Simisola Bolatito Kosoko Listen (née Ogunleye; born April 19, 1988), better known by her stage name Simi, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and actress.[1][2] She started her career as a gospel singer, releasing her debut studio album in 2008, titled Ogaju. She also played as one of the top judges in season 7 of the Nigerian idol TV show in 2022.[3] She gained public recognition in 2014 after releasing "Tiff", a song that was nominated for Best Alternative Song at The Headies 2015.[4] Simi signed a record deal with X3M Music in 2014, but left the label in May 2019 following the expiration of her contract.[5] She released her second studio album Simisola on September 8, 2017.[6][7] Her third studio album Omo Charlie Champagne, Vol. 1 was released to coincide with her thirty-first birthday on April 19, 2019.[1] She launched her record label Studio Brat in June 2019.[8]

Simisola Bolatito Ogunleye

(1988-04-19) 19 April 1988 (age 36)
EducationCovenant University
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • sound engineer
  • actress
(m. 2019)
Musical career
Years active2006–present
  • Studio Brat
  • X3M (former)

Early life edit

Simi was born on 19 April 1988 in Ojuelegba, a suburb of Surulere, Lagos State, as the last of four children.[9] In an interview with Juliet Ebirim of Vanguard newspaper, Simi revealed that her parents separated when she was 9 years old. She also revealed that she grew up as a tomboy.[10]

Education edit

Simi attended Stars International College, a secondary school in Ikorodu, Lagos State.[11] She is an alumna of Covenant University, where she studied mass communication.[12]

Career edit

2006–13: Career beginnings and Ogaju edit

Simi grew up dancing and singing as a member of her local church's choir. She wrote her first song at age 10.[13] Her professional music career started in 2008 following the release of her debut studio album Ogaju, which consisted of a variety of songs such as "Iya Temi" and "Ara Ile". The album was produced entirely by Samklef.[14]

2014–2018: Restless, Chemistry and Simisola edit

In January 2014, Simi released the 5 track EP Restless, which eventually earned her a record deal with X3M Music.[15] The EP is composed mostly of covers recorded by popular acts, including Rihanna's "Man Down" and Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain".[16]

On January 9, 2014, Simi released two singles "Tiff" and "E No Go Funny". Both songs received frequent airplay and were met with generally positive reviews from critics. The video for "Tiff" was directed by Josh Clarke and released on August 30, 2015.[17] The song was nominated for Best Alternative Song at the 2015 edition of The Headies.

Later in 2015, Simi won the Most Promising Act to Watch category at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. In an interview with Leadership newspaper, Simi revealed that she started working on her second studio album, which was slated for release in 2016.[18] Upon releasing "Jamb Question", Simi was listed as one of the artistes to watch out for in 2016 by NotJustOk.[19] The remix of "Jamb Question" features Nigerian rapper Falz.

On February 14, 2016, Simi released the Oscar Heman Ackah-produced love ballad "Love Don't Care". It received frequent radio airplay and was met with positive reviews.[20] "Love Don't Care" effectively addresses tribalism and discrimination in Nigeria.[21] The song's music video was directed by Clarence Peters. In October 2016, Simi was nominated for Best Breakthrough Act at the MTV Africa Music Awards.[22] On October 27, Simi collaborated with Falz to release the extended play Chemistry. Oghene Michael of 360 Nobs described the EP as an "experiment of the word art". In December 2016, Simi was nominated in three categories at The Headies 2016, winning one.[23]

In anticipation of her 12-track second studio album Simisola, Simi released two singles; "Smile for Me" and "Joromi". Both songs were accompanied by music videos directed by Clarence Peters and Aje Films, respectively.[24] Music videos for "O Wa Nbe", "Complete Me", "Gone for Good" and "Aimasiko" were also released to further promote the album. Simi unveiled the album's track listing on September 1, 2017. Simisola was released seven days later and debuted at number 5 on the Billboard World Albums chart.[25][26][27]

2019: Omo Charlie Champagne, Vol. 1 and Studio Brat edit

In March 2019, Simi disclosed that she would be releasing her third studio album Omo Charlie Champagne, Vol. 1 to coincide with her birthday on April 19, 2019. She disclosed this information in a series of social media messages.[28] The album is a slight departure from the relatively afro-centric feel of Simisola (2017).[29] It is a mixture of sentimental ballad, Afropop, Afro-fusion, Afro-soul, R&B, EDM and moombahton.[29] The 13-track album features guest vocals from Patoranking, Maleek Berry, Falz, and her husband Adekunle Gold. Its production was primarily handled by Oscar, with additional production from Vtek, Legendury Beatz, and Sess.[30] Simi dedicated the album to her father Charles Oladele Ogunleye, who died in 2014.[29] Omo Charlie Champagne, Vol. 1 was preceded by three singles: "I Dun Care", "Lovin" and "Ayo".

