Little Simz

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Little Simz
Little Simz Performing.jpg
Little Simz in 2016
Background information
Birth nameSimbiatu Abisola Abiola Ajikawo
Also known asSimbi
Born (1994-02-23) 23 February 1994 (age 27)
Islington, London, England
GenresBritish hip hop
Occupation(s)
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • actress
Years active2010–present
Labels

Simbiatu "Simbi" Abisola Abiola Ajikawo[1] (born 23 February 1994), better known by her stage name Little Simz, is a British-Nigerian rapper, singer and actress of Yoruba heritage. Following the release of four mixtapes and five EPs, she released her debut album A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons on 18 September 2015 through her independent label, AGE: 101 Music. The album entered the UK R&B Albums Chart at number 20[2] and the UK Independent Albums Chart at number 43.[3] She released her second studio album Stillness in Wonderland in 2016. Her third studio album Grey Area (2019) won Best Album at both the Ivor Novello Awards and the NME Awards as well as being nominated for the Mercury Prize.[4] Her fourth album, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (2021) received critical acclaim.[5]

Early life[edit]

Ajikawo was born in Islington, London to Nigerian parents. She was raised with two older sisters.[6][7] She is ethnically Yoruba.[8] She studied at Highbury Fields School in London. She went on to attend St Mary's Youth Club in Upper Street, Islington, which pop stars Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke also attended.[9] Ajikawo later studied at Westminster Kingsway College and pursued her music career from there.[10]

Career[edit]

Acting[edit]

Simz' acting career began with the role of Vicky in the BBC children's series Spirit Warriors, originally broadcast in 2010,[11] and as Meleka in the E4 television series, Youngers.[12] She was narrator for the television series, Afrofuturism,[13] and played Shelley in Netflix's revival and third series of Top Boy which premiered in Autumn 2019.[14] She appeared as herself in the Sony/Marvel filmVenom - Let There Be Carnage, singing her song Venom in a nightclub.[citation needed]

Little Simz at Primavera Sound 2019

Music[edit]

She describes her music as rap and experimental.[15]

Simz has performed alongside Estelle, Tinie Tempah, Ms. Dynamite and Kano.[9][16][non-primary source needed]

Simz has performed at Rising Tide, iluvlive, Industry Takeover (Urban Development) Hackney Empire,[17] Somerset House and the House of Lords.[18] She also performed at the BBC 1Xtra Prom 2015 at the Royal Albert Hall, alongside a full orchestra led by Jules Buckley.[19]

Simz can be heard on the Leave to Remain film soundtrack, performing the song "Leave It As That".[12] In early 2013, she appeared on BBC Radio 1 Xtra to discuss her performance at the Hackney Weekend.[20]

Simz then went on to do a Maida Vale session for Huw Stephens, and has since gone on to receive critical acclaim from the likes of Zane Lowe, Dizzee Rascal and Revolt TV.[citation needed] She also has received praise from Kendrick Lamar.[21]

On 16 December 2016 she released her second studio album Stillness in Wonderland.[22] It was inspired by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and supported by a comic book, art exhibition and festival.[23]

In 2017, she performed as the opening act for Gorillaz during their Humanz Tour, and was the vocalist for the song "Garage Palace", featured on the Super Deluxe edition of their album Humanz.

On 6 September 2018, Simz and her label AGE 101 signed a worldwide deal with AWAL Recordings,[24] after AWAL had distributed her debut album "A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons" in 2015. This deal was renewed on 18 June 2020.[25]

On 1 March 2019 she released her third studio album Grey Area to widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for the Mercury Prize[4] and IMPALA's European Independent Album of the Year Award (2019).[26]

Personal life[edit]

Ajikawo lives in London.[27] She is a childhood friend of actor Fady Elsayed. In 2018 her friend, model Harry Uzoka, was murdered, inspiring her to write her song "Wounds".[28] Ajikawo is a supporter of Arsenal F.C.[29]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected details and chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions
UK
[30]
UK
R&B

[31]
UK
Ind.

[32]
AUS
[33]
SCO
[34]
US
Sales

[35]
US
Indie

[36]
A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons
Stillness in Wonderland
  • Released: 16 December 2016
  • Label: Age 101 Music
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
Grey Area
  • Released: 1 March 2019
  • Label: Age 101 Music, AWAL
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
87 1 11 82
Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
  • Released: 3 September 2021
  • Label: Age 101 Music, AWAL
  • Formats: CD, LP, digital download, streaming
4 1 1 40 3 33 45

Mixtapes[edit]

List of mixtapes with selected details
Title Details
Stratosphere
  • Released: 2010
  • Label: Age 101 Music
  • Formats:
Stratosphere 2
  • Released: 2011
  • Label: Age 101 Music
  • Formats:
XY.Zed
  • Released: 23 February 2013
  • Label: Age 101 Music
  • Formats: Digital download
Blank Canvas
  • Released: 26 December 2013
  • Label: Age 101 Music
  • Formats: Digital download

Extended plays[edit]

