- Words Notion Staff
- Photography Chukwuka Nwobi
Finding her own lane in Nigeria's music scene, Somadina speaks staying true to yourself, future collaborations and festival season excitement.
Nigerian music is ready for a new hero, and in Somadina, we may have just found them. Intoxicating listeners with her effervescent productions, the 22-year-old is being touted as next up in one of music’s most competitive scenes. It’s a testament to her genre fluid style that she can perform with Amaarae and make tracks like “Y I Want U”: a psychedelic, percussive jam that leans towards British club sounds.
Breaking through the noise with her lucid trap jam “IHY”, Somadina’s voice leaves an impressionable mark on its listeners. Pulling from genres as sonically disparate as punk and drum and bass, the rising singer-songwriter takes pride in experimentation, translating different sounds seamlessly into one track. Such musical dexterity has allowed her to travel the globe, playing with Lady Donli and Davido along the way.
Revealing her debut EP ‘Heart of the Heavenly Undeniable’ at the tail end of 2022, Somadina’s showing no signs of slowing down this year. She recently released visuals for her standout single “Y I Want U” and continues to impress with a unique take on Nigeria’s alté scene.
We spoke with Somadina about staying true to yourself, future collaborations and festival season excitement.
Hey, how are you? Getting into the swing of the new year yet?
I’m doing good. I’ve just been resting, meditating and working. I’ve been moving around a lot too and that’s been fun.
How would you describe your own sound?
I wouldn’t describe my sound as anything other than me. I try to have a very fluid approach with music and do whatever I feel like doing in that moment. My voice is my engine.
You dropped your debut project ‘Heart of the Heavenly Undeniable’ last year, what’s the meaning behind the title? Does that extend to the themes of the project overall?
The title of the project is really a statement. I wanted to have a constant reminder of what I feel my God-given purpose is. Making the project pushed me to grow in unimaginable ways. Over the last two years, I’ve discovered pockets of myself and been able to confront even the darkest parts of me. I feel like I wore my heart on my sleeve with the project and that’s helped me live, love and grow into a more powerful being. So, it’s also a nod to that.
“Y I Want U” is a single from the project. You released it with a graphic music video – where did the inspiration come from?
That’s funny. I mean it’s a song about really wanting someone you love. I wanted it to be simple but fun. I imagined it being played in a club setting, so we ran with that. Shoutout to 2Brths who directed it and Adey, who produced the record.
You were one of the first artists to be announced to play TGE this year, have you played before? Are you looking forward to it?
Yeah, I’m looking forward to it. I love festivals and the communal feeling of sharing music in a large open space. It’s gonna be a first for sure.
2022 was a really exciting year for you, what do you think was a career highlight on reflection?
So many fun things happened last year. I got to share the stage with Show Dem Camp, legends in my city. I think releasing ‘Heart of the Heavenly Undeniable’ was definitely the biggest highlight for me though. I’d been working on the project for a while so I was happy to finally have it out in the world for people to enjoy. I also really loved creating the digital art experience for a project with Rakniyda for ARTX Lagos.
And what’s been the hardest part of your musical journey so far?
I think patience. I keep letting myself be reminded that things are happening at the pace they need to.
You’ve traveled around quite a bit, having been raised in the Netherlands and Nigeria, and later relocating to the UK to study at university – would you say your music has taken influence from the cultures and environments of each transitional period you’ve had?
I think my music is heavily inspired by my experience and surroundings, so definitely all the places and people I’ve been blessed to meet have added glitter to my gold. I don’t know, it’s interesting because I only realise how heavy the influences are now that I’m a bit older. Growing up, it was just my regular life.
On ‘Heart of the Heavenly Undeniable’ you have features from The Cavemen, Chi Virgo, and L0la. What artists do you want to collaborate with in the future?
I personally love Rosalía, Drake, Zinoleesky, Mura Masa, Rema and PinkPantheress. The list is honestly so long.
And lastly, what can we expect next to see or even hear from Somadina this year?
More shows. More music. More love. Everything in due time though.