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Maria Hanlon shares why we’re huge fans of Mercury Prize winner Little Simz…

NAME: Simbiatu Ajikawo aka Little Simz

GENRE: Although she’s best known as a rapper, Little Simz’s individuality is what makes her stand out. Her work is genre bending and her most recent album,Sometimes I Might Be Introvert reflects this perfectly with elements of R&B, Afrobeats, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Soul & more. 

LIVE: Little Simz was the first female to sell out three headline shows at the legendary Brixton Academy and there’s a reason for that. Her stage presence is like no other and the energy she brings to every performance is unmatched. Simz’s last London headline show was at Brixton Academy last December and she’s been busy touring ever since.

SIMILAR TO: It’s difficult to compare Simz to other artists, in fact she says it best herself “I never compare myself to anyone because I just understand my journey and my route is different. So I’m just trying to stay in my lane and continue on.” Although, you can spot similarities to Sampa the Great and Noname throughout her work.

INSPIRED BY: Little Simz cites her early influences as Missy Elliot and Lauryn Hill (who she supported on tour in 2017). Although, the inspiration for her songwriting comes mostly from her personal experiences. Her fourth album, ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’, tackles heavy topics such as systemic racism alongside stories of familial turmoil. Simz’s lyrics are both personal and political and beautifully written. In fact, Simz has always been a brilliant and dedicated songwriter, she would often come into the UD studio after school for writing sessions, going on to perform later at our Industry Takeover event.

SOUNDTRACK FOR: Simz covers all bases on ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’, taking you on a musical journey across nineteen tracks. The album allows you to take your pick, depending on what vibe you’re after. For example, the second song on the album, Woman featuring Cleo Sol, is an empowering love note to the women of the world. The next track, ‘Two Worlds Apart is a slower more classic sounding song featuring a sample of Motown legend Smokey Robinson’s ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy’. Whereas track fifteen,Point and Kill’, features Afropop star Obongjayar and is much more upbeat and lively, encouraging you to move.

MOST POPULAR SONG: According to Spotify streams, Simz’s most popular song is Venom from her third album, GREY Area, which came out in 2019. The track has over 100,000,000 plays on Spotify and was used to soundtrack hugely popular Netflix series ‘Top Boy’ which Little Simz features in. Whilst ‘Venom’ may seem to be Simz most played song, her latest album ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’ was hailed an instant classic and her song Woman was particularly popular, gaining over 23 million plays across Spotify alone.

NEXT PERFORMING: After a busy summer of performances including festivals Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds and Latitude, Little Simz has got an equally busy winter in store filled with European dates, which can be found here. Her last performance in the UK was the Mercury Prize Awards, earlier this month, where she went on to win for her masterpiece ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’.

UD’s Founder Pamela McCormick said: “I’m absolutely delighted she has won the Mercury. Personally, I love the album. And she has demonstrated remarkable vision, tenacity and work ethic over the years – staying true to her commitment to the music.” 

Words: Maria Hanlon @mariahanlon

Listen to Maria Meets on the 2nd Friday of the month 3-5pm on voicesradio.co.uk

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