NAME: Toyin Shokefun
ALSO KNOWN AS: TY Bello
DATE OF BIRTH: January 14
YEARS ACTIVE: 2003 – present
OCCUPATION: Singer, Songwriter, Photographer
Toyin Sokefun-Bello, better known as TY Bello, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, photographer and philanthropist. 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. She is best known for her singles “Greenland”, “Ekundayo”, “This Man”, “Freedom” and “Funmise”.
Life And Career
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. 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”. TY Bello was the ofﬁcial photographer to former President Goodluck Jonathan during his tenure in ofﬁce; she also does work for Thisday fashion magazine.
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.
2011–13: The Future, The Jubilee Collection, and anti-rape campaign
On 19 February 2011, TY Bello released “The Future” as the lead single from the album of the same name. 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. Makeup brand, House of Tara launched The Jubilee Collection, a limited edition line of makeup inspired by TY Bello‘s “The Future” single.
In October 2011, TY Bello was one of the celebrities featured in an eight-minute antirape video compiled by the Nigerian Ministry of Youth Development. In December 2013, TY Bello released her single “Yahweh” featuring Wale Adenuga. The song features additional vocals from Nwando Okeke and Mosa.
2014: The Morning Songbook
On 10 October 2014, TY Bello released her third studio album, The Morning Songbook. 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.
2016: Tinie Tempah and a discovery
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 Orisaguna’s picture to appear on the cover of Style magazine’.
TY Bello organizes an annual photography exhibition to raise funds for orphans in Nigeria. She is also the director of Link-achild, an NGO dedicated to proliferating Humanitarian work information on orphanages in Nigeria and seeking sponsorship on their behalf. In July 2011, TY Bello was honored by the non-proﬁt Communication for Change organization in a ﬁve-part documentary ﬁlm series titled RedHot.
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.
- Greenland (2008)
- The Future (2011)
- The Morning Songbook (2014)