Interestingly, young as she is, she is no stranger to the industry. She wrote her first tune at the age of 10 and started singing and dancing in her early teens as a member of the teenage church choir.
Eventually, she went on to launch her debut album in 2008, which was produced by Samklef. The album spawned hits such as Ara Ile, Ogaju, Iya Temi, to name a few.
In 2011, she met the talented producer/songwriter (Oscar Heman-Ackah) and they both connected musically. However, it wasn’t until 2013 that she officially signed a production contract with Oscar Music Production, after which they both nurtured and created a fresh and genius direction to her sound, style and music in its entirety.
She eventually got signed to X3M Music, the Lagos based record Label which is home to Nigerian R&B sensation Praiz. Simi genre of music is Afro-Pop, although she also dabbles in pop and soul. In 2015, she featured rapper Falz in her video Jamb Question. In an interview with City People she spoke about her successful career and her forthcoming album.
How did singing start for you?
I started singing when I was young. But professionally, I started in 2006, I put out an album, it was a Gospel album.
What’s your genre of music?
I do Afro-pop and a blend of basically Afro sounds, sometimes I do High life. Sometimes I do Afro- beats, but majorly it’s Afro-pop
Why did you stop doing Gospel?
I didn’t start with music as a job or work but as an Art in the Ministry
Have you had people wonder why a church girl changed to singing worldly songs?
I haven’t really gotten many comments like that. Maybe because people feel I actually genuinely love music that it’s not just about the buzz, all showbiz people that have known me from way back know I love music. There was really no transition like that. I just chose the kind of music I feel like singing at any time. So there was no transition from been a church girl to anything.
How has working with Extreme Music been?
I put out this cover in about 2 to 3 years ago and my boss heard the song and he asked for me. He didn’t sign me when I met him. After a while I started working with my producer Oscar and we connected. The way it works is when you have been around some people, somehow, some things will connect, when you keep working at it.
How do you see your success story?
I am happy. Am happy they found me worthy and decided to put me out there. Being able to find a platform that is willing to put you out there to make sure people hear your music deserves to be commended. I can’t take this for granted. Extreme Music is good.
What are you working on?
Am working on my new single. I have finished it. It’s ready, we are just fine tuning it and getting the video ready. It will be ready in the next few months.
What should we expect?
It’s going to be nothing that people have heard before from me. People wouldn’t really expect it when they hear it, which is why I am excited about it. I don’t want people to hear my music in beats all the time. I want to shake things up. Hopefully it will be out in the next two months.
Would there be remix to Jamb Question?
I already did. That is already like a remix. Although we haven’t put the audio out, with his voice on it, I don’t know what else can happen, but this is going to happen.
How did you come up with the Jamb Question song?
Sometimes you see some guys, they will say hi, I like you, can I get your number. They will just ask very random question, and I think it’s funny. I think it was a funny story to put and stamp on music. Am the kind of person that when I have an idea, I try to put it into song and see if it will stick and it stuck.
Why did you make it a story line for your song?
Because I have gotten a lot of jamb questions.
How was growing up for you?
I was born in Lagos. I grew up in Surulere, Ojuelegba precisely. I am the only girl and the last born. I have 3 brothers. So, I was sort of a tom boy because I learnt how to ride the bike, I use to wear shorts, I use to like baggie jeans, and my dad spoilt us rotten. My parents separated when I was 9, so I kind had to grow up fast.
At what point did you tell your mum you were going to do music?
I think she just always knew. I was always singing. But I don’t have an entertainment background. I didn’t have parents that are into music, nor siblings that are into music. I wrote my first song when I was 10 years old. When I was in 200 level, she called me one day and said don’t drop out of school, finish your schooling because she knows that I actually love to sing. She knew but she just didn’t know in what capacity or how much I would want to go in music.
Young acts are often criticized about being about beats and no contents. What role does content play in your music?
I am a song writer, so content is everything for me. No matter the kind of grove I am getting on my songs, I have to be saying something. You have to hear the song and know that you are not just listening to the beats, you are also listening to what I am going to say. So content is everything for me.
Why did you choose SIMI as your stage name?
Because everybody used to call me SIMI, my dad, mum, everybody. My name is Simisola, but most people call me SIMI. So I felt since nobody is using that name right now, why not use SIMI as my name.