Simi: In Conversation
“I’m not the type of person that seeks validation, but I have no inclination to deny that I’m very happy that people love something I made for them,” Simi.
Released on June 3rd via her own independent label ‘Studio Brat’ Simi returns with the long-awaited album, TBH (TO BE HONEST). The Nigerian-born turned global music star last released a full-length project in 2019. So, it’s no surprise that fans are clamouring to hear a new project from the Duduke singer.
TBH (To Be Honest) sees Simi unlock a new creative era inspired by her motherhood and career experiences to date. And, the 11-track record reintroduces this new incarnation of Simi perfectly. With clever lyricism, smooth harmonies and an unrivalled reliability factor, the singer-songwriter has enchanted fans yet again.
So, to find out more about the new album Chapter Z took the time to sit down with Simi to talk all this music and her plans for the future.
In Conversation: Simi
Hi Simi, thanks for taking the time to chat with us!
Your next full-length project, ‘(TBH) To be Honest’, dropped on June 3rd. And, it’s your first record release since 2019. How are you feeling about the release?
I’m so excited about it. I was elated to put it out and I’m so glad that so many people love it. I’m not the type of person that seeks validation, but I have no inclination to deny that I’m very happy that people love something I made for them. I think that’s also connected to the effort it took to make this album.
Do you have any favourite moments or tracks on the album? Tell us about them.
One of my favourites is how the song ‘Easy’ came to be. As I was adding and striking songs out, I wanted to take it out. Something just felt off. But, for some reason, my daughter kept singing it out of the blue. So, I decided to go back to the mix and figure out what was throwing me off, and I found it. Fixed it, and then, I kept it on the album. And that’s why that song has her on it. Now it’s one of the fan favourites.
You’ve already dropped the record’s first single, ‘Naked Wire’. But, of the album tracks, which were you most excited for your fans to hear?
The song I was most excited for people to hear was probably ‘No Joy’.
Did you have a specific goal you wanted to achieve with this project? Did you want to address a certain topic or create a certain vibe?
I wanted to speak my mind straight; I also wanted to test new sounds. It was a combination of things.
You’ve mentioned that becoming a mother has been a big inspiration for your music recently and a theme that ran behind this album. How do you think becoming a mother changed you and consequently your songwriting?
It has made me more aware of myself as a woman, a person and of life. I don’t have time to waste or dawdle. This definitely affects my art because that’s how I express myself.
Individual identities evolve over time. And so, it’s only natural that an artist’s musical identity does too. It’s clear your musical identity has grown with you. But, what would you say are the biggest defining moments in your career so far that have shaped who you are as an artist?
Like you said, being a mom transformed me. All the milestones in my career have also changed me in so many ways. Every win and every disappointment has moulded me in some way and I look forward to all the future versions of me. My hope is that they are all good people.
This record is being released under your own record label, Studio Brat. How important is it for you to have full control over your music/output and to be able to provide the same open space for other artists?
Being an independent artist is so wild! It’s a lot, but it’s most of all freeing. I’m responsible for my wins and mistakes now. No excuses. It stretches me, but it also expands my capabilities. I’m extremely proud of myself. As time goes by, we’ll see if we can stretch to accommodate others, because I won’t make that kind of commitment to prove a point if I’m not able to give all the things they deserve.
Can you tell us more about Studio Brat?
Studio Brat is my little baby. We have a small, but loyal and able team.
You’re very much an international artist. But as a Nigerian woman, how does it feel to have such an influential voice on the Nigerian music scene, which is considered extremely male-dominated?
It’s nice, but I look forward to the day many more women can have access to the space. We deserve more and we won’t stop demanding it.
What else do you have in store for your fans this year and next? Can people get excited about some live dates?
We’re planning the tour and we’ll keep everyone posted!