Little Simz

(United Kingdom)

“Me again… and I’m here to pick up where I left off”, Little Simz states over a growling bassline on the opening bars of her new album, GREY Area. Amid the chest-thumping chaos of jazz flute and playground chants, on the bold first track “Offence”, the UK rapper aligns herself with male auteurs including Picasso, Jay-Z, and Shakespeare. This bravado lays the stage for a project that, in its fullness, actually takes the listener to dark, vulnerable, and tender places. First, though: a reminder that Little Simz is at the peak of her powers. The 24-year-old independent artist has been living in the midst of a whirlwind since dropping Stillness in Wonderland, her second full-length album (and 11th release in total), in December 2016. Simz is no stranger to success. By the time she was 21, Kendrick Lamar had called her “one of the illest doing it right now”, and she was the first independent UK artist to ever be listed on Forbes’ 30 Under 30.

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