You might know Simbi Ajikawo for two reasons: not only does she go by Little Simz in the UK rap world, she plays Shelley in Top Boy, alongside Ashley Walters and Kane Robinson (who you might also be musically familiar with — he’s the one and only Kano, if you hadn’t pieced it together). So, my next ‘Artist spotlight’ instalment is a big shoutout to this 26-year-old superstar.
A brief blurb
While Little Simz hails from Islington, London, her parents are both from Nigeria. Despite acting in a clutch of TV series, she developed through college to build on her musical career. Since 2010, she’s dropped a handful of mixtapes and EPs, and now has bragging rights to three incredible full-length albums — the latest of which, ‘Grey Area’, was nominated for a Mercury Prize back in 2019.
Little Simz has gone from strength to strength, performing with industry giants such as Estelle, Kano and Gorillaz. She’s been a BBC Radio 1 Xtra success and has also graced Later… with Jools Holland with her flawless presence. And a good word from Kendrick Lamar hasn’t hurt along the way, either. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the day that I can finally see her live myself. But I’d settle with another Top Boy season until then, in all honesty…
Here’s an amuse-bouche to get you acquainted:
► ‘might bang, might not’
► ‘The Lights’