With Ayo, Simi has again gone back to the powerful influence of King Sunny Ade — the tempo of the drums and guitar.

Ella Temisan

If there is a Nigerian playlist to kick off a New year, then Jaywon’s This year-Odun Yi would top that list and Simi’s Ayo would come close behind. Like Jaywon, Simi is declaring blessings of wealth, houses, cars, happiness, and anything wey you want” at the start of the year.

Simi’s Ayo is a typical Simi song; she serenades with her sweet voice and one can literally feel the joy in her words and how blessed she must have felt while she recorded Ayo.

No doubt, Simi had a sterling 2018: she won awards for her eponymous debut album Simisola under the X3M Music Label;  released two singles I dun care and Lovin, and then ended the year with two successful concerts in London and Lagos. This year, she got married to long-time partner, Adekunle Gold, and the two released Promise.

A lot of Nigerian artistes infuse the highlife, juju, American jazz and hip hop music they grew up listening to into their songs. Some of the recent songs from the DMW crew references 90s American hip-hop songs, Adekunle Gold’s music is a mix of juju and pop, Flavour and Zoro is famous for blending highlife and old Igbo folk songs to make hits in recent years.

Simi and Adekunle Gold got married this January

Similarly, one can posit that Simi is a product of her generation. In Joromi, we hear a tinge of Sir Victor Uwaifo, Ebenezer Obey in Aimasiko, and King Sunny Ade in Owanbe. With Ayo, Simi has again gone back to the powerful influence of King Sunny Ade — the tempo of the drums and guitar. The singer delivers it in a classic Simi fashion, singing in Yoruba and English languages as she calls for blessings and prosperity.

Simi is one of the few Nigerian artistes who found and mastered a formula to go commercial, stay relevant while delivering songs with sensible lyrics. In a way, Ayo is like most Nigerian songs focused on quick wealth and prosperity but unlike them, Simi doesn’t encourage social vices, or glorified internet fraud and rituals for quick wealth. Instead, she is advising one to have confidence, ignore nay-sayers.

If dem dey doubt no mind dem/If bad belle come make you bind them” she sings and anything they want will be theirs. That is the world tested formula: stay true to your dreams, work hard and you will reap the fruit of your labour.

Since the launch of her music career, the singer  has proven her  versatility,  vocal prowess, song writing skills and versed knowledge of classic Nigerian music.  Ayo is no different; it is a simple, catchy mid-tempo song and proof  that Simi knows what she is doing with her music.