Rapper and actress Simbiatu Ajikawo – best known by her artist name Little Simz, or simply Simz – is not only synonymous for her prolific and pioneering music, but also for her energetic live performances. When in full flow on a stage, she’s potent, compelling and a force to be reckoned with.
Born and raised in Islington, she grew up a shy child of Nigerian heritage who discovered her love of singing at St Mary’s Youth Club, which artists like Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke had also attended.
Little Simz started making music and uploading it to SoundCloud as a teen. At the same time she also emerged as an actress landing roles on TV shows like Spirit Warriors and Youngers.
By the time she was 20, Little Simz had made several mixtapes and EPs so decided to form her own label, Age 101. She released her debut EP E.D.G.E. (an acronym for her motto “Every Day Gets Easier”) in 2014. The following year, after winning Breakthrough Artist Of The Year at BBC DJ Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards, her debut full-length album A Curious Tale Of Trials + Persons arrived and was named Independent Album Of The Year at the AIM Awards.
Little Simz released her Alice in Wonderland-inspired follow-up album Stillness In Wonderland in 2016. Featuring songs that delved into the rabbit hole of her fears and illusions as well as personal evolution, it was accompanied by a short film directed by Jeremy Cole (Dead Body, Gratitude) and a comic book written by Eddie “Versetti” Smith with artwork from McKay Felt. She also took over London’s Roundhouse in 2017 with her curated festival Welcome To Wonderland: The Experience, which returned for a second year in 2018.
In 2019, Little Simz landed a recurring role in the third series of the Netflix show Top Boy produced by Drake and unveiled her third album Grey Area to critical acclaim. Following electrifying appearances at that summer’s Coachella, The Great Escape and All Points East, Little Simz capped off the year with a series of live shows. Plus, she went on to win the highly coveted Best Album category at the Ivor Novello Awards in 2020.
Written largely during the coronavirus lockdown, Little Simz confirmed her fourth album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert would arrive on 3 September 2021. Featuring the lead singles Introvert and Woman, its 19 tracks explore personal topics such as the difficulty of being an introvert in an industry where everyone is presumed to be an extrovert.
In late May 2021, Little Simz announced a UK tour for November and December 2021.
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