She gained prominence in 2014 after releasing “Tiff”, a song that was nominated for Best Alternative Song at The Headies 2015.
Full Name: Simisola Ogunleye
Born: 19 April 1988
Birth place: Ojuelegba, Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria
Famous as: Singer, songwriter, sound engineer
Genres: Afropop soul alt-rock world R&B
Years active: 2006–present
Labels: Studio Brat, X3M (former)
Associated acts: Falz, Praiz, Adekunle Gold, Johnny Drille
Biographical and educational history
Simisola was born in Ojuelegba, a suburb of Surulere, as the last of four children. 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.
Simisola attended Stars International College, a secondary school in Ikorodu, Lagos State. She is an alumnus of Covenant University, where she studied mass communication.
2006–13: Career beginnings
Simi grew up dancing and singing as a member of her local church’s choir. She wrote her first song at age 10.
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.
2014–2018: Music career
In January 2014, Simisola released the 5-track EP Restless, which eventually earned her a record deal with X3M Music. The EP is composed mostly of covers recorded by popular acts, including Rihanna’s “Man Down” and Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain”.
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. The song was nominated for Best Alternative Song at the 2015 edition of
Later in 2015, Simisola won the Most Promising Act to Watch category at the 2015 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. In an interview with Leadership newspaper she revealed that she started working on her second studio album, which was slated for release in 2016.
Upon releasing “Jamb Question”, She was listed as one of the artistes to watch out for in 2016 by NotJustOk. The remix of “Jamb Question” features Nigerian rapper Falz.
On February 14, 2016, she released the Oscar Heman Ackah-produced love
ballad “Love Don’t Care”. It received frequent radio airplay and was met with positive reviews. “Love Don’t Care” effectively addresses tribalism and discrimination in Nigeria.
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.
On October 27, She 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, she was nominated in three categories at The Headies 2016, winning one.
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.
Music videos for “O Wa Nbe”, “Complete Me”, “Gone for Good” and “Aimasiko” were also released to further promote the album. She 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.
2019: Music career
In March 2019, She 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. The album is a slight departure from the relatively afro-centric feel of Simisola (2017). It is a mixture of sentimental ballad, Afropop, Afro-fusion, Afro-soul, R&B, EDM and
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.
Simisola dedicated the album to her father Charles Oladele Ogunleye, who died in 2014. Omo Charlie Champagne, Vol. 1 was preceded by three singles: “I Dun Care”, “Lovin” and “Ayo”.
In May 2019, X3M Music announced the departure of Simi following the expiration of her recording contract. Both parties did not renew the contract and agreed to part ways.
In June 2019, she announced the launch of her independent record label, Studio Brat. A month prior to this announcement, her two-album record deal with X3M music expired.
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.
Her music style is basically hinged in the rhythm and blues, soul and hip-hop music genres.
She signed endorsement deal with Etisalat and Opera Mini as the brand ambassador of both companies in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Family and Personal life
Simisola married singer Adekunle Gold in a private wedding ceremony on January 9, 2019. It was later revealed that they had been dating for five years.
Awards and Recognitions
2015: Nigeria Entertainment Awards honoured her as the Most Promising Act to Watch
2015: City People Entertainment Awards honoured her as the Most Promising Act of the Year
2016: Female Artiste of the Year at the City People Entertainment Awards
2016: Choice Upcoming Female Artist at the Nigerian Teen Choice Awards
2017: Best Collaboration at the Headies for (Soldier with Falz)
2017: Love Don’t Care won the Best Vocal Performance (Female)
2017: Best Collabo of the Year at the City People Entertainment Awards
2017: Songwriter of the Year at the AFRIMA Awards
2018: Best Recording of the Year at the Headies
2018: Best R&B single at the Headies