Abiola Ahmed Akinbiyi (born 27 January 1996),[1] known professionally as Bella Shmurda,[2] is a Nigerian singer and songwriter from Ikorodu, Lagos.[3][4] He rose to prominence in 2019 with the release of the song "Vision 2020", and a follow-up remix which featured Nigerian rapper Olamide.[5][6] He is also the leader of Dangbana Republik; a collective of creatives in Lagos providing community and humanitarian contributions.[7]

Bella Shmurda
Background information
Birth nameAbiola Ahmed Akinbiyi
Born (1996-01-27) 27 January 1996 (age 27)
Ikorodu, Lagos, Nigeria
GenresAfrobeats, Afro-fusion, World
Occupation(s)Singer and Songwriter
LabelsDangbana Republik

Early life and career edit

Bella Shmurda hails from a polygamous family in Ikorodu and is the last child from a family of 10 children. His journey in arts began in his early days through being a part of his elementary school band and cultural dance troupe. He had his early days in Ikorodu, proceeded to have his secondary school studies in Badagry, and earned a bachelor's degree in History and International Relations from Lagos State University.[8]

He gained public attention after his debut single "Vision 2020", caught the interest of Nigerian rapper Olamide who did a follow-up remix of the song.[9] Poco Lee, who is a dancer and close friend to Bella Shmurda made a video with the song which made it viral and earned the interest of Olamide who invited the latter over to his studio for a remix. The support Bella Shmurda got encouraged him to release his first EP "High Tension" in January 2020.[10]

He released several other songs in 2020 that emphasized his art in afrobeats, one of which he featured rapper Zlatan, titled "Cash App".[11] In 2020, he was nominated for the Next Rated Award at The Headies 2020.[12] He won the awards "Next Rated Male" and "Street Music of the Year" at the City People Entertainment Awards, and was also nominated for the "Revelation of the Year" Award Category in 2020.[13]

In 2021, at the Global Music Awards Africa which held virtually in Ghana, he won two award categories, Global Collaboration of the Year and Global Most Popular Song of the Year.[14]

Also in 2021, he was the only Nigerian beneficiary among twenty-seven acts, across fourteen countries who were inducted into the YouTube Foundry Programme facilitated annually by YouTube Music[15] to access and leverage resources aimed at artistes development to launch their music to a wider reach globally, create greater impact and promote a broad spectrum of musical heritage.[16]

Following his breakout in the Afrobeat music industry in 2021, Bella Shmurda got featured in an Episode on the African music interview series "This is Africa" facilitated by BBC.[17] Also, in 2021, Bella Shmurda was nominated for the "Next Rated" award at the Headies Awards.[18] In June 2021, his single, "Cash App" featuring Zlatan and Lincoln was nominated for "Most Played Song - Street Pop" at the NET Honours.[19]

Bella Shmurda made his debut performance at The O2 Arena in the United Kingdom, as a guest performer at Wizkid's, Made in Lagos Concert in November 2021.[20][21]

By March 2023, he released his first single of the year, "Ara (Gen Gen Tin)" after his album project rollout.[22] His single "Philo" which featured Omah Lay was released off his debut album "Hypertension" in October 2022 and has received some attention globally causing South African rapper Nasty C make a remix of the song which dropped in March 2023.[23] For his third release of the year, he collaborated with Tiwa Savage on a single titled "NSV" which dropped in May 2023 and was produced by Krizbeatz.[24]

Philanthropy through Dangbana Republik edit

In October 2021, Bella Shmurda reacted to a viral video of a pre-schooler performing a song by Olamide and himself titled “Triumphant” off Olamide's “Carpe Diem” Album, by choosing to sponsor the kid with an elementary school scholarship. This scholarship came into effect in November 2021.[25]

Also on his birthday in January 2022, he declared that through his collective, he would begin a programme to feed a thousand destitute persons in the Ojo community where he grew up every year on his birthday.[26]

Discography edit

EPs and Album edit

Year Title Tracks
2020 High Tension (EP)[27][28]
  1. Ginger Me (Intro)
  2. Omnipotent
  3. Liquor
  4. Sho mo mi
  5. Amope
  6. Vision 2020
  7. Upgrade
2021 High Tension 2.0 (EP)[29][30][31]
  1. Out There
  2. World
  3. Soldier Go
  4. Far Away
  5. Lako
  6. Rush
  7. Party Next Door
  8. Champion
2022 Hypertension (Album)[32][33]
  1. New Born Fela
  2. Ase
  3. Contraband
  4. Loose It ft. Simi
  5. Oh Oh Oh
  6. Converse ft. Phyno
  7. Fire
  8. Lagos City
  9. Level Up
  10. Philo ft Omah Lay
  11. Nakupenda ft BackRoad Gee,Not3s,L.A.X
  12. No Other ft. Victony
  13. Man of the Year
  14. Addicted
  15. So Cold ft. Popcaan

