Simi (Born on 19th April 1988) is a 35 year-old Nigerian singer, sound engineer, songwriter, stage performer, recording artist, actress, model, and philanthropist known for her tiny, soft voice. The “Duduke” singer has a net worth of $2 million.
Born in the Surulere area of Lagos, Simi spent her formative years in the place of her birth where she started singing at her local church choir. She later launched her professional career in 2008 with the release of Ogaju – her debut album. Simi has since dropped other successful singles and albums and has amassed a plethora of awards and accolades to show for her effort in show business.
Simi Grew Up in a Broken Home
The singer, whose birth name is Simisola Ogunleye, was born on the 19th of April 1988. Her given name is a clear indication that she hails from the South Western part of Nigeria and belongs to the Yoruba ethnic group. Her place of birth is captured as Ojuelegba, which is a suburb of Surulere town in Lagos State.
Simi joined the Ogunleye family as the last of four children. While we do not know the identity of her mother, her father’s name is Charles Oladele Ogunleye. He died in 2014. Like her mother, the identity of her older siblings are also not known. The only thing known about her family is that her parents’ marriage hit the rocks when she was just nine years of age.
She was a Teenager When She Started Singing in her Church Choir
During her growing up years, Simi belonged to her local church choir where she spent time singing and dancing at church services. Perhaps, that can be considered as the formal training that prepared her for the success she has experienced in the music scene. She was barely ten years old when she wrote her first song and her career as a professional in the music industry took off in 2008 following the release of her first studio album, Ogaju.
She is an Alum of Covenant University
Growing up in Lagos, Simi accomplished both primary and secondary education in the state. For her secondary education, she went all the way from Ojuelegba to Ikorodu to attend Stars International College. Her quest for further academic qualifications took her to Covenant University – a known missionary school in the neighboring Ogun State where she graduated with a degree in Mass Communications.
Simi Became a Household Name By The Time She Turned 27
As stated above, Simi started making strides towards having a music career in 2008 at the age of 20. That year, she released her debut studio album titled Ogaju. The body of work featured a variety of songs such as “Iya Temi” and “Ara Ile”. Not much was subsequently heard of her until 2014 when she recorded and released a 5-track extended play titled Restless where she covered songs of many popular foreign artists. It didn’t take long for her to become one of the big girls of the Nigerian music industry.
The next batch of songs by the singer brought her more success, specifically “Tiff” and “E No Go Funny” which received frequent airplay. This catapulted the young singer to fame as more awards and accolades began to come her way.
She Married Adekunle Gold and Became a Mother in Her Early Thirties
Simi has been collaborating with Adekunle Gold on a professional level for a long time before speculations about their love life came to the fore. Though the duo constantly debunked every rumor about them being an item, their pictures on social media platforms told a different story. Anybody looking at the photos between them can only see one thing; love. Though they denied it for a long time, the chemistry was certainly palpable.
Speculations developed into reality in 2019 when the secret lovers eventually came up with a confirmation of their relationship. On the 9th of January, 2019, the couple exchanged marriage vows in a private wedding ceremony. The two later revealed that they have been together for five years before their nuptials. Simi was almost 31 when her status changed to Mrs. Adekunle Gold.
Barely a month after she celebrated her 32nd birthday, the female singer became a first-time mother on the 30th of May 2020 when her daughter Adejare came to cement their love. Her daughter is famous for being the inspiration behind her 2020 hit song, “Duduke”.
The 5-track EP That Catapulted Her To Fame
When Simi dropped her 5-track EP, Restless in January 2014, she became the talk of the town as every lover of music picked interest in her work. People wondered about the identity of the young lady behind the soft and penetrating voice.
On the EP, she covered a few popular foreign tracks from the likes of Adele (Set Fire to the Rain) and Rihanna (Man Down). It was really a pleasant surprise for Nigerians to see a Nigerian vocalist giving an authentic Nigerian feel to foreign songs. It was thanks to the EP that she was able to secure a recording deal with X3M Music.
The Success of the EP Gave Her The Needed Fuel to Break New Grounds
Embracing the fame that came with her EP, Simi dropped a couple of singles like “E No Go Funny” and “Tiff” on the 9th of January 2014. Critics gave both songs positive reviews as they received frequent airplay. After Josh Clarke directed and released the video for “Tiff” on the 30th of August 2015, it became a nominee at The Headies (2015) for the category of Best Alternative Song.
2015 heralded good things for the singer as she bagged her first award at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards where she emerged winner in the category of Most Promising Act to Watch. What followed next from her was the song “Jamb Question” which prompted NotJustOk.com to list her among the artists to watch out for in 2016. Simi later garnered more fame when she enlisted rapper Falz for the remix of the song that became a bigger hit.
On the 14th of February 2016, Simi’s love ballad entitled “Love Don’t Care” hit the music stand. The track which came from the stables of Oscar Heman Ackah was met with positive reviews, receiving constant radio airplay. The track addressed some Nigerian issues like discrimination and tribalism. Its video was directed by famed Nigerian music video director, Clarence Peters.
Before 2016 ran out, Simi was nominated for an MTV Africa Music Award in the category of Best Breakthrough Act. She was also nominated in three different categories at the year’s The Headies awards. Simi would also go on to release a collaborative body of work with Falz titled Chemistry.
Simi’s Next Albums Recorded Great Success Upon their Release
Simi’s second studio album was a 12-track album titled Simisola. It was released in September 2017, debuting at #5 on the Billboard World Albums chart after Simi had already dropped singles like “Joromi” and “Smile for Me”. To further promote her Simisola album, she dropped music videos for songs like “Complete Me”, “O Wa Nbe”, “Aimasiko”, and “Gone for Good”.
Omo Charlie Champagne, Vol. 1 is Simi’s third studio album which was released on the 19th of April, 2019, to coincide with her birthday. The somewhat afro-centric feel of 2017’s Simisola was not so evident in Omo Charlie Champagne which featured a mixture of Afropop, sentimental ballad, Afro-soul, Afro-fusion, EDM, R&B, and moombahton. The album had 13 songs that included tracks like “Lovin”, “I Dun Care”, and “Ayo”. She featured artists like her husband Adekunle Gold, Falz, Maleek Berry, and Patoranking.
Following the expiration of her contract with X3M Music in May 2019, Simi decided against a renewal, parting ways with the record label to launch her very own label called Studio Brat.
The Best of Simi’s Songs
- 2008 – “Ara Ile”
- 2014 – “Tiff”
- 2014 – “E No Go Funny”
- 2015 – “Jamb Question”
- 2015 – “Jamb Question” (Remix) (featuring Falz)
- 2016 – “Love Don’t Care”
- 2017 – “Joromi”
- 2017 – “Smile For Me”
- 2018 – “I Dun Care”
- 2018 – “Lovin”
- 2019 – “Ayo”
- 2020 – “Duduke”