by Ore Fakorede
She takes breathtaking pictures. She sings like her life depends on it. Photographer/music artiste TY Bello is one of those wonderwoman types, hiding a potent mix of talents under her girl-next-door facade. Formerly a member of contemporary Christian girl-group Kush along with R&B artiste Lara George and rapper Emem Ema, TY Bello struck out on her own after the group split in 2004. In 2006, ‘Greenland’, an inspirational song from her eponymous debut album was arguably Nigeria’s new national anthem. The song literally rocked the airwaves, mobile phones and car decks across the nation. As the buzz surrounding the release of ’Greenland’ died down to a quiet murmur, TY slipped into her stately photographer leotard and walked off the music scene with her head held high.
After a five-year hiatus, TY Bello returns via ‘The Future’, an aptly-titled single. Following in the footsteps of Omolara Ayodele’s ‘Transformation’, ‘The Future’ brings a message of hope and revival to Nigerians as we go to the polls this month. The song’s 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. Maverick producer M.O.S.A (Mosa Adegboye) lends the guiding hand that was so heavy on the ‘Greenland’ album to ‘The Future’.
The song gets top marks, but without an accompanying video the job would have only been half-done.
In steps fast-rising director Kemi Adetiba (Wizkid’s ‘Tease Me’ music video) who, frankly, has missed more times than she has hit. But in a sharp contrast to the irregularities in her prior work, Kemi smashes the ball way out of the park with ‘The Future’. With more creative intelligence than seen in the dark ‘Tease Me’ video, Kemi Adetiba opts for sun-lit sets and a proper script. The video is rightly people-oriented, driven by cameos from notable Nigerians including Chude Jideonwo and Adebola Williams of The Future Nigeria Project, artistes Sound Sultan, Banky W and Darey as well as motivational speakers Fela Durotoye and Lanre Olusola who inspired the song.
At the core of on-screen events, a lightly-dressed TY Bello makes her way through the streets, and her progress is hindered at junctures by clever personifications of the problems that have plagued Nigeria. TY is quite the actress, doing well to express the appropriate emotions without words. With placards being toted, signs being posted and words often emblazoned over pictures, the video sometimes gets too busy for two eyes to follow. All is for a good cause though, as the message – that we Nigerians are much better than we have been told – is driven home at point-blank range. Without dousing us with the fuel of political propaganda, TY Bello manages to get everyone all fired-up about the fatherland. Now we all can stand up and vote for The Future.
Click Here To Watch The Video