Fast rising singer and songwriter, Simisola Bolatito Ogunleye, popularly known as Simi, wrote her very first tune at the age of 10.
She started singing and dancing in her early teens as a member of the teenage church choir. The songstress whose songs include ‘Jamb Question’ and ‘Open and Close’, recently dropped yet another hit single titled ‘ Love don’t care’ In this interview, the award winning graduate of Mass communication signed to X3M music talks about her musical journey, plans for the year and life generally. Excerpts:
By Juliet Ebirim
How have you fared since you delved into the Nigerian music scene?
It has been fabulous so far. Although the journey has not been easy but with persistence for the career I have a passion for, it has improved. This year 2016, February precisely, I released a single, ‘Love don’t care’ which has made the top ten in the Nigerian music chart for a couple of weeks now and is currently enjoying massive airplay on radio. I have also shot the video for the single ‘Soldier’ with Falz which is expected to be out soon. So, I can say my career is very promising.
Do you write your songs, and how are you able to put the lyrics together?
Of course, I write my lyrics myself and for other people. I am not just a singer, but also a songwriter and I mix and master most of my songs myself. My songs have to do with how I feel. How deep I go is dependent on what I am trying to say. If I sing a song on heartbreak, and if it is personal, I might probably go too deep. But my songs are inspired by people’s experiences in life and what I see around me. Most of my songs may not necessarily be attached to my personal experience. I just write songs to inspire others.
I am a very straight forward person, I like to say things the way I see them, I don’t like beating about the bush. I am not pretentious, but a simple and realistic person.
So what keeps you going?
I have an amazing management team. They make sure at all times, I’m on the right path.
Does your management team in anyway influence the choice of song you write?
Not at all, I don’t know how it is done in other labels but here, I am at liberty to write my songs at any time and inscribe my own title to it.
Will you say you are currently enjoying your celebrity status?
Well this is the real me. I can still stop by and buy roasted plantain by the road side. I don’t feel uncomfortable, I am not blown away by fame because that is not what excites me in the game. What excites me is the music. I am happy about my celebrity status only because more people know my music and want to relate with it.
Describe your genre of music?
My kind of music is Afro Pop/RNB but mostly Afro-soul
When should your fans be expecting your album?
Definitely this year, as all hands are currently on deck towards the successful outcome of the album. I won’t be disclosing the number of tracks and title for now, as we are still working on that but my fans should be rest assured that the album will drop this year, all things being equal.
What keeps you going?
My passion – because the only reason why I am doing music is because my attention span can be very short, but one thing that keeps me more focused is music. Music is that one thing I really want to learn about and the passion I have for the art of music pushes me on and keeps me going.
As a graduate of Mass Communication, do you see yourself going into the media and writing?
I actually have a blog, although I have not been very loyal to it. I love writing, if I wasn’t into music full-time, I would probably be either a writer or an O.A.P. Writing is a part of me.
What was growing up like?
I was a kind of a tomboy while growing up (laughs) because I had three elder brothers and from my mum. I was the only girl and last born. So I used to like sneakers, baggy jeans etc. My dad spoilt my brothers and I, but it was fun. When I was nine years, my parents separated and so that was really a tough time for us, because we had to grow up faster. We came through it and we are okay.
Your songs revolve around love, why?
It is because love sells. When you talk about love, it encompasses so many things. Not women or sex alone, but issues that are love related that could keep you happy. I can’t see myself doing a song that is too political or not love related. It’s always good to carve a niche and spread it to other related issues without deviating.
Having started musically from a church background, should we hope to see you go into gospel music someday?
No, I can do a Christian song as the inspiration leads me but would not see myself as a gospel artiste.
Do you feel threatened by the number of talented female artistes in the industry and how do you intend to balance up?
I don’t feel threatened by anybody, not because I don’t think they are good, it’s just that there is enough room for everybody to shine. I am not trying to compete, so whenever I see someone trying to do amazing things, I wish them the best. And I’m even happy that we have more females that are standing out in the industry.
Let’s talk about your style, are you a designer freak?
Not really but if you give me a designer outfit, be sure I will rock them well but I am not into designers. I love our local fabrics and designs.
What is your most annoying daily routine?
That will be taking my bath. It’s not that I don’t like bathing but I love to multi-task. At times I might be brushing my teeth while also operating my system or reading. But when you get into the bathroom, you just can’t do any other thing.
What will you not be caught dead wearing?
I think that will be the full Iro and Buba. Maybe when I am getting married, I will probably wear one but for now, I won’t. I could remember the last time my mum made one for me, I really looked ridiculous in it.
Is Simi in a relationship?
Does he support your musical career?
Of course, he is my number one fan. He gives me adequate support at all times.