Simi may have finally landed a deserving spot on our playlists today but her story to mainstream glory did not begin here. A few years ago, a young chorister from Daystar Church, Lagos created a giant footprint on the industry with a Samklef produced gospel album, Ogaju. The album was released in 2008 to so much rave reviews in the gospel industry that one single off the album titled Ara Ile managed to seep into the mainstream.
Ara Ile is set on simple fast paced drums and background synth that switches up into rhythmic tempo to accentuate sinuous vocals which Simi caps off with a rap verse. However the most magic happens on her Samklef assisted bridge which she sings in-between speed breaths and background adlibs provided by her producer and back-up singer.
For many reasons, Ara Ile is an important aspect of Simi’s subsequent discography. As her first indentation in the industry, Ara Ile already showed off Simi’s burgeoning inner pop goddess. Her style is distinct in a manner that almost settles into skin deep levels after a few replays regardless of faith or religious beliefs.
Ironically despite Simi’s peerless vocal delivery, the singer mostly distances herself from her past as a gospel singer to avoid public backlash. While we understand the choice to simply forge ahead with her new career definition, we honestly refuse to believe anyone who heard Ara Ile a few years ago did not see this transition coming.