Little Simz takes a giant leap with their newly released fourth album, Sometimes I Might Be Introvert. It is his most musically varied album and also the most revealing of Simbiatu Ajikawo’s career. Because in him she not only reveals that she is shy, but also opens up on the channel and we discover how sincere she can be in her music.
On Sometimes I Might Be Introvert we find hip-hop, r’n’b, soul, jazz, electronic and even Afrobeat, perfectly assembled and with the powerful, and sensitive, voice of Little Simz giving coherence to a very powerful and revealing ensemble. Vehiculated by interludes narrated by Emma Corrin (Diana of Wales in The Crown). It is an album in which he talks about the importance of both the blood family (especially, he reflects on the relationship with his father) and the chosen one, of how complicated his last years have been since he is known … It shows in a way The ambition of this 27-year-old British artist is very clear.
Yes she is shy, at least when faced with a telephone interview. We already noticed it when we talked to her coinciding with the release of her previous album, Grey Area (2019), and this time the confirmation is already clearly given from the title of his album. She does not want to hide what she is like, although she is much looser singing than talking to strangers. “I feel relieved after having composed the songs on this album”, he assures. “I have never put so much of myself into a project, and it has made me feel great doing it.”
“I have never put so much of myself into a project”
Little Simz says that when he considered recording a new album, he was clear that it was going to open on the channel. “The time had come to do it. In fact, the title came to mind when I had just started recording, and it was kind of a signal”. Because shyness has always accompanied her. “I’ve been very introverted since I was little,” she confesses. “I discovered what that word meant as a child, and I appropriated it,” she says between shy laughs.
Sometimes introverts go unnoticed, there are those who do not bother to get to know them, or reject them, and Little Simz vindicates with this album those strangers with a great inner world. “I am happy to be in a way someone who gives a voice to these people. Not everyone makes music or has a speaker as powerful as mine, ”he reflects. “Introverts are not different from others; it is good that we accept ourselves as we are and do not feel bad for being like that “.
It is clear that neither success nor recognition have changed her. “I will never forget my origins”, it states. “I am still the same, I maintain my values and I vindicate my roots. Obviously I have changed a bit, but it is normal as you get older ”. And consciously avoid the traps that arise along the way. “It would be easy to get carried away by success and adulation, but I have great people around me who remind me at all times who I am ”.
“It is very gratifying to risk”
The hardest thing for her today is not being the owner of her schedule at all times. “My career demands that I dedicate a lot of time to it. You have to travel all the time, and I am not with my family and my friends as much as I would like. But luckily I feel their love even though they are far away ”. Because it is clear that Simbi, the person, and Simz, the artist, are one. “Sometimes it is difficult for me to do so, but little by little I have learned to manage that duality well”.
He shows it wonderfully on his new album, so varied in the musical and so personal in the lyrical. “It was a great challenge to record it,” he confesses. “Although my roots are in hip-hop, it was clear to me that I wanted to open up to other styles. I feel that there are not so many people making albums like this right now in the universe mainstream. And I wanted to face that risk ”.
He is happy to have taken the risk, “because it has been very rewarding.” And although he tries not to listen to too much music from others when he creates, he does admit that some artists served as clear references to inspire him: “Nina Simone, John Coltrane or Michael Jackson. Like them, I am one of those who bet on creating works, with total freedom, in album form, that illustrate each stage of my journey as an artist. And do them without haste; I take my time and only release records when I feel like it’s time to do it ”.
“If you connect with my experiences, fine, and if not, too”
On Miss Understood He says “I have honesty in my bones”, and boy does he show it throughout the album. “At some point it bothered me to be aware of everything I share in the new songs, but I needed to bare my soul, I couldn’t stop it. Sharing my vulnerability has made me stronger ”. He also felt the need to send out a clear message with Woman. “Everybody needs to be reminded of things from time to time. AND It is good for all of us to hear a compliment. I felt the need to celebrate feminine energy, because surely many people will appreciate it ”.
To reinforce female power, he asked actress Emma Corrin to record a series of spoken interludes, because she felt they would help reinforce the narrative of the album, and because being an album with so many songs, it would be easier to enjoy it. “When I saw her in The Crown I was fascinated by the way he gave life to Lady Diana, it seemed like a magical performance, “he explains.
He did not know her, but he made contact and suggested that he collaborate on the album, and he accepted. “I’m very happy that he wanted to do it.” An unexpected connection that enriches a deeply personal project. “I want to invite the listener to enter my world. If you connect with my experiences, fine, and if not, too. I am convinced that it is my best work, and I just want my music to speak for me ”.
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Little Simz: “Sharing my vulnerability has made me stronger”