Little Simz: 2019
Little Simz and Osiris Wilson in Studio A (photo by Thomas Koenig/WFUV)
As prolific as London’s Simbi Ajikawo has been over her career as Little Simz thus far — three albums, seven EPs, and four mixtapes — it is her third album, GREYArea, that has made her one of Britain’s most buzzed-about musicians and rappers. An emotionally riveting triumph, GREYArea is one of the most accomplished and important albums of 2019. (Little Simz received her first Mercury Prize nomination for GREY Area on July 25.)
The ten-track album is Ajikawo's personal and powerful declaration of what she faces as a young black woman in Britain. It not only takes on politics, racism, sexism and social inequity, but also grief and its aftermath. Little Simz sifts through her past, her present, and her dreams for the future. Her flow is concise, eloquent, and sharp: “I’m Jay-Z on a bad day, Shakespeare on my worst days," she wryly observes on the explosive "Offence."
Little Simz and her friend and touring DJ, Osiris Wilson, dropped by Studio A for a stripped-down set of two songs from GREYArea, "Selfish" and "101FM." We also spoke about her work with the producer Inflo, who has known her since childhood, and her successful side gig as an actress, most recently appearing in the Netflix series “Top Boy.”
[Recorded: 6/24/19; Engineer: Jim O'Hara; Producer: Sarah Wardrop]