Among the current leading voices in the Nigerian music scene is the charismatic Somadina, a young female musician slowly penetrating the mainstream with radical, afro-psychedelic, emotion-lifting rock music.
I first came across Somadina’s music in 2021. Her now deleted-off-internet debut EP titled Five Stages is a beautiful and melancholic musical interpretation of the stages of grief. It quickly became my life’s soundtrack for a few months, during a dark phase. Sometime in 2022, she shared that she doesn’t identify with the project anymore, hence its takedown, but she’s found a new channel to fully express herself.
Off the strength of the cult-following she’s been building since her first official releases, IHY (I Hate You) (2018) and Lay Low (2019), she presented her album, Heart of The Heavenly Undeniable (HOTHU) in 2022. Ever since, she’s been going to music shows and on tours, from Lagos to Paris, Berlin to Accra, music taking her everywhere.
Somadina was born in Garden City, Port Harcourt in 2002. She spent a year in Nigeria before going to the Netherlands to school and to stay with her dad. After going to London to secure a Sociology degree, she finally came back to Nigeria to pursue music in 2018. Her access to music as a kid was limited. She listened to Asa, Beyoncé, Rihanna and John Legend, only the music her dad listened to. But on coming back to Nigeria, she connected with the Alté community, collaborating with artists such as SGwaD, Lady Donli, Adey, etc.
She’s breaking barriers and trailblazing her own path with her afropop fusion of R&B, punk and alternative rock music, and taking it beyond the barriers of Africa. In less than two weeks from now, (August 3 – 6, 2023), she’ll be performing at the 2023 Lollapalooza, Chicago, along with other Nigerian musicians like Tems and Rema, as well asinternational acts like Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish, Lana Del Rey, etc. On February 5, 2023, a month before her collaboration with NATIVE Sound System, Somadina played her first show in Los Angeles, courtesy of RnB Brunch
On July 12, the Gen-Z musician received the mainstream nod when The Headies, Nigeria’s most popular music award show, nominated her album, Heart Of The Heavenly Undeniable as one of the best Alternative albums of 2022. It’s an impressive feat, as it sits among strong contenders like Basketmouth’s Horoscope and Obongjayar’s Sometimes I Dream Of Doors.
Unboxed by mainstream pressure and the dictates of the commercial market, Somadina forges ahead one release at a time, with her beaming falsetto. Somadina grew from a nomadic teenager who toured the UK with Odunsi the Engine and opened for Davido in Port Harcourt in 2019, to a songbird taking Nigerian pop culture to one of the world’s biggest festival stages in 2023. Go Somadina!