In May 2019, X3M Music announced Simi's departure following the expiration of her recording contract. Both parties did not renew the contract and agreed to part ways.[31] In June 2019, Simi announced the launch of her independent record label, Studio Brat.[8]

She released a song titled 'Duduke' in the year 2020 making her unborn baby, a symbol of love and hope.[32]

2020: Restless II EP edit

In 2020, Simi released another EP titled Restless II which is part two of the initial Restless EP released in 2014.[33]

2022: TBH (To Be Honest) album edit

The Studio Brat headliner, Simisola Kosoko, highly identified by her stage name Simi has recently unlocked her much anticipated studio project captioned "To Be Honest" album.[34]

TBH (To Be Honest) is the fourth studio album by the Nigerian singer, Simi, and a follow-up to her current EP, "Restless II" which was launched in 2020.

The body of work TBH (To Be Honest) houses 11 stable tracks and has the likes of Fave, Deja, and naturally her husband, Adekunle Gold.

Her achievement on this studio project stretched to her selection as Spotify EQUAL Africa music program ambassador for July. She become the second African artiste after Tiwa Savage, to be named an EQUAL global and EQUAL African artiste.[35]

The Spotify EQUAL program aims to foster gender equality and provide a platform to celebrate influential female artists. She joins a list of talented African women who are driving the culture and breaking through barriers in the music industry.

2024: 5th studio album edit

In an interview with African Folder, Simi revealed she is working on her fifth studio album. According to Simi, the favourite thing about the album is that she had the freedom to make music the way she enjoyed it. [36]

Artistry edit

Apart from being a singer and songwriter, Simi is also a sound engineer. She is credited with mixing and mastering Adekunle Gold's debut studio album Gold, which was released in July 2016.[37] Her music style is basically hinged in the rhythm and blues, soul and hip hop music genres.[38]

Personal life edit

Simi married a singer named Adekunle Gold in a private wedding ceremony on January 9, 2019.[39] It was later revealed that they had been dating for five years.[40] Simi became a mother for the first time on the 30th of May 2020 when she gave birth to her daughter Adejare.[41][42]

Filmography edit

She made her acting debut in Kunle Afolayan's directorial Mokalik.[43]

Films edit

Discography edit

Studio albums edit

EPs edit

  • Restless (2014)
  • Restless II (2020)

Selected singles edit

List of singles as lead artist, showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
"Ara Ile" 2008 Ogaju
"Emi L'Onijo" 2012 Non-album single
"Take a Chance"
"Chocolate Brown"
"Don't Judge Me (cover)" 2013
"Bibanke (cover)"
"Marvin's Room (cover)"
"Tiff" 2014 Simisola
"E No Go Funny" Non-album single
"Jamb Question" 2015 Simisola
"Jamb Question" (Remix) (featuring Falz) Non-album single
"Open and Close"
"Love Don't Care" 2016 Simisola
"Smile for Me" 2017
"I Dun Care" 2018 Omo Charlie Champagne, Vol. 1
"Ayo" 2019
"Duduke" 2020 Non-album single
"There for You"

Awards and nominations edit

Simi awards and nominations
  1. ^ Certain award groups do not simply award one winner. They recognize several different recipients, have runners-up, and have third place. Since this is a specific recognition and is different from losing an award, runner-up mentions are considered wins in this award tally. For simplification and to avoid errors, each award in this list has been presumed to have had a prior nomination.
Year Award ceremony Prize Recipient/Nominated Work Result Ref
2015 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards Most Promising Act to Watch Herself Won [44]
2015 City People Entertainment Awards Most Promising Act of The Year Won [45]
2015 Nigerian Music Video Awards Best RnB Video "Tiff" Nominated [46]
Music Video of The Year Nominated [46]
Best Soft Rock/Alternative Video "Jamb Question" Nominated [47]
2016 The Headies 2015 Best Alternative Song "Tiff" Nominated [48]
Best Vocal Performance (Female) Herself Nominated [48]
2016 City People Entertainment Awards Female Artiste of the Year Won [49]
Nigerian Teen Choice Awards 2016 Choice Upcoming Female Artist Won [50]
2016 MTV African Music Awards Best Breakthrough Act Nominated [51]
The Headies 2016 Best Recording of the Year "Love Don't Care" Nominated [52]
Best R&B Single Nominated [52]
Best Collaboration "Soldier" (with Falz) Won [53]
Best Vocal Performance (Female) "Love Don't Care" Won [54]
2017 2017 City People Entertainment Awards Best Collabo of the Year "No Forget" (with Adekunle Gold) Won [55]
2017 Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best Afropop Female Artist Herself Nominated [56]
Best Album Chemistry (with Falz) Nominated [57]
AFRIMA Awards Songwriter of the Year Herself Won [58]
Soundcity MVP Awards Festival Song of the Year Nominated [59]
Best Female MVP Nominated
Best Pop Nominated
2018 The Headies Best Recording of the Year "Joromi" Won [60]
Best R&B/Pop album Simisola Nominated
Best R&B single "Smile For Me" Won
Best Vocal Performance (female) "Gone For Good" Nominated
Album of the Year Simisola Won
Artiste of the Year Herself Nominated
Future Awards Africa Prize for Music Won [61]
2021 Net Honours Most Popular Musician Won [62]
Most Searched Musician (female) Won
Most Played Pop Song "Duduke" Nominated
Most Played Hip Hop song "Know you" (Ladipoe featuring Simi]] Nominated
Most Played RnB Song "Running to You" (Chike featuring Simi) Nominated
2023 The Headies SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR “Loyal” Pending
Best R&B Single “Loyal” – Simi ft Fave Pending
Best Vocal Performance (Female) “Loyal” Pending
Best R&B Album To Be Honest (Tbh) Pending
Best Female Artiste Herself Pending