List of extended plays with selected details
Title Details
E.D.G.E.
  • Released: 18 June 2014
  • Label: Age 101 Music
  • Formats: Digital download
Age 101: Drop 1
  • Released: 5 August 2014
  • Label: Age 101 Music
  • Formats: Digital download
Age 101: Drop 2
  • Released: 25 September 2014
  • Label: Age 101 Music
  • Formats: Digital download
Age 101: Drop 3|000
  • Released: 18 December 2014
  • Label: Age 101 Music
  • Formats: Digital download
The Theory Of... (with Space Age)
  • Released: 27 January 2015
  • Label: Age 101 Music
  • Formats: Digital download
Age 101: Drop 4
  • Released: 28 May 2015
  • Label: Age 101 Music
  • Formats: Digital download
Age 101: Drop X
  • Released: 22 December 2015
  • Label: Age 101 Music
  • Formats: Digital download
Project Unfollow
  • Released: 2018
  • Label: Age 101 Music
  • Formats: Vinyl
Drop 6
  • Released: 6 May 2020
  • Label: Age 101 Music
  • Formats: Vinyl, digital download, streaming

Singles[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
BEL
(FL)
Tip

[37]
"Backseat" 2017 Stillness in Wonderland (Deluxe Edition)
"Offence"[38] 2018 Grey Area
"Boss"[39]
"101 FM"[40]
"Selfish"[41]
(featuring Cleo Sol)
2019
"Introvert" 2021 11 Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
"Woman"
(featuring Cleo Sol)
"Rollin Stone"
"I Love You, I Hate You"
"Point and Kill"
(featuring Obongjayar)

As featured artist[edit]

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
Dance

[42]
"Cuckoo"[43]
(Raleigh Ritchie featuring Little Simz)
2014 Non-album single
"Bad Dreams"[44]
(Joywave featuring Little Simz)
2015 How Do You Feel Now?
"The Nest"[45]
(Faze Miyake featuring Little Simz)
Faze Miyake
"So Human"[46]
(Rosie Lowe featuring Little Simz)
2016 Control
"Back to My Love"[47]
(Becky Hill featuring Little Simz)
Eko EP
"Far Cry"[48]
(Jack Garratt featuring Little Simz)
Phase
"The Book"[49]
(OTG featuring Little Simz)
2017 Garden of Osiris – EP
"Garage Palace"[50]
(Gorillaz featuring Little Simz)
37 Humanz
"Proud of Me"[51]
(Mahalia featuring Little Simz)
2018 Non-album single
"Favourites"[52]
(The S.L.P. featuring Little Simz)
2019 The S.L.P.

Guest appearances[edit]

Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Get This in Check"[53] 2013 None Youngers, Part 1
"The Drop"[54] 2014 Nick Brewer Four Miles Further – EP
"Table"[55] 2016 Kehlani Non-album single
"Location"[56] (London Remix) 2017 Khalid Non-album remix
"Indie Girls"[57] Jesse Boykins III, Kilo Kish Bartholomew
"DBT Remix"[58] 2018 Lioness, Lady Leshurr, Queenie, Shystie & Stush Non-album remix
"Rewind Time"[59] VanJess Silk Canvas
"King"[60] Ghetts Ghetto Gospel: The New Testament
"3WW"[61] (OTG Version) alt-J Reduxer
"Pink Youth"[62] 2019 Yuna Rouge
"Venom"[63] None Top Boy – A Selection of Music Inspired by the Series

Tours[edit]

  • AGE101 DROP THE WORLD (2015)
  • Welcome To Wonderland (2017–2018)
  • Grey Area Tour (2019)
  • Sometimes I Might Be Introverted (2021)

Filmography[edit]

Film & Television
Year Title Role Notes
2010 Spirit Warriors Vicky TV series
2012 Ill Manors Youth Suspect at the Railway Station (Lil Simz)
2013 Youngers Meleka E4 series
2019 Top Boy Shelley Netflix series
2021 Venom: Let There Be Carnage Herself[64]
TBA The Power Adunola Recurring role, upcoming series

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2016 AIM Awards Independent Album of the Year A Curious Tale Of Trials + Persons Won [65]
2017 Best Second Album Stillness in Wonderland Nominated [66]
MOBO Awards Best Female Act Herself Nominated [67]
Best Hip Hop Act Nominated
2018 UK Music Video Awards Best Dance Video - UK "Garage Palace" (with Gorillaz) Nominated [68]
2019 IMPALA Awards Album of the Year Grey Area Nominated [26]
Mercury Prize Album of the Year Nominated [69]
AIM Awards Best Independent Track "Selfish" Nominated [70]
2020 Ivor Novello Awards Best Album Grey Area Won [71]
NME Awards Best British Album Won [72]
Best Album in the World Nominated
MOBO Awards Best Album (2017-2019) Nominated [73]
2021 BET Hip Hop Awards Best International Flow Herself Won [74]
UK Music Video Awards Best Hip Hop / Grime / Rap Video - UK "Introvert" Nominated [75]
Best Editing in a Video Won
Best Choreography in a Video Nominated
Best Wardrobe Styling in a Video "Woman" Nominated
Best Hair & Make-up in a Video Nominated
Libera Awards Best Hip-Hop/Rap Record Drop 6 Nominated [76]
MOBO Awards Best Female Act Herself Won [77][78]
Video of the Year "Woman" Nominated [77]
Best Hip Hop Act Herself Nominated
South African Hip Hop Awards Best International Act Herself Pending [79]
BBC Radio 1 Hottest Record of the Year "Introvert" Pending [80]
2022 Brit Awards British Artist of the Year Herself Pending [81]
Best New Act Pending
Best Hip Hop/Rap/Grime Act Pending
British Album of the Year Sometimes I Might Be Introvert Pending

References[edit]

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External links[edit]