Little Simz recently took to social media informing her fans she had no choice but to cancel her upcoming tour in the US. She explained that due to being an independent artist-who pays out of pocket for her own shows, the tour would leave her in a huge deficit.
Known for speaking her truth and knowing her worth, Simz’s honesty is extremely respectable and many in the comments agreed, with one stating: “big changes are needed in the industry if a hugely valued and successful artist like Little Simz is having to do this. So much respect for you knowing your worth. Can’t wait to see what’s next.”
From Actress To Rapper
Born Simbiatu Ajikawo in Islington London, the 28 year old began her career with acting in the BBC series “Spirit Warriors” in 2010, while simultaneously working on music and releasing her first mixtape Stratosphere that same year. She quickly realized acting didn’t bring her the fulfillment that music had as she expressed in an interview stating, “with acting, I had to put my life on hold and I’m not sure how much I like that! But when it’s my music, it’s my special thing-I can do what I want, I can live, and I can talk about my life through it.”
Her passion for music sparked at a much younger age all thanks to Missy Elliot-who she’s adored since she was seven. Simz’s love for Hip-Hop began at that point and as she continued to discover notable legends such as Lauryn Hill, Tupac, and Jay Z, she decided to start creating her own music. She was able to express this passion at her local youth club as she performed freestyles and collaborated with others at just nine years old. Fast forward to 2013 and her mixtape Blank Canvas was released on Jay Z’s Life and Times website, which was quite the impactful recognition for the independent artist.
Finding Her Way as a Rapper
Throughout her career, Simz has been releasing music through her label AGE 101 and has turned down many approaches from major labels. She has chosen to trust the journey and rely on the momentum surrounding her to keep her going as an independent artist. Although being an independent artist has its struggles, it seems like the perfect fit for the vision she has for herself as she expressed, “it’s a lot of hard work, but I’m definitely a stairs person and not on the escalator journey. It’s super-rewarding and I get to do what I want.” Along the way came the perfect partnership with AWAL back in 2018-an alternative record label known for empowering independent artists.
She recently renewed her deal with AWAL for her latest studio album, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert which debuted #4 on the UK album charts. Simz is extremely vulnerable throughout this album as she discusses her upbringing, journey to fame, and being introverted. In an interview with The Guardian, she reveals how the theme of this album came to be stating, “it’s me, being this introverted person that has all these crazy thoughts and ideas and theories in my head and not always feeling like I’m able to express it if it’s not through my art.”
The Parallels Between Her Album Title and Personal Life
Speaking on the grand intro “Introvert,” Simz told Apple Music, “it feels like a battle cry, a rebirth. And with the title you wouldn’t expect it to sound so huge. But I’m finding the power within my introversion to breathe new meaning into the word.” She performed this track alongside the well known “Woman” at the BRIT awards earlier this year where she took home the award for best new artist. In her heartfelt speech, with her mother by her side Simz stated,
“I’m an independent artist and to be here tonight, receiving this award is such a blessing, I’m so grateful… I want to say, anyone that is watching this at home, I am living proof that if you work hard at something no matter where you come from, no matter your background, no matter your race, you can do something extraordinary.”
Simz’s authenticity is highly admirable and she has proven she is deserving of all the support that comes her way on this journey as an independent artist. Like she mentioned in her post, she wants to give her fans nothing but the best of her and assures them she will be back-bigger and better, and get to touring again soon.
Lee, Sammy. “The Evolution of UK Rapper Little Simz.” redbull.com, 4 Nov. 2019,
Staff, MusicWeek. “Little Simz on Life Outside the Major Label System.” musicweek.com, 7 Sept. 2021,
Hans, Simran. “Rapper Little Simz: I don’t hold back-I feel super free.” The Guardian, 18 Apr. 2021,