Arts & Culture
Mercury nominated Rapper Little Simz: Announces UK Tour
- 9:30 pm
24 October 2019
The Poetry Club | £13.75
Backed by heavyweights from Kendrick Lamar to Drake and Stormzy, and now with a Mercury nomination to her name, 2019 has been a breakout year for Little Simz.
Her first two albums (she released Stillness in Wonderland in 2016 and her debut, A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons, the year before) both earned solid, four-star reviews, which commended her deft lyricism and phenomenal talent as a rapper. Yet mainstream success eluded her. Neither album broke into the Top 100, nor did they generate anywhere near as much excitement as Grey Area. Yet there was a universal feeling that Simz deserved more attention. One critic even claimed the silence around her talent had become ‘deafening’.
There is, of course, the chance that her first albums simply weren’t good enough (some reviewers claimed Simz hadn’t fully found her voice). But, as a woman operating in the male-dominated world of rap, were her talents overlooked? It’s something Simz has written about in her music, such as on Grey Area’s ‘Venom’: ‘They don’t wanna address that I’m the best here for the mere fact that I’ve got ovaries.’
The release of her album, Grey Area, in March became the highest-rated record by a female artist this year, earned Simz plays on Radio 1 and Radio 6, and garnered a flurry of five-star reviews heralding her as a once-in-a-generation talent.
Then came her fans: there was backing from Drake, who cast her in his production of the third, much-anticipated series of Top Boy for Netflix. Kasabian’s guitarist, Serge Pizzorno, sought her out to collaborate on his debut solo single and, by summer, Stormzy was hailing the 25-year-old as one of the capital’s most exciting talents during his history-making headline set at Glastonbury – Simz played her own, much-lauded show at the festival two days later.
And last month, the rapper, whose real name is Simbiatu ‘Simbi’ Ajikawo, received a Mercury nomination for Grey Area. It was confirmation, if yet more were needed, that Kendrick Lamar was right when he called her ‘the illest doing it right now’.
- Thursday 24th October, 7:00 PM @ The Poetry Club, Glasgow
- Tuesday 29th October, 7:00 PM @ EartH Hall, Stoke Newington, London
- Wednesday 11th December, 7:00 PM @ Leeds University Stylus, Leeds
- Thursday 12th December, 6:00 PM @ Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
- Saturday 14th December, 6:30 PM @ O2 Academy Oxford, Oxford
- Sunday 15th December, 7:00 PM @O2 Forum Kentish Town, London
Purchase your tickets here