Born in 19th April, 1988, Simisola Bolatito Ogunleye is one of the top female arts in Nigeria. Since breaking into the music industry in 2008 she has remained on top of her game, setting new standards and exceeding personal bests. You probably know a lot about her. Here are five little-known facts about Simi. “Lie to me, if the truth will break my heart o”. This is perhaps Simi’s most philosophical lines ever. One we do not promise to keep in this article.
1. She was a gospel musician
Simi, like many Nigerian artistes began singing in the church choir. Unlike many artistes, however, Simi went into full gospel music. She was a member of a singing group in her church Outstanding Music Group styled Outstandin’. She didn’t just do gospel with singles; she released a full album on the genre. She released Ogaju in 2008. She did this album solo. This album included a lot of songs done in her native Yoruba language. “Ara Ile”, “Iya Temi” and “Ogaju” are the notable tracks in the album.
Asked in a Punch in 2016 interview why she went mainstream, Simi said she wanted “a broader purview”. She also cited money as a motivation. Her faith in God hasn’t wavered. Will Simi ever do gospel again? She is clear about this. “I don’t see myself doing gospel music again.”
2. Simi was largely raised by a single mother
Her parents separated when she was aged nine. She left with her mother and only went to visit her father during the weekends. While this hurt the then tomboy seeing other children and their parents, it thought the vocalist that life was no bed of roses, and, according to her, this made her grow up fast, gave her a mature mind in a tender age and gave her the resolve to work very hard while prepared for the worst. A break such as this could break many children, but Simi came out of it a famous musician.
She admits that her mother played the very important role of guide from the time she left her father’s roof through to her finishing the university (Covenant University) where she studied Mass Communication. Her mother remains her role model, alongside her Pastor Sam Adeyemi.
3. She wrote her first song aged 10
Simi began singing at eight. She wrote her first song at ten. There is, however, little or no record about this track. It might have been included in her Oguja Album, it might have been lost. Simi has repeatedly mentioned this feat in interviews. If the song got lost, it is a shame, a real loss; that, however, does not take away the experience, painting her in a stronger light since this came out just a year after her parents separated.
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4. She is neither dating Falz nor Adekunle Gold
Simi have a strong working relationship with Falz and Adekunle Gold. Besides work, she has been spotted at functions with this duo respectively. The smiles are genuine and the shots are full of warmth. What is going on? Not what many want to hear.
Falz has denied he is dating Simi. In an interview with Channels in 2015, Falz said this about their rumored relationship. “At this current moment we are not dating but you never know what the future holds. I will just leave it there.” Now is the future. Are they dating now? No, rather Simi became attached with another singer Adekunle Gold.
Adekunle Gold denied dating Simi. He admits she is his partner, musically, and that she is a strong influence on his art, even to the extent of helping to define his genre, mixing his songs and giving a nod before he releases his songs.
Simi, herself, told Punch Newspaper that she is in a relationship with someone not in the music industry, someone who understands her relationships with Falz and Adekunle Gold for what they are.
5. Simi is inspired by the silliest things
While Oscar, her producer and music director, has a strong influence on her and her art and leads a short list of people in the industry who influence her, Simi derives her inspirations from everywhere. She reads a lot and easily connects with anything that strikes a chord with her. Anything. Even the silliest things. Silliest things like the dropping of a pigeon, the smell of fart, the speck on the eye? We can never be sure about how silly these things go and how she gets connected with them and take them to do the studio. We can be sure about one thing. Simi makes good music.