London rapper and singer of Nigerian heritage, Little Simz, has released her latest album, “Sometimes I Might Be Introvert”
Simbiatu Abisola Abiola Ajikawo – better known as rapper Little Simz – was born in north London in 1994. She started acting aged nine, appearing in the BBC series Spirit Warriors and E4’s Youngers, before turning to music. With co-signs from Kendrick, André 3000, and Lauryn Hill, the rapper is one of the most respected players in UK hip hop. She’s supported the likes of Gorillaz on tour,
while Dizzee Rascal and DJ Zane Lowe are among those who have shown acclaim for her music.
The North Londoner is already a distinctly celebrated artist, actor, fashion symbol, and more – but with her amazing new album, she’s about to transcend even her own paradigm. Simz versatility and range are reflected in her most multifaceted album to date, in which Simz takes us on a multicolored musical journey spanning Afrobeat, ’80s dance, jazz, “hip-hop”, alt-rap, soul, and R’n’B, while still managing to keep a cohesive streak throughout. It’s “very artsy and an ambitious album project from Little sims for sure”.
The nineteen-track album is punctuated only by Cleo Soul and fellow Nigerian-born sensation, Obonjayar, who recently waltzed into the local spotlight off his collaborative EP with culture-defining producer, Sarz. The first song, “Introvert”, represents the tensions between that perception and reality. It is musically dense and cinematic in nature.
The Obongjayar-assisted “Point and Kill” is one of the singles off Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, and the Inflo-produced song is filled with sing-song melodies, and challenging rap bars that channel retro feels and echoes sentiments of the legendary Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat.
The video for the song was shot in Lagos, Nigeria by Ebenzer Blanche, famed for his work on Jae5’s summer sensation, Dimension, which featured Rema and Skepta. Filled with compelling imagery of Lagos and the New Afrika Shrine, Point and Kill is an earworm that mirrors the resolute and defiant nature of the youth. A trait at the core of the Nigerian youth.
On Point and Kill, Little Simz and Obongjayar effortlessly meld African influences with retro funk to create a catchy soundtrack for everyday people living in Nigeria.
From a shedload of angles through the album, Simz continues to explore her familial heritage, from singing in pidgin to confronting her uncombed feelings about her connection with her father in “I Love You I Hate You” for the first time. Listening to her break down through the Lyrics and take a step toward healing out-loud by acknowledging her experience with her father is a privilege to be able to witness.
Little Simz made a visible mark on the second single ‘Woman’ which draws on the warmth of the ’70s soul.
There’s the cosmic, ’80s funk feel of ‘Protect My Energy’ – influenced by Nigerian singer Steve Monito – and ‘Rollin Stone’ finds Simz spitting ferocious, grime-inspired bars before the song climaxes in a vapor of vocals and light-headed trap beats.
Meanwhile ‘Two Worlds Apart repurposes the refrain from ‘The Agony and The Ecstasy’ by Smokey Robinson, which – impressively – is the record’s only sample.
The beauty of the project is that different generations can co-exist at live shows and enjoy this piece of music through the different hats she wears on each song.
In an interview with loudandquiet Little Simz said “I probably won’t make another album like this again and that’s cool, because I can’t do the same thing twice and expect different results. So I’m just tryna push the envelope as much as possible. I want to keep proving to myself that I’m not confined to this box of rap/hip hop/urban whatever. There are different sides to me and I’m just exploring them“.
One thing is certain, we will definitely see Little Simz evolve in different facets as an actor, a director, a fashion enthusiast and all-around artist. Listen to “Sometimes I Might Be Introvert” Here