Simbiatu "Simbi" Abisola Abiola Ajikawo[1][2] (born 23 February 1994),[2] better known by her stage name Little Simz, is a British rapper, singer and actress. She rose to prominence with the independent release of her first three albums; A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons (2015), Stillness in Wonderland (2016) and Grey Area (2019), the last of which was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize and won the awards for Best Album at both the Ivor Novello Awards and the NME Awards. Her fourth album, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (2021)[3] received widespread critical acclaim, with several publications deeming it the best album of 2021.[4] It went on to win the 2022 Mercury Prize.[5] It also earned her the 2022 Brit Award for Best New Artist and the Libera Award for Best Hip-Hop/Rap Record.[6]

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 28)
Islington, London, England
GenresBritish hip hop
Occupation(s)
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • actress
Years active2010–present
Labels
Websitelittlesimz.com

Early lifeEdit

Ajikawo was born in Islington, London, to Nigerian parents.[7] She was raised on a council estate with two older sisters.[8][9][10] Her mother was also a foster carer during her childhood.[8] She is ethnically Yoruba.[11]

She studied at Highbury Fields School in London and went on to attend St Mary's Youth Club in Upper Street, Islington, which pop stars Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke also attended.[12] Ajikawo has credited Mary's Youth Club influence on her career, describing it as "the place where it all began for me … a second home".[8]

Ajikawo later studied at Westminster Kingsway College and The University of West London[13] where she pursued her music career from there.[14]

CareerEdit

ActingEdit

Simz' acting career began with the role of Vicky in the BBC children's series Spirit Warriors, originally broadcast in 2010,[15] and as Meleka in the E4 television series, Youngers.[16] She was narrator for the television series, Afrofuturism,[17] and played Shelley in Netflix's revival and third series of Top Boy which premiered in autumn 2019.[18] She appeared as herself in the Sony/Marvel film Venom: Let There Be Carnage, singing her song "Venom" in a nightclub.[citation needed]

MusicEdit

 
Little Simz at Primavera Sound 2019
 
Little Simz performing in 2019

She describes her music as rap and experimental.[19] Whilst she is closely affiliated with the grime genre, she has also pulled inspiration from other genres including reggae, blues, synth-rock and jazzy R&B.[8]

Simz has performed at Rising Tide, iluvlive, Industry Takeover (Urban Development) Hackney Empire,[20] Somerset House and the House of Lords.[21] She also performed at the BBC 1Xtra Prom 2015 at the Royal Albert Hall, alongside a full orchestra led by Jules Buckley.[22] Simz can be heard on the Leave to Remain film soundtrack, performing the song "Leave It As That".[16] In early 2013, she appeared on BBC Radio 1Xtra to discuss her performance at the Hackney Weekend.[23] Simz then went on to do a Maida Vale session for Huw Stephens. She also has received praise from Kendrick Lamar.[24]

On 16 December 2016 she released her second studio album Stillness in Wonderland.[25] It was inspired by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and supported by a comic book, art exhibition and festival.[26] 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.

Simz releases her music on her own Age 101 Music record label with an exclusive distribution licensing arrangement with AWAL Recordings.[8] On 6 September 2018, Simz and her label AGE 101 signed a worldwide deal with AWAL Recordings,[27] after AWAL had distributed her debut album "A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons" in 2015. This deal was renewed on 18 June 2020.[28]

Her 2019 studio album Grey Area was released to critical success and was nominated for the Mercury Prize,[29] and IMPALA's European Independent Album of the Year Award (2019).[30]

On 3 September 2021, she released her fourth studio album, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert debuting at number 4 on the UK album charts and winning BBC 6's Album of the Year.

On 6 December 2022, Simz announced her upcoming fifth studio album, No Thank You,[31] which was released on 12 December.[32]

Personal lifeEdit

Ajikawo lives in London.[33] She is a childhood friend of actor Fady Elsayed and actress Letitia Wright.[8] Ajikawo and Wright have remained good friends and Ajikawo photographed Wright for the artwork for her single, "Selfish" in 2019.[8] Whilst Ajikawo believes in God, she does not currently follow any religion.[34]

In 2018 her friend, model Harry Uzoka, was murdered, inspiring her to write her song "Wounds".[35]

DiscographyEdit

Little Simz discography
Studio albums5
EPs10
Singles16
Mixtapes4

Studio albumsEdit

List of studio albums, with selected details and chart positions
Title Details Peak chart positions
UK
[36]
UK
R&B

[37]
UK
Ind.

[38]
AUS
[39]
SCO
[40]
US
Sales

[41]
US
Indie

[42]
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
No Thank You
  • Released: 12 December 2022
  • Label: Forever Living Originals, AWAL
  • Formats: digital download, streaming
[A] 29

MixtapesEdit

List of mixtapes with selected details
Title Details
Stratosphere
  • Released: 15 October 2010
  • Label: Age 101 Music
  • Formats:
Stratosphere 2
  • Released: 14 September 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 playsEdit

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
Time Capsule
  • Released: 12 December 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

SinglesEdit

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
BEL
(FL)
Tip

[44]
"Time Capsule"
(with Jakwob featuring Caitlyn Scarlett)
2014 Time Capsule
"Dead Body, Pts. 2 & 3"
(featuring Stormzy and Kano)
2015 Non-album single
"Backseat" 2017 Stillness in Wonderland (Deluxe Edition)
"Bombo Fabrika" (Remix)
(with Gabriel Garzón-Montano
Non-album single
"Offence"[45] 2018 Grey Area
"Boss"[46]
"101 FM"[47]
"Selfish"[48]
(featuring Cleo Sol)
2019
"Pink Youth"
(with Yuna)
Rouge
"Flowers" (Live at Metropolis Studios, London, 2019)
(featuring Michael Kiwanuka)
non-album single
"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)
"Venom" (Remix)
(from Venom: Let There Be Carnage)
Non-album single

