Interviews

Salle: Nigeria’s Iconic Talent

Salle was completely unprepared for fame when it found her. 

Salle
Salle [Image provided by Black Butter Limited]

Salle’s love for music started at a young age, and this self-nurtured talent would be rewarded by the universe after her first public freestyle went viral in 2021.

Only a teenager who was still under the keen protective eyes of her parents, Salle’s viral freestyle would quickly push her into the limelight and sooner lead to a bidding war between labels who wanted to snap up a talent capable of defining the future of Nigerian music. 

A listening singer

Salle enjoys being a listener, and she takes time to appreciate the work of other artists. This is a fundamental part of her upbringing that helped nurture her talent and even unconsciously paved the way for her to enjoy a viral moment. 

“I enjoy listening to a lot of artists like Asa, Jon Bellion, John Legend, James Authur, and Sia because I like their type of music. I like singing along and just freestyling while listening,” Salle shares about how she adds her little part to the songs she loves just as a way of expressing herself without knowing she is brushing up on her freestyling. 

Salle
Salle [Image provided by Black Butter Limited]

When she did a freestyle and posted it on Instagram, she went viral at her first attempt, and for an artist who was entirely oblivious to what was ahead, the moment met her unprepared. 

Mistakes and lessons

“There was no plan. I wasn’t ready for the attention I got, and everyone around me was as shocked as I was because we were all excited and unprepared for that moment,” Salle says about her experience after her freestyle went viral. 

She would pick herself up and learn from her early experiences, and these lessons have culminated in her growth, which has positioned her for success. 

“I learned from the mistakes and corrected those I can,” she shares. 

For a very young emerging talent, Salle has remarkable self-awareness, and this is a quality she explores in her music and artistic expression. 

I learned from the mistakes and corrected those I can

Salle, 2023.

Salle’s music

From her debut single ‘Let Me See’ released in December 2021, Salle showed she was an artist who paid very close attention to the things she said. Her impressive penmanship is a defining aspect of her talent, and the decision to explore self-awareness and make music that captures her state of mind meant that she could invoke the emotions needed to connect her art with listeners. 

When she paired up with Street Pop sensation T.I. Blaze in ‘Soul’, she further showcased her silky vocals and defining penmanship as she propagated street gospel through dazzling R&B style. 

Salle
Salle [Image provided by Black Butter Limited]

Her latest single ‘Icon’ is an R&B cut with Garage Bounce on which she explores the defining self-awareness that informs her music. Two years into her career, Salle has had her fair share of ups and downs, and on ‘Icon’, she addresses her self-doubts, pains, and detractors while reminding herself that she has what it takes to become an Icon. 

While her soothing melodies and smooth vocals draw in listeners, it’s her writing that evokes the emotions and relativity that retain attention and offer the required motivation they seek. 

“It’s a very intentional song. I believe in expressing myself and making music that captures my mood. If I’m sad, I want to put out music that captures my state of mind. I don’t believe in being sad and putting out club bangers,” Salle says about her single ‘Icon’. 

“It’s a stepping stone to the kind of music I want to be making and I’m glad people like it.”

Just like Libianca‘s ‘People’ which offered sobriety and provoked self-awareness through an exploration of pain went on to become viral, ‘Icon’ carries similar properties as it provokes self-evaluation. 

While it’s fundamental for an artist to stay true to their identity, Nigerian mainstream music is defined by music with party-starting and street-relatable properties. This is a fact that isn’t lost on Salle although she insists she can’t be pressured to kowtow to making such music.

Salle
Salle [Image provided by Black Butter Limited]

“Maybe at some point, I will make such music my way but for now, I don’t feel pressured to make them. I like to make music that captures who I am.” 

‘Icon’ is set to be the first of a set of singles that will precede Salle’s debut EP set for release in 2024. She intends to drop more singles that would communicate her intentions and showcase her distinction to listeners. 

Still very much an emerging star, Salle is fully aware of the type of music she desires to make. She wishes to be an Icon on her terms and as her impressive abilities continue to unfold, she’s on her way to making a mark on the Nigerian music scene while building a strong community of Icons while at it. 

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