Somadina is a star.
But if her music doesn’t convince you, her personality definitely will. She arrives at our interview as a ball of laughter and cool jokes, managing to put everyone at ease with just the first hello. This is reminiscent of her music; a sound she describes as being “genre-fluid Somadina”.
Like many other artists, Somadina’s sound is heavily influenced by her life and everything she’s experienced. “I think what influences my music the most has been the environments I’ve been privileged enough to be in, the people I’ve met and the type of music I consume,” the artist says.
For the first nine years of her life, Somadina grew up in The Netherlands where she attended a multicultural school and got exposed to varying cultures. Because of this, she ended up with what she says is a free-flow identity and a solid foundation.
She didn’t know much about being Nigerian though and when she moved back to Nigeria, she was bewildered. Nigeria is a hub of vibrant culture and Somadina loved being a part of that world. “I found out about Nigerian music, culture, art and I’ll be honest, it was so beautiful. I had never seen art in that way and I was fascinated.”
The Netherlands helped her be free and Nigeria helped her grow into her identity. Experiencing the art, dances, and style inspired her love for other facets of culture like film and fashion. And of course, the music inspired her identity as an artist.
Somadina was a massive RnB head growing up, listening to stars like Brandy, Whitney Houston, John Legend, Beyonce and some Kirk Franklin. If that looks like a replica of a Nigerian Boomer’s playlist, then it is because Somadina’s taste was heavily persuaded by her dad’s.
She eventually grew into her own taste, exploring genres like psychedelic afro rock, tech, pop and EDM. You can hear Somadina’s diverse taste in her released songs. In October 2021, she released SUPERSOMA, a self-themed piece that possesses hints of genres like afro-pop and rock. It’s raunchy, bold and in it, you understand what she meant by describing her sound as ‘Somadina’.
She tells FEMME MAG that she has always been a confident person and she taps into that for her career as an artist. “I think confidence is key and it has shaped my sound a lot,” she says. “I also like to self-reflect and ask myself questions on how I can be a better person. The more I came into tune with myself, the more my music evolved.”
Somadina’s growth as an artist is directly tied to her personal growth. Her need to constantly grow as a person plays a massive part in her music.
Somadina grew up in a deeply religious household and her family was the type to hold prayers every morning and night. Because of this, she grew up with certain beliefs that she was taught to uphold. But she is not religious because it is what she grew up with, the artist tells FEMME MAG that when she was twenty years old, she began shaping her own beliefs and personal relationship with God.
Now, she defines success by how good her relationship with God and the divine is. “If I feel like I am doing what God sent me out to do, then I feel successful. If my music is touching and impacting different pockets of people, then I’m satisfied. Making my family proud is also a huge measure of success for me.”
But it comes as no surprise that she has made her family proud. The artist has garnered over 400,000 streams across platforms, features with other talented Nigerian artists and has performed at a myriad of shows. She’s good at what she does and her fans will tell you exactly that.
Performing at shows can be overwhelming for any artist and Somadina is no exception. However, she says that while she gets stage fright, it goes away easily. “I like to channel my confidence and remind myself that this is what I have always dreamt of doing.”
This month, she released the song Rolling Loud. It premiered on BBC Radio 1’s Future Artists and it featured powerful vocals from the artist. She describes the project as being “the most out-of-pocket” song she’s ever made and it highlights her struggles with being a Lagosian. In her own words: “Lagos has a way of getting on your nerves. Rolling Loud is saying that nobody should stress me. I’m just minding my business and doing my own p.”
For her, the best part about making this song and any other song is the fact that it never feels like work. “I feel very blessed because I get to build a career out of something that I love but it doesn’t ever feel that like it is work.”
She gives me advice on how to get like her. Figure out the highlight—the part you love doing best—and look forward to it every time, she said. For Somadina, this highlight is writing her lyrics. She doesn’t have a set routine and the process is messy and all over the place, but she does have fun while doing it.
She likes to do other things for fun too—like boxing, dancing, swimming and gaming. She describes herself as a loner, stating that she enjoys her own company a lot. “I like to take myself out on spa dates and self-care days amongst others.”
Right now, the songwriter and singer is working to establish her vision. In 5 years, Somadina hopes to still be working with the best people and doing amazing things globally. “Having a good team that cares about my vision has been very helpful and I hope to still be doing that. I hope to go as far as my wings can stretch.”
She also hopes to work with artists like Zinoleesky, Asa, Don Jazzy and Tems on future projects. Currently, she’s working on a project that has remained a mystery. In it, she explores themes like peace, self-discovery and love. We’ll be waiting for whenever she’s ready to share it with the world.