Music sensation, Simisola Ogunleye with Simi as stage name, has proven not be a flash in the pan. After crooning the song, Jamb Question, to the delight of her teeming fans, Simi has become very much sought after songstresses around.
The velvet-voiced singer speaks to Lanre Odukoya of New Telegraph about her career, family and love.
Your lyrics mostly appear really deep, do you write all of them?
I write my lyrics myself and for other people. I am not just a singer; I am a songwriter, I mix and master most of my songs myself.
How do you develop lyrics?
It depends on how deep I want to go with a particular song I am putting together. ‘Jamb Question’ is not really a deep song, but people got the message I was communicating.
That is the most important thing. I write my lyrics based on happenings around me and things people shared with me.
Do you decide the songs you make or the label?
I don’t know about other record labels, but I am at liberty to write my song at any time and do whatever I like with it. My label has always been supportive, though there have cases they didn’t do things my way.
Before we released ‘Jamb Question,’ I was going to drop ‘Open and Close,’ but my management team disagreed on that. I felt bad, but it turned out to be a great decision.
To whom do you owe your success?
I have an amazing team; there is really little I can do myself. Though I write my song, mix and master, my management team makes things to work well for me. They make sure at all time that I stand on the right path. I have always been favoured; God loves me so much.
Is humour a signature on your songs?
All of them have a bit of it It is something people now notice in my music, but there are also songs that have no touch of humour. And most of my songs that have humour are normally realistic.
Who is Simi away from the glitz?
I am very straightforward and I like to say things the way I see them. One thing I dislike is pretense and I don’t like people who pretend. When I see something and I feel there is much to say about it, I say it in a polite way.
Would you say anything has changed since you joined Xtreme Music?
A lot has changed. Before I got signed, I was doing music myself. Now, the management takes care of me and my music.
I am more focused and I now understand that entertainment is an industry that comes with much work if you want to stay relevant.
What hasn’t fame changed about your person?
I am still the real me. I could still stop and buy roasted plantain on the streets. I am not blown away by fame because I don’t get excited about it.
I am simply happy about my celebrity status because more people know my music and want to relate with it.
Do you plan to drop your debut album anytime soon?
I am dropping it this year; all hands are on deck towards a successful debut album. I won’t give details for now because we are still deliberating on some things.
What’s been your staying power?
That’s passion, I pay less attention to things, but one thing that keeps me more focused is music. I really want to learn more about music; it pushes me on.
You’re a graduate of mass communication, would you be doing anything with that degree?
I have a blog, though I have not been consistent with it. I love writing; if I wasn’t doing music, I would probably be a writer or a radio personality. Writing is still part of me; you can’t do music without media.
What was life growing up?
I was a tomboy growing up and it was because I grew up with my three elder brothers. I used to like snickers and jeans, and our father really spoiled us. We watched movies a lot too, growing up was fun.
Since my brothers preferred horror movies, I had no choice other than to watch with them. But when I was nine years old, my parents got separated and it was a really tough time for the children because we had to grow up fast. I thank God things went well in the long run.
Are you not threatened by other female artistes?
I don’t feel threatened because there is enough room for everyone to be successful. So I am not competing with anyone and anytime I see someone who is impressive, I wish him or her well.
It even feels good that we have more female artistes who are doing well in the industry because it is not easy.
Are you a lover of designer fashion accessories?
I am indifferent to labels. If you give me a good design, I would rock it well, but I am not so into designers. I even prefer our local fabrics and designs.
But you cannot see me wearing ‘Iro’ and ‘Buba’. I might not be able to say no when I want to get married, but it is something I don’t feel comfortable in. I can still remember the last time my mum made one for me, I really looked ridiculous in it.
Do you prefer a tall or short man?
He must be tall to complement me.
Are you seeing anyone at the moment?
Yes, I am. He is my number one fan. He encourages me at all time
Do you have a favourite fun spot?
I like it when I go to New York
Who are the Yoruba musicians you wish to work with?
For Fuji, it would definitely be Pasuma while for Juju I would like to do a song with Ebenezer Obey and King Sunny Ade.I actually fantasize about doing something with them because they are living legends.