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In Conversation with Nigerian-born Global Music Star Simi

Simi 007 Landscape

On the 3rd of June, global music star Simi released her fourth album, ‘To Be Honest‘. With over 25 million online fans, Simi has a great future ahead of her, and we were glad to interview her on her journey so far. An MTV Africa Music Award Nominee, Simi has been acknowledged as one of the most distinctive female voices in African music today.

Continue reading as we get up close and personal with Simi:

Q: To start, for those that may not know you. What motivated you to begin your musical journey?

S: I think from the get-go, a deep innate love for music has driven me. I have always loved melody and words coming together. Growing up, I didn’t listen to music much. I wasn’t exposed to it, because I did not grow up in a musically inclined family. But it pulled me so hard, that I couldn’t resist. I started singing in the church. I was in a gospel music group called Outstanding, honing my passion here.

Q: At this point, did you know you would make a career out of this?

S: I guess I did in a way. I was still a kid, so I wasn’t exactly thinking ‘career’. But I knew it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I am the kind of person whose attention span is not impressive, so I always knew that whatever I did in the future had to be something that I couldn’t get enough of.

Q: When you first started your career and saw your fame develop rapidly, did you expect this? Were you shocked?

S: I was not shocked. I feel like if for me to have invested as much time and energy as I did into it, I must have believed in myself enough to not be shocked that it worked out. However, I was pleased, because, at the end of the day, I knew it could go either way. Not everyone in the industry makes it where they want to be.

Simi

Q: What advice would you give to emerging artists that look up to you, especially those that are finding it difficult?

S: There is something I always tell my friends. Nothing worthwhile comes easy. Music is one of those things that will whittle out those that are only there for a good time. It takes a lot of work and consistency and a great work ethic. It takes time and a stubborn belief in oneself. You may be scared and worried, thinking you are wasting your time. I have had those days. If you can get past those, you have a greater chance. Nothing is certain. You just have to keep going at it. If you want to be here, you deserve to be here, so keep going.

Q: As an artist, what is your creative process when making music?

S: I have had different processes. When I first started, I used to write with pen and paper. Now, I record and mix as I write because I want to know, in real-time, how it sounds and if it works. Sometimes, songs come to me quickly. It can take me 30 mins to finish a song.

However, some songs can take three days. Or two months. For some songs, I will have a melody. Then I build from that. Some, I have an idea, and I build on that. And for some songs, I just have a deadline. So, I guess the process is different depending on the situation. The only consistent thing is me.

Q: Tell us more about your project ‘To Be Honest’ you are an amazing artist, and we can see you’re flourishing all round. Tell us more?

S: ‘To Be Honest’ I had the idea three years ago. I wanted to do a project where I was speaking my mind. But I was not sure what sound to go with, if I wanted to stick with my original sound or if I wanted to try a different angle.

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I knew what I wanted the songs to be about. But I just went back and forth on so many things. I revamped it 4-5 times and had different versions of the same idea. I’m at a place in my life where I want to be less edited. I have always been self-aware, but I wanted to be more candid about it. Usually, I am outspoken, but I wanted to put it in my art this time; that was the energy I put into this album.

Q: I love how you are flourishing in your personal and professional life. What advice would you give those struggling to balance the two?

S: I can say that is probably one of the hardest things I have done. I just feel like it is important first to understand what you are going into before you go into it. So it does not shock you too much. That helped me a lot. I started a family when I was ready and knew that I would have to compromise certain things for a certain time.

I knew I loved music so much. As much as I knew I would have to compromise, I did not want to give that up. I just switched up my priorities, especially early on in my mummy phase. I knew some things would have to give.

My daughter is my main priority. But it’s important to cater to my needs too. So it’s finding a balance that doesn’t make you feel like you’re drowning and committing to it.

Listen to ‘To Be Honest’ below:

The iMullar is the definitive voice of emerging African music and the lifestyle that surrounds it, showcasing exceptional talent from all around the globe focused on promoting the most distinctive new artists and original sounds, we are the authority on who is next.

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