Simbi Ajikawo, who records and performs as Little Simz, first gained widespread recognition with the release of her debut album, A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons back in 2015. Receiving praise from better-known artists like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, the British lyricist has been compared to the likes of Lauryn Hill for her self-reflective wordplay that shies away from the often braggadocios nature of mainstream rap music.
While on her first album Simz opted to tell stories that spoke of her childhood experiences (and the insight gained from them), on her most recent release, Stillness in Wonderland, she expands this notion of self-exploration by creating a world that pays ode to the childhood classic Alice in Wonderland. Much like Alice, Simz's newfound success has taken her on a journey that's leading her to discover a whole new world.
Only 22-years old, Simz is still early in her career. And while she's constantly challenged by the abnormal experiences that come from success, her performance for our Tiny Desk was poised and confident. Accompanied by three members from the Brooklyn-based R&B group known as Phony Ppl, Simz performed a set of three songs off of Stillness in Wonderland, including the standout "Poison Ivy," which chronicles the outfall of a failing relationship. As Simz continues to grow as a musician it will be exciting to see what new worlds she brings to her audience next.
Stillness In Wonderland is available now. (iTunes) (Amazon)
Little Simz (vocals, guitar); Matt Byas (drums); Omar Grant (bass); Aja Grant (keys)
Producers: Cameron Robert, Niki Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Morgan Noelle Smith; Assistant Editor: Morgan Noelle Smith; Production Assistant: A Noah Harrison; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR.
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