Singles edit

Year Song Title Producer Album
2019 Vision 2020 ID Cabasa
2019 Upgrade
2019 Only You BYLinx
2020 Omnipotent Saint Khor High Tension EP
2020 Sho Mo Mi High Tension EP
2020 Dangbana Orisa[34] Rexxie
2020 Cash App Dopestiks
2021 Rush LarryLanes High Tension 2.0 EP
2021 World SB tha Producer High Tension 2.0 EP
2021 So Cold ft. Popcaan[35] Linton White Hypertension (Album)
2021 No Caution ft. Seyi Vibez LarryLanes
2021 Party Next Door Vibez Ace
2022 My Friend Niphkeys
2022 Many Things Fancybeats
2022 Fvck Off Niphkeys & LarryLanes
2022 New Born Fela Fancybeats Hypertension (Album)
2022 Philo ft. Omah Lay[36] Krizbeatz Hypertension (Album)
2023 Philo Remix ft. Nasty C[37] Krizbeatz
2023 NSV ft. Tiwa Savage[38] Krizbeatz

Featured In edit

Year Title Producer Album
2020 "Triumphant" (featuring Olamide)[39][40] Carpe Diem
"Fade Away" (featuring Davido) A Better Time
2021 "Jackpot" (featuring Crayon)[41] Twelve A.M
"Back 2 Back" (featuring Rexxie)[42]
2023 "DOG EAT DOG II" (Odumodublvck featuring Cruel Santino, and Bella Shmurda) TBA

