Led by the recently released title track ‘DND’ featuring Lil Kesh, which has already amassed three million plays online, independent afrobeats superstar and Dangbana Republik president BELLA SHMURDA is set to release his glorious new EP DND on July 26 via his own label in partnership with ONErpm. The DND EP marks the beginning of a unique new musical universe for Bella Shmurda shaped by his frame of mind for 2023, which has been described by the man himself as his “do not disturb mode”. Bella’s DND EP comes less than a year on from the massive success of his acclaimed debut album Hypertension, which garnered over 250 million global streams. He sat down with C-Heads Magazine to talk about the new EP.
The DND EP sees Bella Shmurda linking up with long-time collaborator and producer LarryLanes (Odumodublvck, Santi, ZInoleesky) on ‘In Charge’ and ‘Ara’ to open up the 6-track project, before joining forces with afrobeats queen Tiwa Savage and producer Krizbeatz (Popcaan, Mr Eazi, Yemi Alade) on ‘NSV’, while afropop sensation Lil Kesh and producer Rewardbeatz (Davido, Kizz Daniel) come on board for the title track. The EP closes out with a stellar collaboration with super producer Pheelz (Fireboy DML, BNXN, French Montana) on ‘Bankruptcy’, and ‘Jojo’, which sees Bella and African music legend Olamide working together to write the Eskeez-produced EP curtain call.
Originally created as an avenue to give his teeming fans some new music while he works on his next album, Bella Shmurda’s DND project quickly took on a life of its own to capture Bella’s headspace of “do not disturb” right now. As the afrobeats star puts it, “there’s a lot of good music out there, but I don’t want to be carried away by different trends and different new sounds. Everywhere is saturated, but in the midst of that, I want to remain tuned into my own vibrations. I’m just in that ‘do not disturb’ mood right now, where I want to get myself together, without too many external influences. Self-control is important for my approach to music, so trying to be in my own headspace is key”.
The project opens with the braggadocious ‘In Charge’, which sees Bella Shmurda letting us know that he is still charge, doing his own thing, and still the boss of his own, while the joyful dance track ‘Ara’ sees Bella Shmurda in a prayerful mood as he thanks God for supporting his ventures and blessing all that he does. ‘NSV’ is pure vibes on a track as the title ‘Non-Stop Vibes’ suggests, and ‘Bankruptcy’ sees Bella waxing lyrical about spending all his money on his leading lady, with the project coming to a close on the infectious afrobeats track ‘Jojo’ with its groovy dancehall sensibilities.
Talking us through how the songs on the DND EP came together, Bella Shmurda says, “For ‘Ara’, my producer LarryLanes came through with a beat he knew I would love, so we just had to make that song, shout out to LarryLanes, while for ‘NSV’, I went over to Tiwa’s studio to play her a couple of songs, and she loved ‘NSV’ so we created space for her to get on it, and the outcome was amazing. With ‘Bankruptcy’, Pheelz and I linked up at my studio and we made like three songs that night, and as for making ‘Jojo’, Baddo (Olamide) wrote the song out for me, and we made the song together – he is one of the industry’s greatest songwriters, so the song is definitely one I wanted on ‘DND’”.
ABOUT BELLA SHMURDA
BELLA SHMURDA is a multiple award-winning Nigerian singer, songwriter and musician that is dedicated to speaking the truth against all odds. Often hailed as ‘The New Voice of the Street’, the independent afrobeats musician grew up on fuji music, and began his journey into the performing arts as early as his primary school days. His teenage years exposed him to life on the street, and despite his mother’s encouragements to focus on his studies, Bella Shmurda had other plans. However, it was his entry into Lagos State University that opened up his possibilities for music, with the freedom of his new environment allowing him to fully explore his musical creativity, and develop his unique sound.
Bella Shmurda soon shot to fame with the breakout single ‘Vision 2020’ – the success of which led to his cult-classic debut EP High Tension in 2020, and things haven’t been the same since. He followed up that project with the well-received High Tension 2.0 EP in 2021, and last year’s critically acclaimed debut album Hypertension. Over these past few years, Bella Shmurda has not stopped working, and already boasts a catalogue of over 50 songs, and fan-favourite collaborations with the likes of Wizkid, Popcaan, Davido, and BackRoad Gee. His discography has amassed over 1.2 billion global streams, while his followership is nearing 10 million social media fans and counting.
Delivering on conscious and relatable afrobeats music that leans into his love for philosophy and religion, and his unique ability to tap into the pain of the street and educate listeners on their hardships, Bella Shmurda is on a mission to impact the world with his music, and this is just the start. Among his many career achievement and milestones in just three years, the Dangbana Republik president is a YouTube Foundry alumni, Global Music Awards Africa winner, Headies Award nominee, and the second most streamed African artist on Audiomack, with sold-out tours across Africa, Europe and America, and critical acclaim from the likes of CNN, Variety, MTV, and the BBC, among others.
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