Making her first international appearance in 1966, representing Togo at the first World Festival of Negro Arts in Dakar, Senegal, her country's favorite singer hooked up with the ambitious Paris-based Togolese producer Gérard Akueson in 1968, who set out to position her as the next Miriam Makeba.
Akueson's aesthetic seemed to be based on the goal of packaging African music for upmarket European audiences, with snazzy arrangements, Broadway-ready choruses and Ipi Tombi-esque exotic ambience, as heard on Akue releases such as "Bem-Bem", "O Senye" and "Zelie".
Bellow parted ways with Akueson in 1971 and returned to Togo, but not before she recorded some grittier sides with Manu Dibango, such as "Dasi Ko".
Tragically, Bella Bellow's meteoric rise was cut short in 1975, when she perished in an automobile crash at the age of 27. She has remained a sainted figure in the musical canon of Togo and also in neighboring Benin, where singers such as Angélique Kidjo cite her as a major influence.
Bella Bellow Discography Tracks
|Bella Bellow||Album Souvenir (Album, Comp)||Sonafric||France||1977||Sell This Version|
Singles & EPs
|AK 45020||Bella Bellow||Nye Dzi / La Foulou / Awoula / Blewu (7", EP)||Akue||AK 45020||France||1968||Sell This Version|
|AK 45018||Bella Bellow||Zelie / Rockia (7", Single)||Akue||AK 45018||France||1968||Sell This Version|
|AK 45028||Bella Bellow||Bem Bem / O Senye (7", Single)||Akue||AK 45028||France||1969||Sell This Version|
|51.209||Bella Bellow||Dasi Ko / Sango Yesus Christo (7", Single)||Fiesta (7)||51.209||France||1973||Sell This Version|
|AK 45 034||Bella Bellow||Denyigban / Bouyelele (7")||Akue||AK 45 034||France||Unknown||Sell This Version|