The story I tell in my music reflects a part of my life.

Exclusive interview with Simisola Ogunleye


1. Tell us about your background?
I’m Simisola Ogunleye; only girl and last child of four. I’m a Covenant University graduate with a degree in Mass Communication. I’m a singer/songwriter.

2. How did you come about music?
I wrote my first song when I was 10. I didn’t grow up around much music, but for some reason (which I haven’t discovered yet) I was very drawn to music. I joined a dance/singing group called Outstanding in church as a young teenager and that was where I honed my passion for music.

3. What prompted/inspired your long term chart topper ‘Tiff’?
I write my songs from mine and everyone else’s experiences. ‘Tiff’ was inspired by the pure beauty of falling in love. I once said that if I had one wish, it would be to fall in love every day. I was trying to tap into something everyone could identify with.

4. In 2008 it was ‘Ara-ile’, and ‘Tiff’ in 2014, do you agree that you’re taking a gradual drift from gospel to soul music?
No, I don’t agree that I’m taking a gradual drift. I’m not a gospel artist anymore. I love God still, but I don’t do gospel music anymore and I haven’t for a while now.

5. Is your genre of music a reflection of your daily live?
I’m an afro-pop artist. I don’t know for sure that my genre can be a reflection of anyone’s life. The stories that I tell in my music, however, definitely reflect a part of my life. Not all of it, but a good part.

6. You’re known for your vibrant dancing skills; if it wasn’t music, would you have settled for dancing?
I danced in school, but I didn’t dance much after I left and I became a bit rusty. I’m working on it though. If I wasn’t into music, I’d either be a writer or into broadcasting.

7. Illuminate us on how you came on board with X3M?
Early 2013, my CEO, Steve Babaeko, heard a cover I did and was interested in my music. I didn’t get on the label until 2014 though. I was working with my producer, Oscar, at the time and we all came together on a three-way contract.

8. What experiences has singing in the church at your early stage added to your life?
Singing in church early made me grounded. It also made me realize how much I love music. There are lots of things I enjoy, but I tend to get bored pretty easy sometimes. With music, my heart is always a hundred percent in it.

9. Who/what inspires you?
Everything and everyone.

10. What plans do you have for 2015? Do you think you can take the center stage amidst the ‘competition’ in the music industry?
There are lots of materials we’re planning to put out in 2015. I’m extremely excited. I can and will take the center stage by God’s grace. This, of course, is why we’re here

11. Any advice for aspiring ‘church’ musicians?
No idea what you mean by church musicians. But for every artist, be true to yourself and work hard.

12. If you had to do a collaboration with any musician across Africa, who would that be?
Ayo; the French one.

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