A global streaming platform, Spotify, says Nigerian singer and songwriter, Simi Ogunleye, popularly known as “Simi”, has been selected as Spotify EQUAL Africa music programme ambassador for July.
Phiona Okumu, Spotify’s head of music for sub-Saharan Africa, dusclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos.
This announcement followed the release of her latest album, “TBH (To Be Honest)”, which came out in June.
Okumu said that Simi joined other Nigerian artistes like 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 said Simi had also become the second African artiste after Tiwa Savage, to be named as an EQUAL global and EQUAL Africa artiste.
“Spotify welcomes Simi to the EQUAL programme which aims to foster gender equality and provide a platform to celebrate inﬂuential female artistes.
“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 are so excited to see where her talent continues to take her from strength to strength,” she said.
Okumu said that the Nigerian musician, sound engineer and actress, started her musical journey as a chorister in church.
She said Simi started her musical career as a gospel singer, who 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,” she said.
Reacting, Simi said, “Striving and thriving as a woman in a male dominated industry has taken years of practice to master.
“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 have 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.”
The EQUAL programme spans seven categories, which include the EQUAL artistes of the month and the EQUAL local playlists.