Just as is the case with business, music has to be solving a problem. Relevance is important for every artist in any market. There should always be a space a musician fills and a void they assume. It could be supplying the consumers’ demand for vocal talent, or being a great performer, or having a personality interesting enough for people to patronize. And unarguably, Somadina fills all the necessary voids.
In 2018, Somadina decided to take the music industry as a mountain to conquer and her art to the next level with the release of her first ever single, IHY and has continued to work her way to the top, release after release.
Today, she’s most recognized for how liberal her sound is – although mostly rock, alternative, R&B, Afrobeats, Soul and Pop – and how she cannot be put into any definitive box.
“I don’t see my music in a certain country or space for certain people or even a certain community,” the uber-talented African Rockstar confesses. “I feel like people everywhere and anywhere should be able to connect with it and that’s my benchmark which is a really high benchmark, but I believe it can happen.”
Born to Nigerian parents and in Nigeria, but having grown up in the Netherlands, Somadina loves to express her emotions through her music.
In this chat, Itty asks her questions about her latest EP project – Heart Of The Heavenly Undeniable, navigating the male-dominated industry, and how much her music means to her.
This piece has been edited for length and clarity.
How did music begin for you?
Well, I’m 22 right now and I feel like I’ve been doing music all my life, but I decided I wanted it to be a career in 2018. I’ve always been into music, learning and performing mostly in Nigeria.
Between 2018 and now, your presence especially in the alté scene has been felt. Was that strategic for you or just serendipity?
I mean, I think everything has happened organically, especially with the people I’ve met. I met all of them organically and I didn’t know it was an actual scene. I actually started to understand way later that it was a community. It just felt like I met these people because a lot of them hit me up because they liked my first song.
What influences have you had over your sound and how did you get here sonically?
I’m influenced by life, culture, experiences and even little things like colors, feelings and just generally the little things in life that we usually take for granted. I try my best to feel them and put them in my music. Sometimes I feel like colors have a meaning, a feeling and a sound.
What’s your favorite color?
I don’t really have a favorite anything, but I like black a lot.
What was the creation process like for Heart of the Heavenly Undeniable?
I worked on that project for about two years and I made it in different places like Lagos, Ghana, LA and London, and it was just different phases of me growing and learning and most especially – healing. The project was a healing phase of my life where I was deprogramming myself and my mind and unlearning a lot of things as a Nigerian, as a woman and even as a black person that society teaches us. So making that project was just a lot of understanding myself and being able to speak to my inner child and I used that project to get out a lot of unwanted emotions.
“I see myself beyond walls. I don’t see my music in a certain country or space for certain people or even a certain community.”
Do you have a favorite song you’ve made?
Right now, yes, but it changes everyday. My favorite song at the moment is not even out yet. But I love ‘Dreams’. It is one of my favorites on the HOTHU project.
Which of your songs would you say is your most important song that has changed the course of your career or had the most meaning to you while you were creating it?
I feel like that song isn’t out yet, but I think ‘Citrus Tears’ has really struck a chord and I really enjoyed performing it more than I expected to. ‘Rolling Loud’ is still there and people really like it, but people need to hear my next project.
That’s dropping this year, yeah?
I don’t know when it’s dropping but I would love it if it came out this year.
If you could change anything about the creative industry, what would you change?
I think just helping artists understand everything they’re getting into. I think that’s important because I’m very blessed to have a good manager who has taught me alot. He doesn’t just manage me, he works with me and he has shown me how everything works. The knowledge cannot be bought, but can only be shared and I think that a lot of issues artists get into is because they don’t have the knowledge and people use that ignorance against them. So going on I think people should educate artists on publishing, distribution and how everything works.
What would be a benchmark of fulfillment for you?
I think it would be becoming global. I don’t know how to put it in words and how that can even be measured, but I see myself beyond walls. I don’t see my music in a certain country or space for certain people or even a certain community. I feel like people everywhere and anywhere should be able to connect with it and that’s my benchmark which is a really high benchmark, but I believe it can happen.
Itty can be caught studying African pop culture, writing about it or hosting a relationship podcast. When he's not doing any of these, then he's definitely at a bar, getting mocktail.