Getting recognized by Billboard two weeks after her album release is no mean feat.
Barely two weeks after the release of her 12 track album Simisola, Nigerian alternative singer Simi makes a remarkable debut on the Billboard World Album Chart sitting pretty on the Number 5 spot.
Simi warmed her way into our hearts in 2014 with the release of her ear soothing ballad – Tiff.
It was the perfect wedding song. ‘Who made this song?’ was the question that continually popped up whenever the record got a spin. It wasn’t a regular Nigerian pop song; save for Asa, we hadn’t heard any Nigerian female bless us with such a melody that surpassed our ears to our hearts in ages.
Soon we began to slowly figure out who she was: her name was Simi and she is signed to X3M – the same label that houses former Project Fame contestant, Praiz.
Although new to many, she wasn’t a newbie: she’s released an album as far back as 2008 but it didn’t quite move the needle. Her career started in church and she wrote her first song at the age of 10.
In January 2014, Simi released a 5 track compilation, Relentless; which saw the singer cover some popular global records like Rhianna’s Man Down. The Relentless EP propelled the singer to new grounds and eventually earned her a record deal with X3M Music.
Being signed to X3M, however, availed her the opportunity of honing her talent the same way Praiz had done and overall, carve a niche for herself.
Simi was already over a decade into the art of music making and had perfected her craft as a singer and producer before mainstream consumers looked in her direction. Even though we all loved her apparent breakthrough record Tiff, it took the audience a minute to completely warm up to her alternative sound. It was good music no doubt, but it remained to be seen if it would be popular.
‘Will she eventually switch lanes? Is she a one hit wonder? All of these and more were the questions of her growing audience at the time.
But Simi took her destiny into her own hands and cleared all doubts; one song at a time. Not only has she proven to be a terrific singer – her superpowers extends to the production lab as her hands were heavily involved in the production of Adekunle Gold‘s debut “Gold” album.
Simi’s rise from a church girl to a Billboard recognized alternative singer can be attributed to consistency and proper collaboration choices. By common knowledge, alternative music appeals only to a subset of listeners as it is tailored to touch more original subject matters that popular music fails to address.
Her ties with wildly popular rapper turned comic Falz the Bahd Guy served as a major catalyst to her rise. The two first collaborated two years ago on the remix of her 2015 hit – Jamb Question.
The synergy of storytellers – the chemistry was very apt. Falz had already become everyone’s favourite rapper – his sense of humour and glaring intelligence bought us over. Who can forget their hilarious collaboration, Soldier?
The two went on to release more records together and with every new release, they solidified their musical bond and eventually put out the seven-track collaborative Chemistry EP in 2016.
Simi had gone from a supposedly industry baby girl to the biggest indigenous female alternative singer in the country; our questions have been answered; she didn’t switch lanes and she definitely is not a one hit wonder.
The Billboard World Album Chart is a weekly chart that ranks top selling albums around the world. Billboard data partners (Nielsen BDS, Nielsen SoundScan and Next Big Sound) tracks the performance of albums based on key fan interactions like streams, downloads and social interactions on popular online destinations for music.
The chart defines the best music across every genre and are the most recognized and quoted rankings in the world.
Her just released fifteen track album – Simisola is everything we expected it to be. Solid production, intelligent storytelling and par vocal delivery.
Debuting on the No. 5 spot of the Billboard World Album Chart in the second week of its release is no mean feat and is a proof that the album recorded an impressive sale in its first week and also indicates that our former church girl has crossed the boundaries of Africa with her music.
Simi has gone international. Let the church say Amen!
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