In case you missed the memo, Simi is about to become famous on an unimaginable scale. Since her feature on Falz’ 2015 smash hit Soldier, she has become one of the most sought after voices in Nigerian music, landing hit after hit and body slamming artists as a featured act on their own songs.
Following this premise, we have taken a cue from others who have similarly stood at the edge of glory to recommend 5 pitfalls she should avoid falling into.
The curious case of a pigeonhole
We Nigerians have a labeling problem. Names must be tagged with everything and categorized into small boxes by class, definition, and worth. However, for music, many a time, genre definitions often come at the price of forcing artists into pigeonholes that neither fully represents their craft or identifies with their brand. Simi’s journey in the industry has come from a pioneer place of nifty songwriting and artsy articulation. But while she’s raising bars for creativity with her music, Simi must avoid having her brand pegged as anything primed for genres her music does not represent. The ‘alternative’ narrative is often forced upon artists who manage to exhibit a more creative edge, hence, from media representation to award show categories Simi must do her part to distance herself from all the things she is not.
Low-profile but not too low
In fairness to her current public image, Simi has managed to remain under the radar (even against the backdrop of a rumoured love triangle between Adekunle Gold and Falz). This, however, must not be taken overboard else she becomes a boring celebrity to the average Nigerian. The key here is to strike a balance with big bang motifs creatively synced into her art. There is no such thing as bad PR if it will get people buying CDs and attending concerts. But speaking of Bad PR, there are lingering rumours that Simi is unnecessarily rude to the small people. We have no confirmation nor are we a gossip blog so we won’t hinge too much on this. What we can say however is, if you’re talented enough, you can get away with just about anything, which only reiterates the creativity in public image message we’re trying to pass here.
Simi take note!
She should avoid being caught up in a niche
There is nothing wrong with being a niche artist except niche musicians only make a certain kind of music for a certain kind of people. This is a luxury Simi would have if she were not a staunch pop singer already. There is no need to attempt to be a niche-based artist anymore since her current style has been proven to work. Focus now should be driven towards better marketing and promotion for her next projects.
Avoid waiting too long for international crossover attempt
Simi has come a long way since her days as a gospel teen pop star and the days are still counting. This means that for an entertainment clime like Nigeria’s where trends and pop culture icons are replaced and (or) interchanged at blitz speed, there is no such thing as a right time for an attempt at international cross-over. Especially for Simi who already has a marketable sound. Afropop is a sound, not a language, hence, her music should be redirected to lean on sleeker melodies so accent and language disparity don’t pose as a barrier to getting into foreign airwaves.
Streamline her personality
Simi has had a great run in the last two years, no doubt. But while her discography of singles have been fairly consistent, her inability to center her songwriter vocalist self; versus her innocuously cheeky self ; versus a street self she ardently wants to be identified with (even though she clearly is not), merely presents her as a flippant artist, whose unpredictability appears to be a series of random experimentations with flashes of great ideas instead of a dedicated attempt to be eccentric. There is a great need for self-centering that must repossess all the parts of her into one great artist, not just in bits and pieces scattered across multiple good concepts.