Academic writings about Simi edit

  • Adebayo, Abidemi Olufemi. "Culture Shift and Simisola Ogunleye's (Simi's) Conception of the Millennial African Woman in Love Don't Care and Joromi." Ibadan Journal of English Studies 7 (2018): 173–184.

See also edit

References edit

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  2. ^ Kingsley, Ediale (April 18, 2016). "I started with gospel music – Simi". National Daily. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  3. ^ Offiong, Adie Vanessa (December 25, 2015). "Nigeria: Even the Silliest Things Inspire Me – Simi". Daily Trust. allAfrica. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  4. ^ Akan, Joey (September 30, 2015). "Headies 2015: Check out the complete nomination list". Pulse Nigeria. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  5. ^ "Nigeria's Simi leaves record label". Music in Africa. May 2, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
  6. ^ Arogundade, Funsho (April 2, 2014). "Simi, Sammy Join X3M Music". P.M. News. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  7. ^ "It's here! Simi releases her debut album, 'Simisola'". September 8, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  8. ^ a b Alake, Motolani (June 20, 2019). "Simi launches her record company, Studio Brat". Pulse Nigeria. Retrieved June 30, 2019.
  9. ^ Olonilua, Ademola (April 2, 2016). "I fantasize about working with Ebenezer Obey –Simi". The Punch. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
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  11. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "Simi on GbajumoTV". YouTube.
  12. ^ Medeme, Ovwe (March 27, 2016). "SIMI:I DON'T FEEL THREATENED BY ANYBODY". The Nation Newspaper. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  13. ^ Odigie, McDonald (August 12, 2015). "WHY I SANG MA BI MI NI JAMB QUESTION SONG- AFRO POP SINGER, SIMI". Goldmyne Entertainment. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  14. ^ Ikeokwu, Juliet (June 12, 2015). "JAMB QUESTION CROONER, SIMI SHARES HER STORY". YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
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  17. ^ "VIDEO: Simi – Tiff". tooXclusive. August 30, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  18. ^ Abulude, Samuel (March 27, 2016). "My Relationship With Falz Is Professional – Simi". Leadership Newspaper. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
  19. ^ Boye, Don (February 22, 2016). "10 Artists To Watch in 2016". NotJustOk. Retrieved April 21, 2016.
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  29. ^ a b c Alake, Motolani (April 19, 2019). "Simi releases 13-track third studio album, 'Omo Charlie Champagne Vol. I'". Pulse Nigeria. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
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  43. ^ "5 things you should know about Kunle Afolayan's new movie, 'Mokalik'". Pulse Nigeria. March 28, 2019. Retrieved May 6, 2020.
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  54. ^ Sanusi, Hassan (December 22, 2016). "#Headies2016: Simi and Shaydee each win their 1st major award". Nigerian Entertainment Today. Retrieved January 1, 2016.
  55. ^ "#CPMA2017: Full List of Winners at the City People Music Awards – City People Magazine". August 7, 2017. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
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  57. ^ Oleniju, Segun (July 9, 2017). "Nigerian Entertainment Awards 2017 (NEA) Full List of Nominees". Retrieved September 17, 2017.
  58. ^ "AFRIMA 2017: Full list of winners". Music in Africa. November 13, 2017. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
  59. ^ Brown, Marcus (January 12, 2018). "Soundcity MVP Awards Festival 2017 - Full Winners List". TooXclusive. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
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  61. ^ "Check Out The Full List of Winners at 2018 Future Awards". The Guardian Nigeria Newspaper – Nigeria and World News. December 17, 2018. Retrieved December 18, 2018.
  62. ^ "Net Honours - The Class of 2021". Nigerian Entertainment Today. Retrieved July 21, 2021.

External links edit