The second edition of the #TosinadedaHYPE is here, and this one features a beautiful singer called Simi. Need i say more? i don’t think so, just go through the interview, listen to the songs and you will agree with me that She is indeed a wonderful singer.
1. What are your full names?
– Simisola Bolatito Ogunleye
2. What state are you from?
– Ondo State
3. What was growing up like, as regards music?
– My family wasn’t and isn’t really music oriented as such. My inclination towards music was very personal. I knew that I had a knack for music when I was about 9. It wasn’t me as much as other people. Whenever I sang, people always complimented me. I joined this group at my church, Outstanding, when I was about 13. We danced, sang and rapped. Being a part of them definitely helped me fuel my love and passion for music.
4. Educational background?
– I went to a Catholic primary school – St. Catherine’s Model School. Attended way too many secondary schools to mention, but finished from Stars International College. I also graduated from Covenant University with a Mass Communication degree in 2008.
5. When really did singing start fro you?
– Personally, music started for me when I was about 8. I already loved singing and knew it at this time. But seriously, music seriously started for me when I was about 15.
Download Simi – I Do
6. Were your parents in support initially, and are they in support now?
– My parents, my mum especially, were in support of my music when I was in school. For them, it was kind of like a hobby I had going. When I graduated and they saw I was taking it more seriously than they first thought, they got a little bit concerned. They didn’t want me to ‘waste’ my certificate. But now, even more than ever, I have their support and encouragement.
7. Tell us about the first song you ever wrote and recorded, how was the experience?
– I was 10 when I wrote my first song. I called it “He’s Alive”, I think. I remember very clearly that my mum came home from work and I sang it to her. She went something like– “It’s a lie! You wrote that? It’s beautiful.” Then she gave me a big hug. I don’t know right now if she was lying to me. Either way, it was the best lie ever told.
– The first song I ever recorded however was a rap song I did with members of my group, Outstanding, at the time. It was called “Bounce”.
Download Simi – Take A Chance
8. Your song “Ara Ile” will it be safe to call it your breakout song?, it rocked. Tell us about it.
– Ara ile was definitely my breakout song. I can’t even lie. Lol. Samklef and I were trying to work on my album and I was more into writing slow and mid-tempo songs. Sam said we had to do something groovy. So we sat and wrote and tweaked and tackled. Thus, Ara ile was born. I remember then that he spent so much time mixing and mastering the song. More time than he spent on any other song. I got tired of hearing it after a while, but it was totally worth it. It’s weird that it wasn’t my favourite song on the album though.
9. My sources say the song was off an album, do u have an album? Tell us about the album.
– The album was/is titled Ogaju. Released 2008. It had 10 songs on it, all produced by Samklef. Unfortunately, it was never officially on the market. I was to re-release some of the songs with a label. That didn’t go very well. Somehow, a lot of the songs grew legs by themselves. People found them where I didn’t put them. People promoted them without me doing anything. Most of them didn’t even know me. That was when I knew my mum had bribed God when I was born. Lol. I was favoured. Still am. I don’t take that for granted at all. I’m grateful to every single person that took their time to help out. The songs had a lot of different sounds on them. Truthfully, the style I feel most would be soul. And my favourite song on that album was “Iya temi” – the one I wrote for my mum. For me, it was the easiest to write and the melody just does it for me. I’m a total sucker for simple soul music.
10. Who will do you see as role models in Nigeria and Abroad, did anyone inspire you?
– Musically, I switch ‘role-models’ like a model switches dresses. I try not to listen to anyone too much. I loved and completely still love Asa. In my opinion, she’s pretty much one of the best artists this country has provided. I love her depth. Very few people still sing because they love the art. There’s so much noise around now, it’s daunting. I like Bez’s sound a lot too. Sound Sultan. Internationally, I would say Natasha Beddingfield, Lauryn Hill, Jason Mraz. I discover people everyday and I try to ‘steal’ as much knowledge as possible from each one. I’m also a songwriter, so some people, I love just because of their songs. I really like 2face. I like Wizkid’s voice. it’s unique. I love Cobhams. He’s an amazing songwriter. I think Waje has an amazing voice. I could go on and on, but right now, I’d say my favourite artist is Jason Mraz. It’ll probably change next month.
Other wise, my role models are my mother, and my Senior Pastor, Rev. Sam Adeyemi.
11. What genre/kind of music would you say you do?
– Soul. I dabble in a lot of genres but my base is always the soul sound now.
Download Simi – Emi Oni Jo
12. Your song “chocolate brown” I must say is very nice. What do you always have in mind before writing a song, what inspires you?
– Thank you for the compliment. Songwriting, for me, is as special as the actual singing. Anything can trigger my writing a song. Usually, it’s just plain ol’ regular life. Chocolate Brown is just a story of real life happenings and just how frustrating it can be. I like to tell real stories. A lot of the time, I get inspiration for my songs in the weirdest most inconvenient places.“Take A Chance” came to me on a plane. I didn’t have a pen or paper. I had to use the bag you use if you get sick. I also had to beg for a pen. I was on the flight with a comedian friend of mine. HE teased me the entire flight. Songs have come to me in the bath and I can’t very well rush out covered in soap-lather. So you can imagine me rushing my bath so I can hurry up and put the song down. It’s so much fun for me though. Always.
Download Simi – Chocolate Brown
13. What plans do you have for the future? Working on anything at the moment? What should we expect?
– I definitely have plans. I’m working on my video for Chocolate Brown and definitely a couple new singles, all leading towards my album by the grace of God. It’s a journey and I’m going to take it one day at a time. I’m also thinking of doing a lot of covers for songs I’m totally crazy about. I recently did one for Wizkid’s “Love My Baby”. That was fun.
– I’m in the States right now. I hope to shoot my video here by God’s grace. I’m also doing a couple of live shows here. I had one a few weeks ago with the band, Rhythmic choes. You can find a video of that as well as most of my recent music on my page – www.reverbnation.com/symplysimi Like my facebook page www.facebook.com/symplysimi (because my facebook page likes you. Lol) and follow me on twitter @symplysimi
Download Simi – I Love My baby (Cover)
14. Any Parting words?
– Truth is, in the Nigerian music scene now, it’s almost as though everyone is doing the same thing and everyone expects you to go the same way, if you’re an artist. I hate the norm. It’s boring. So, I intend to just do it different. I love music. I genuinely love it and I don’t intend to do anything that’s more noise than music.