Award-winning Nigerian afropop star musician and producer SIMI has achieved a significant milestone in her career by accumulating over one billion global streams. This accomplishment follows the release of her latest album, To Be Honest. Additionally, it was recently announced that she will be joining Grammy Award-winning superstar Alicia Keys on her ‘Keys To The Summer’ North American tour this July.
Starting out her musical career as a gospel singer with her debut album “OGAJU” in 2008, Simisola Kosoko gained recognition in the early 2010s, she joined X3M Music in 2014 with her debut single under the label “Tiff” Simi captured the hearts of so many Nigerians with her immaculate voice and transcended to recording more hits like “Joromi” “Soldier” “ Jamb Question” “Duduke” “Know You” “Loyal” to name a few.
In our conversation, the award-winning artist discussed her first single for the year and navigating motherhood.
Exploring music at such a young age, how have you been able to give yourself a solid foundation?
I have done music because of my love for music. I have had a great support system and my personality has also helped to give me a solid foundation. I also have learnt over years what I need to prioritize in music and that’s being original.
Who were your musical inspiration back in the day and do you have new ones considering how far you have come?
Back in the day, I loved listening to Lauryn Hill, Adele and Asa to mention a few. Nowadays, I listen to new songs from different artists and pay attention to their style of music. This enhances my creativity.
You are signed to an independent label, why did you choose to go Indie?
I was signed to X3M Music back in the day and I stayed with them till my contract expired. Afterwards, I knew it was time to explore and I figured out the best way to have more room was to go indie. This has opened my eyes and allowed me to find the space I needed.
“Stranger” is your latest single, you said it’s a love story about risks and consequences of love, tell us more about this single
When people think of love, it’s usually the bed of roses that comes along with it that people think of so with “stranger” I wanted people to look at relationships from the perspective of being a huge commitment where one has to leave their comfort zone so the relationship can work. It shows how love can be complicated which can make one change in so many ways.
You are going on tour with Grammy award winning artist, Alicia Keys. How did you come about the idea and how did it become official?
I had a show in the States. A promoter reached out to my team and asked if I would like to go on tour with her and I feel honored because I’m a fan. It has been a remarkable time for me this year so far. I will be appearing for the 7 shows.
“One thing I have done so far this year which I am really proud of, is moving at my pace”
Looking at the year so far, what has been a major fulfillment for you?
“Stranger” is my first song this year and being a mum has been a multitasking job. I did not want to put out everything I worked on, I have had an album all set since last year but I didn’t feel like that was the right time. One thing I have done so far this year which I am really proud of, is moving at my pace. I released a song I resonated with without necessarily listening to what others had to say. I heard some comments about not releasing any music and I’m happy I’m giving myself time. I also have a supportive team who understands my vision.
“I rather be a failed musician than a failed mum” –
How has it been managing being a mum and an artist?
It is a compromise which comes with the ability to balance all your responsibilities as much as you can. Regardless, I will always put my family first. I have a saying right now which goes, “I rather be a failed musician than a failed mum” so I strive for balance because they are both important to me.
Women every day are making extra ordinary moves in the music industry, what are your thoughts about more women making music?
I am always proud to see women winning and having more women in the music space which others had undermined us for years is a surreal experience. It shows how creatively endowed we are as women are and I’m happy more are tapping into their zen and creating magic.
How would you describe your fashion style?
I am definitely a street style fashionista because I love the comfort and versatility it comes with. I still like looking glammed up Somedays.
On a free day when you are not working, what is Simi up to?
I like to read. Days I don’t have work scheduled on my calendar, I will pull out a book to read. I also enjoy watching movies; I’m currently watching Blacklist.
After your tour with Alicia Keys, what is next?
Up next is a new single and then an album which has been ready since last year.