The buzz around Little Simz has been rising steadily, but instead of releasing her first album with the promo and hype that surrounds a major-label release, the London rapper put out her debut record, A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons on her own. That fiercely independent spirit has defined her still-young career. Born Simbi Ajikawo, Simz began rapping at the age of nine, but only began taking it seriously once she became a teenager. Eventually, she dropped out of school and dedicated herself fully to the craft. You can hear the fruits of that labor on standout track “Dead Body,” which features her relentlessly rapping over grim, menacing production. Co-signs from Kendrick Lamar and Andre 3000 have only helped stir excitement around Little Simz, who you can learn more about, below.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Just being me.
I first started rapping at the age of nine years old, but when I was 14 I decided that making music wasn’t a hobby and it was the only thing I really wanted to do for the rest of my life. So, I started performing at my local youth club and never looked back.
Where do you hope to be professionally in five years?
I don’t really know. To be honest, I don’t think about life like that. I have things I want to achieve, but at the same time I’m currently trying to enjoy the present.
What’s your next project?
What are you most proud of so far, in terms of your career?
Creating and releasing my debut album independently, on my own terms, on my own label. That’s an indescribable feeling.
What famous person dead or living do most wish you could have as a roommate?
What is your favorite driving music?
Whose career would you most like to emulate?
If you had to live in a past time, what do you think would be the most fun era and why?
Definitely school, being free and having no worries whatsoever. Would be a laugh seeing everyone again.
How do you wind down before bed?
When are you most relaxed?
What kind of person were you in high school?
I think I was the peacemaker. I was never in a “clique.” I got on with everyone and just did my thing.
Can you tell me a quality about yourself that you are genuinely proud of?
I care a lot about people. Sometimes, that trait works against me and not always in my favor.
What are some new hobbies you would like to take on?
I want to get better at cooking. I think I have great potential, I just need to get a bit creative with it.
How do you hope to grow as a creative person?
Get better at playing instruments and songwriting. I’m excited to challenge myself, especially in those areas.
If there was a phrase that you think best sums up your approach to life, what might it be?
“Just keep swimming.”