The parade of end-of-the-year concerts in Lagos, Nigeria, kicked off with Simi’s See Me Live concert, and there couldn’t have been a better opening act.

Signed to X3M Music, Simi gained attention when she released Tiff back in 2014. Over 3 years later, and she’s grown from just another singer to a legitimate superstar.

Her music exists outside the Nigerian staple of Afro-beats and rap, switching from afro-pop to afro-soul to alternative rock. They are genres where not many Nigerians have been able to find the kind of success Simi has found, and she played a part in helping it grow by giving up and coming acts like Chike, Jeff Akoh and Maka the opportunity to open the concert for her.

Each of them gave a solid account of themselves (Jeff Akoh had the crowd shouting Shokolokobangoshe for a long time), and gained new fans in the process.

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The Osi Suave-hosted concert started right on schedule, a delightful surprise for concert goers who are typically used to waiting hours before shows start. By past 9pm, the crowd was revved up for Simi, and she delivered.

Frequently trolled on social media for her fashion style but hardly ever responding, Simi cuts the figure of a very gentle person. Taking to the stage at See Me Live though, she came with a confidence and energy that very few would have attributed to her.

Powered by her band, The Banjos, she proved to be more than just a beautiful voice, giving a total performance complete with impressive stage command, crowd control and well-rehearsed choreography. She even threw in a bit of comedy, singing a hilarious remix to Luis Fonsi’s smash hit, Despacito. 

On stage alone for most of the night, Simi had promised a number of special guests, and the noise at Hard Rock Cafe rose to unprecedented decibels when she brought on frequent collaborator, Falz The Bahd Guy. 

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Even though Falz and Simi have a 6-track extended play titled Chemistry, the real chemistry on the night surfaced when Adekunle Gold joined her on stage. The duo produced the highlight of the night when they performed Take Me Back, off her eponymous sophomore album, Simisola. 

Alternative music is growing and gaining more fans and airplay in Nigeria, and Simi is certainly one of the acts at the helm of it. She might not even know how big she’s become (she had doubted the audience had heard an old song of hers, but the crowd didn’t just know it, they even sang along), and her superstardom is only just beginning.

We certainly can’t wait to see Simi live again. See photos from the concert below. All photos taken with the TECNO Phantom 8.