve credit for the superb songwriting and production employed on this. At times, the vocal performance was bolstered by emotions rather than actual dexterity but the ease deployed by the back-up choristers made this ignorable. This project is one worth every dime even though it was given free; this project is one that will endure for a long while."[20]

2016: Tinie Tempah and a discovery[edit]

Bello was working in Lagos where she was creating a photo shoot for the British rapper Tinie Tempah. She later discovered that there was a remarkable looking woman in the background. In an attempt to find Olajumoke Orisaguna she arranged for her Orisaguna's picture to appear on the cover of Style magazine.[21]

Humanitarian work[edit]

TY Bello organizes an annual photography exhibition to raise funds for orphans in Nigeria. She is also the director of Link-a-child, an NGO dedicated to proliferating information on orphanages in Nigeria and seeking sponsorship on their behalf.[7] In July 2011, TY Bello was honored by the non-profit Communication For Change organization in a five-part documentary film series titled RedHot.[22]

Personal life[edit]

TY Bello married Kashetu Bello in 2009. The couple gave birth to twin boys named Christian and Christopher on 10 October 2014, which coincidentally marked the release of The Morning Songbook.[23][24]


  • Greenland (2008)
  • The Future (2011)
  • The Morning Songbook (2014)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Soundcity Music Video Awards
Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2009 "Ekundayo" Best Female Video Won [25]
Nigeria Entertainment Awards
Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2008 Herself Best New Act of the Year Won [26]
The Headies
Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2008 Herself Recording Artiste of the Year Nominated [27]
Hip Hop World Revelation of the Year Nominated
TY Bello for "Ekundayo" Best Vocal Performance (Female) Nominated
TY Bello & Abbey for "Greenland" Best Music Video (Director) Nominated
Creative Industry Awards
Year Nominee/work Award Result Ref
2013 Herself Visual Arts Nominated [28]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Funmi, Johnson. "I Derive Joy Working With Orphanages ...Toyin Shokefun Bello (TY Bello)". Nigeria Films. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Jennifer, Nkem-Eneanya (25 July 2013). "TY Bello; Speaking Hope through Music & Pictures". Konnect Africa. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  3. ^ Gausi, Tamara. "10 Nigerian iconographers you oughta know". AfriPop. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  4. ^ "TY Bello's Biography & Updated profile – Latest Albums & Songs of TY Bello - Recent Pictures & Videos of TY Bello". Pulse. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  5. ^ "TY Bello returns to stage after 7yrs". Vanguard. 28 May 2011. Retrieved 5 December 2014. 
  6. ^ "TY Bello's Biography & Updated profile – Latest Albums & Songs of TY Bello - Recent Pictures & Videos of TY Bello". Pulse. 28 April 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "TY Bello Biography". One Cubed. Retrieved 11 January 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Adelekan, Tayo. "More On TY Bello's Forthcoming Album". Ariya Today. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  9. ^ Fawunmi, Tomiwa (16 January 2011). "12 Albums To Buy In 2011". Nigerian Entertainment Today. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  10. ^ "BN Exclusive – WORLD PREMIERE: Ty Bello returns to music with "The Future"". Bellanaija. 19 February 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  11. ^ Collins, Tadeniawo (3 April 2011). "Video Premiere: 'The Future' – TY Bello". Nigeria Entertainment Today. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  12. ^ "New Video: The Future by TY Bello (Featuring cameos from Fela Durotoye, Chude Jideonwo, others)". CP-Africa. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  13. ^ Fakorede, Ore (4 April 2011). "Video Review: TY Bello delivers The Future". YNaija. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  14. ^ Osewa, Dapo (24 April 2011). "TY Bello's The Future Is Here ( We are Nigeria ) But What Kind Of Future ?". Sahara Reporters. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  15. ^ "House of Tara introduces "The Jubilee Collection" inspired by Ty Bello". Bellanaija. 15 March 2011. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  16. ^ Lawal, Seyi. "We stand as one! Youth Minister, TY Bello, Ebuka, others record anti-rape video". YNaija. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  17. ^ "TY-Bello Back with New Single!". Daily Times of Nigeria. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  18. ^ "SURPRISE! Download TY Bello's New Album – "The Morning Song Book" for FREE". Bellanaija. 10 October 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  19. ^ Showemimo, Dayo (10 October 2014). "TY Bello drops 3rd studio album". Nigeria Entertainment Today. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  20. ^ Ikwuagwu, Udochukwu (28 October 2014). "ALBUM REVIEW: THE MORNING SONGBOOK – TY BELLO". Breaking Times. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  21. ^ A woman selling bread got a modelling contract by accidentally photobombing Tinie Tempah, 11 February 2016, Scott, Metro, Retrieved 25 February 2016
  22. ^ "Stephanie Okereke, Cobhams, TY Bello & others honoured by Communication for Change". YNaija. 11 July 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2015. 
  23. ^ Odulaja, Adedayo (12 October 2014). "Breaking: TY Bello delivers twin boys after 9 years of marriage". Nigerian Entertainment Today. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  24. ^ "TY Bello Welcomes Twin Boys". Channels TV. 13 October 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  25. ^ "Soundcity Music Video Awards 2009 – Nominees". Bellanaija. 9 July 2009. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 
  26. ^ "Nigeria Entertainment Awards 2008, Top 7 Moments + Brilliant Looks, Artists & Winners!". Ladbrille Magazine. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  27. ^ "Glitz and Flaws of HHWA 2008". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 11 March 2014. 
  28. ^ Enengedi, Victor (22 February 2013). "Ben Bruce, TY Bello, Basketmouth, others for Creative Industry Awards". Nigerian Entertainment Today. Retrieved 14 February 2015. 

External links[edit]