I know I haven’t been on here for a while, been taking time off to feed my other great love, reviewing TV shows for PartyJollof. I decided to take some time off that to talk a little about how much fashion can make or mar a musician, especially if the musician is female, and if she is singer and producer Simi.
For those of you who don’t know her, Simi Ogunleye who goes by Simi, is a multi-talented singer and producer, most famous for helping rapper Falz The Bad Guy make the hit song ‘Soldier’. Now Simi’s talent as a singer is undeniable, she has more talent in her pinkie finger than many male artists have in their whole bodies, and her personal life/attitude are not the subject of this. What is though is Simi’s public image.
I doubt there has ever been a Nigerian pop star who is as clueless about how she wants to present herself as Simi. Singers like Tiwa Savage and Chidinma have carefully cultivated for themselves public personas augumented by the way they dress. And Yemi Alade’s public image is so well curated that you only need to see her braided pompadour across a crowded room to know she is sharing air with you. Simi on the other hand always comes off like the well dresses but not quite famous back up singer on a good day, and the outright groupie on a bad day.
Need an example?
This is Simi at her last public performance at the MTNPlus24 launch.
This is an okay dress for a first date or clubbing with your girls, not a set list as a featured artist.
This is bad, but look at her outfit to Adekunle Gold’s launch party, where she was slated to perform her duet with the singer.
I doubt if you had no idea who she was, you’d be able to pick her out of the audience, let alone tag her as a headlining artist.
But it isn’t just Simi performances outfits that suck, the majority of her promotional and campaign images are pretty bad too. Like this one.
And this one (extra points for whoever thought it was a great idea to put her in pair of generic white tees and loud pair of pants).
And this particularly bad shoot. What are those shoes? And why is there so much tulle but not enough to provide actually make the outfit look manageable if not decent.
I could keep pulling evidence of these atrocious photo shoots and performance outfits but that would be overkill. It’s very obvious that the people on Simi’s management team have not been able to impress on her the importance of ‘costume’. For the kind of music Simi does, she really can’t pull of the Girl-Next-Door. And even if she wanted to, not like this, not this multiplicity of identities and outfits that look like she simply rolled out of bed and got into an Uber and showed up at her gig.
There needs to be more evidence that tells us she is making an effort, there needs to be some style that we can aspire to, a distinct brand expressed through clothes that fans and critics can associate with her.
Simi might be trying to avoid getting pigeonholed into that Popstar box, but by not taking charge of her public image, she has let herself be cast as the clueless girl who is mistaken for a groupie when she is really the star.
Hire a stylist Simi, a real one. It’s always worth it in the end.