As featured artistEdit

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
US
Dance

[49]
"Cuckoo"[50]
(Raleigh Ritchie featuring Little Simz)
2014 Non-album single
"Bad Dreams"[51]
(Joywave featuring Little Simz)
2015 How Do You Feel Now?
"The Nest"[52]
(Faze Miyake featuring Little Simz)
Faze Miyake
"So Human"[53]
(Rosie Lowe featuring Little Simz)
2016 Control
"Back to My Love"[54]
(Becky Hill featuring Little Simz)
Eko EP
"Far Cry"[55]
(Jack Garratt featuring Little Simz)
Phase
"The Book"[56]
(OTG featuring Little Simz)
2017 Garden of Osiris – EP
"Garage Palace"[57]
(Gorillaz featuring Little Simz)
37 Humanz
"Proud of Me"[58]
(Mahalia featuring Little Simz)
2018 Non-album single
"Favourites"[59]
(The S.L.P. featuring Little Simz)
2019 The S.L.P.

Other charted songsEdit

Title Year Peak chart positions Album
JPN
Hot
Over.

[60]
"Gorilla" 2023 5 No Thank You

Guest appearancesEdit

Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Get This in Check"[61] 2013 None Youngers, Part 1
"The Drop"[62] 2014 Nick Brewer Four Miles Further – EP
"Table"[63] 2016 Kehlani Non-album single
"Location"[64] (London Remix) 2017 Khalid Non-album remix
"Indie Girls"[65] Jesse Boykins III, Kilo Kish Bartholomew
"DBT Remix"[66] 2018 Lioness, Lady Leshurr, Queenie, Shystie & Stush Non-album remix
"Rewind Time"[67] VanJess Silk Canvas
"King"[68] Ghetts Ghetto Gospel: The New Testament
"3WW"[69] (OTG Version) alt-J Reduxer
"Pink Youth"[70] 2019 Yuna Rouge
"Venom"[71] None Top Boy – A Selection of Music Inspired by the Series

NotesEdit

  1. ^ No Thank You did not enter the UK Albums Chart but peaked at number eight on the UK Album Downloads Chart.[43]

ToursEdit

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

FilmographyEdit

Film & Television
Year Title Role Notes
2010 Spirit Warriors Vicky BBC series
2012 Ill Manors Youth Suspect at the Railway Station (Lil Simz)
2013 Youngers Meleka E4 series
2019–present Top Boy Shelley Netflix series
2021 Venom: Let There Be Carnage Herself[72] Cameo
TBA The Power Adunola Recurring role, upcoming series

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2016 AIM Awards Independent Album of the Year A Curious Tale Of Trials + Persons Won [73]
2017 Best Second Album Stillness in Wonderland Nominated [74]
MOBO Awards Best Female Act Herself Nominated [75]
Best Hip Hop Act Nominated
2018 UK Music Video Awards Best Dance Video - UK "Garage Palace" (with Gorillaz) Nominated [76]
2019 IMPALA Awards Album of the Year Grey Area Nominated [30]
Mercury Prize Album of the Year Nominated [77]
AIM Awards Best Independent Track "Selfish" Nominated [78]
2020 Ivor Novello Awards Best Album Grey Area Won [79]
NME Awards Best British Album Won [80]
Best Album in the World Nominated
MOBO Awards Best Album (2017-2019) Nominated [81]
2021 BET Hip Hop Awards Best International Flow Herself Won [82]
UK Music Video Awards Best Hip Hop / Grime / Rap Video - UK "Introvert" Nominated [83]
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 [84]
MOBO Awards Best Female Act Herself Won [85][86]
Video of the Year "Woman" Nominated [85]
Best Hip Hop Act Herself Nominated
South African Hip Hop Awards Best International Act Herself Nominated [87]
BBC Radio 1 Hottest Record of the Year "Introvert" Nominated [88]
2022 Brit Awards British Artist of the Year Herself Nominated [89]
Best New Act Won
Best Hip Hop/Rap/Grime Act Nominated
British Album of the Year Sometimes I Might Be Introvert Nominated
NME Awards Best Album in the World Nominated [90]
Best Album by a UK Artist Nominated
Best Solo Act in the World Herself Nominated
Best Solo Act from the UK Won
Best Live Act Nominated
Libera Awards Best Hip-Hop/Rap Record Sometimes I Might Be Introvert Won [91]
Ivor Novello Awards Best Album Nominated [92][93]
Best Contemporary Song "I Love You, I Hate You" Won
BET Awards Best International Act Herself Nominated [94]
Mercury Prize Album of the Year Sometimes I Might Be Introvert Won [95]
UK Music Video Awards Best Hip Hop/Grime/Rap Video - UK "Point and Kill" (featuring Obongjayar) Won [96]
Best Wardrobe Styling in a Video Won
Best Hair & Make-up in a Video Nominated
Best Cinematography in a Video Nominated
Best Color Grading in a Video Won
Best Special Video Project "I Love You, I Hate You" Nominated
MOBO Awards Album of the Year Sometimes I Might Be Introvert Won [97]
[98]
Best Female Act Herself Nominated
Best Hip-Hop Act Nominated
Video of the Year "Point and Kill" (featuring Obongjayar) Nominated

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External linksEdit