Simi is currently flying high with her single ‘Joromi’. The record which was released last week. The song, which is a new expression of love, borrows a title and style from a legendary Nigerian single – Sir Victor Uwaifo’s ‘Joromi’.
The visual shot by AJE Filmworks brings the single to life, and features Simi discretely expressing her affection and desire to be with a love interest. The video quickly shot to number 1 on the Youtube trending charts, with fans sending in recordings of the single as part of the promotional strategy.
‘Joromi’ is the lead single off her forthcoming album, “Simisola”, which drops in September. Simi talks to Pulse via telephone about the creation of the single, its key inspiration, and her learnings from making her album. The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity below.
How did the idea for ‘Joromi’ come to you?
Actually, I had already finished most of the songs on my album, we thought it was already complete. Oscar my producer said he was going to send me a beat, but I was actually tired of writing already. When he sent it, I fell in love with the beat, and then I started to write it.
It was a bit hard for me, because creatively I wasn’t in that space. I was mixing all the songs on my album, and it was a bit hard for me to create that song. But because I really liked the beat, I just kept going. I wrote 4 songs before I finally got ‘Joromi’.
I was trying to think an angle, I just sang the chorus and really liked the way it sounded, so I just built around that. One thing I did in my entire album is that I try to get inspirations from the work of legends. Not too long before I created the song, I was listening to ‘Joromi’ by Sir Victor Uwaifo, and I really liked the call-and –response thing he did, and it was inspiring. It makes the song more interactive. That’s one of the main reasons why I did the call-and-response in the song inspired.
I also wanted to use the name. I have not heard that name in any other song before, so I thought it was going to be nostalgic and all.
Is the ‘Joromi’ concept of women chasing after men un-African?
I was trying to be discrete, but not so much. She’s not going outright and telling him ‘I like you’. She’s doing things that are supposedly mistakes, so he gets to see her, and give him the opportunity to fall for her she has fallen for him.
She wants him to be the one that is asking her out, but she’s trying to give him signs. It isn’t un-African as some people might see it. It’s something that has always happened. You like a guy and you don’t want to say it, so you just drop signs. I think every lady has at one point done it in some way, shot their shot in one way or another.
How has the response to the single been?
I think it is incredible. We were trying to pick the first single before dropping the album. We were trying to decide between this one and another one, but I said this one. When I chose it, the song wasn’t finished yet. It didn’t have the guitars and a few more sounds, but I just liked the fact that it was very interactive and people can participate.
One think I like in my songs is that I use lyrics that can make people join in the music. I don’t just want you to dance, I want you to be able to sing it and be a part of it as well. This song makes people do that easily.
Love is a strong point. But what I try to do is every single love song, I want it to be different from the next one. I want it to reflect something different about love, because I think the biggest most universal thing in life is love, besides music and football. There are so many faces to it, and everyone’s love story is different. So I try to pick something different from so many love stories and many people can relate to it.
There are different love songs on the album. ‘Joromi’ is a love song, but it is different from anything that I have ever done.
What are the learnings in trying to create an album?
Like I have been saying to a few of my friends, I think I underestimated the fact of how much work it will take to completely get something that would satisfy you. I was a huge part of the process, writing, recording myself, arranging the music, and also mixing. I listened to the songs over and over again because I am a perfectionist. Getting to that point where I am satisfied is really hard. I changed stuff, I replaced a lot of songs. The process is very educative and amazing. It took a lot out of me, but it also gave back a lot to me.
It’s something I would never take for granted. I’m never afraid to fail, because failure is part of growing. So when I do stuff, I can’t wait for people to hear it, and what they have to say. I want to know how they feel about everything, what I can do better, and what I can keep.
I have the best team behind me, and my boss at X3M Music trusted me with the entire process. He didn’t even listen to the songs until they were all done. It’s great to have a team that trusts me to do my best, and people that support me too. A lot of the clout I have in the music industry is because people have spread the word about my music, and that means a lot to me.