Awards and nominations edit

Year Event Category Nomination Result Ref
2020 City People Entertainment Awards Revelation of the Year "Self" Nominated [43]
Next Rated (Male) "Self" Won [43]
Street Music of the Year "Cash App" featuring Zlatan and Lincoln Won [43]
The Headies Next Rated "Self" Nominated [44]
2021 Net Honours Most Played Street Hop Song "Cash App" featuring Zlatan and Lincoln Nominated [45]
AFRIMMA Best Collaboration "Cash App" featuring Zlatan and Lincoln Nominated [46]
Gbedu Music Awards Artiste of the Year "Self" Won [47]
The Headies Next Rated "Self" Nominated [48]
2022 The Headies Best Street Hop Artiste "Self" Nominated [49]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Sare, Watimagbo (2 October 2022). "Bella Shmurda's Mom Says A Prayer For Him On His 25th Birthday". YouTube.com. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
  2. ^ "BELLA SHMURDA- THE BUILDUP TO HIGH TENSION". Guardian. 11 July 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  3. ^ "I was enrolled into Tailoring - Bella Shmurda". Vanguard. 28 July 2021. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
  4. ^ "Bella Shmurda serves new sophomore EP, 'High tension2.0'". Daily Trust. 9 July 2021. Retrieved 25 September 2021.
  5. ^ Olowolagba, Fikayo (26 January 2022). "I don't regret dumping LASU for music - Bella Shmurda". Daily Post Nigeria.
  6. ^ Mudasiru, Wisdom (16 January 2023). "9 Times An Olamide Assist Propelled A Rising Star". The Culture Custodian (Est. 2014.).
  7. ^ "Bella Shmurda explores humanitarian side with Dagbana Republik". The Nation. Retrieved 12 April 2023.
  8. ^ Editor, Guest (14 March 2022). "PAUSE MEETS: Bella Shmurda". PAUSE Online | Men's Fashion, Street Style, Fashion News & Streetwear. {{cite web}}: |last1= has generic name (help)
  9. ^ Alake, Olumide (8 January 2023). ""Anything good takes time": Bella Shmurda on how he started making music at 13". Legit.ng - Nigeria news.
  10. ^ "Bella Shmurda's Rise to Fame Is What Dreams Are Made Of - OkayAfrica". www.okayafrica.com.
  11. ^ Okundia, Jennifer (18 December 2020). "Watch "Cash App" visual by Bella Shmurda featuring Zlatan, Lincoln". P.M. News. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  12. ^ Alake, Motolani (4 December 2020). "Fireboy, Burna Boy, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Davido lead 2020 Headies nominations [Pulse Exclusive]". Pulse Nigeria.
  14. ^ "Global Music Awards Africa 2021: All the winners". Music In Africa. 23 March 2021.
  15. ^ Aswad, Jem (27 July 2021). "YouTube Music Unveils Its Indie Class of 2021: Snail Mail, Sinead Harnett, Ambar Lucid, Many More". Variety.
  16. ^ "Bella Shmurda, 26 others make list of YouTube Foundry grant". Punch Newspapers. 27 July 2021.
  17. ^ "BBC World Service - This Is Africa, SKORP and Bella Shmurda". BBC.
  18. ^ "Headies 2021: All the winners". 22 February 2021.
  19. ^ "NET Honours Class of 2021".
  20. ^ "Bella Shmurda performs at 02 Arena for the first time, thanks Wizkid". PunchNG. 30 November 2021. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  21. ^ "Bella Shmurda, Blaqbonez headline day 2 of Wizkid's O2 Arena concert". TheCable Lifestyle. 30 November 2021.
  22. ^ Quayyim, Adedimeji (14 March 2023). "Bella Shmurda Elicits Hope and Good Living In New Single, "Ara (Gen Gen Tin)"". The Culture Custodian (Est. 2014.).
  23. ^ "Bella Shmurda taps South Africa's Nasty C to re-jig Philo". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 18 March 2023.
  24. ^ "Listen: Bella Shmurda & Tiwa Savage Want You to Have a "Non Stop Vibe" This Weekend - OkayAfrica". www.okayafrica.com.
  25. ^ "Singer Bella Shmurda gives boy who performed song scholarship". The Nation. 26 October 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  26. ^ "Singer Bella Shmurda recounts birth experience on birthday". PunchNG. 27 January 2022. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  27. ^ "Bella Shmurda drops High Tension EP - P.M. News".
  28. ^ Alake, Motolani (6 February 2020). "Bella Shmurda uses 'High Tension' to find positivity in '2020' [EP Review]". Pulse Nigeria.
  29. ^ "Bella Shmurda drops sophomore EP 'High Tension 2.0' - P.M. News".
  30. ^ "Listen: Bella Shmurda Releases His Sophomore EP 'High Tension 2.0'". The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World News. 9 July 2021.
  31. ^ Onabanjo, Adedamola (9 July 2021). "It's A New Dawn For Bella Shmurda with 'High Tension 2.0' EP". The Culture Custodian (Est. 2014.).
  32. ^ Adebiyi, Adeayo (26 October 2022). "Bella Shmurda drops debut album 'Hypertension'". Pulse Nigeria.
  33. ^ "Bella Shmurda Releases 'Hypertension' Album - OkayAfrica". www.okayafrica.com.
  34. ^ "Bella Shmurda comes through with 'Dangbana Orisa' - P.M. News".
  35. ^ Onabanjo, Adedamola (27 August 2021). "Bella Shmurda And Popcaan Are An Unlikely But Agreeable Tag Team On 'So Cold'". The Culture Custodian (Est. 2014.).
  36. ^ "WATCH: Bella Shmurda, Omah Lay combine for 'Philo' visuals". TheCable Lifestyle. 29 September 2022.
  37. ^ Adebiyi, Adeayo (17 March 2023). "Bella Shmurda heats things up with the 'Philo' remix featuring Nasty C". Pulse Nigeria.
  38. ^ "Bella Shmurda ft Tiwa Savage drop new song 'NSV' - P.M. News".
  39. ^ "Olamide releases new video for 'Triumphant' with Bella Shmurda". Pulse Nigeria. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  40. ^ "Watch: Olamide Features Bella Shmurda in "Triumphant" Music Video". guardian.ng. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  41. ^ Onabanjo, Adedamola (19 March 2021). "Crayon Fuses The Streets on the Bella Shmurda assisted 'Jackpot'". The Culture Custodian (Est. 2014). Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  42. ^ "Rexxie And Bella Shmurda Joins Forces On "Back2Back"". UrbanGist Media. 8 April 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  43. ^ a b c "Winners emerge at 2020 City People music awards". Citypeopleonline.com. 7 December 2020.
  44. ^ "Here is the full list of nominations for the 2020 Headies". UrbanGist Media. 4 December 2020. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  45. ^ Mofijesusewa, Samuel (20 June 2021). "NET Honours 2021: "Damages" by Tems Named Most Played Alternative Song". Nigerian Entertainment Today. Archived from the original on 21 June 2021. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  46. ^ "AFRIMMA Nominees 2021". AFRIMMA. 7 October 2021. Retrieved 8 October 2021.
  47. ^ "Bella Shmurda - Gbedu Awards 2021 Performance". amebo9ja. 7 March 2021. Retrieved 17 November 2021.
  48. ^ Silas, Don (21 February 2021). "14th Headies award: All you need to know about Davido, Fireboy, Burna Boy, other nominations". Daily Post Nigeria.
  49. ^ Acho, Affa (29 July 2022). "2022 Headies Awards: Wizkid,Tems,Others Lead Nominees List".