Global streaming platform, Spotify, has named Nigerian singer-songwriter Simi as Spotify EQUAL Africa music programme ambassador for July. This announcement follows the release of her latest album, ‘TBH (To Be Honest)’ which came out in June.
Simi joins other Nigerian artists, Tiwa Savage, Ayra Starr, Asa, and FAVE to be part of EQUAL Africa, which aims to spotlight and amplify the voices of talented African female artists making waves in the music scene. She also becomes only the second African artist after Tiwa Savage to be named as an EQUAL Global and EQUAL Africa artist.
The Nigerian musician, sound engineer and actress, Simi Bolatito Ogunleye, started her musical journey as a chorister in church. Starting her musical career as a gospel singer, Simi released her debut studio album ‘Ogaju’ in 2008 before switching genres to Afro-pop. She came onto the public’s radar in 2014 after the release of the single, ‘TIFF’, which was nominated for Best Alternative Song at The Headies in 2015.
Her 2016 single, ‘Jamb Question’, was a massive hit, topping music charts for weeks. In 2020, Simi garnered even more buzz in the industry after she released her famous song, ‘Duduke’, which celebrated the birth of her daughter. ‘Duduke’ was one of the most played songs of the year in Nigeria, a further testament to Simi’s musical prowess.
“Striving and thriving as a woman in a male-dominated industry has taken years of practice to master,” says Simi. “You go from being scared of it, to being intimidated by it, to being brave enough for it and then finally, to conquering it. I’ve almost always had to do way more than my male peers to prove myself. But, because of my love for music, I have been relentless and proud to do this work. I certainly hope, with all my heart that the women who continue to come after me find it easier to shine in the way they deserve.”
Spotify welcomes Simi to the EQUAL programme which aims to foster gender equality and provide a platform to celebrate inﬂuential female artists. She joins a list of talented African women who are driving the culture and breaking through barriers in the music industry.
“We are proud to welcome Simi to the EQUAL programme, and we’re so excited to see where her talent continues to take her from strength to strength,” says Spotify’s head of music for sub-Saharan Africa, Phiona Okumu.
The EQUAL programme spans seven categories, which include the EQUAL Artists of the Month and the EQUAL local playlists. As the latest artist to join EQUAL Africa and Global Music Programs, Simi will be featured on the EQUAL Africa and the EQUAL Global playlists.