Little Simz, otherwise known as Simbiatu “Simbi” Abisola Abiola Ajikawo was born in Islington, North London in 1994. 

Ajikawo is a British Nigerian musical artist of Yoruba heritage. The Yoruba people are an ethnic group from a set of West African countries (Nigeria, Benin and Togo) that form the cultural region of Yorubaland. The region has a population of around 50 million, the majority of whom speak the language of Yoruba as a mother tongue.

Alongside her career as a singer and rapper, Ajikawo is also an actress, having been featured in TV shows, such as ‘Top Boy’ and ‘Afrofuturism’. Her music also appears on the soundtrack to the 2021 film ‘Venom: Let There Be Carnage’. She continues to be active in the field of filmmaking, self-directing the music video that accompanied the release of ‘Women’ in May 2021.

Her influences include US rappers Busta Rhymes, Nas and Biggie Smalls, whose style of speaking to, rather than at, listeners continues to be an important driving factor in the content, delivery and style of her music.

Ajikawo has won many awards and accolades since her debut album was released in 2016, winning the AIM award for Independent Album of the Year in 2016, NME and Ivor Novello awards for Best British Album and Best Album respectively in 2020, and the award for Best International Flow at the 2021 BET Hip Hop Awards. She has also been nominated for a host of other prizes, such as various MOBO awards and the Mercury Music Prize. She is considered to be one of the most exciting UK rap artists of the last five years and has begun to find an enthusiastic following in the USA. Her fourth album, ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’, was released in 2021 to widespread critical acclaim.

About this Contributor

Given name
Simbiatu Abisola Abiola
Family name
British Nigerian
Contributor type
Minutes created
Black Music Collection #17

Minutes by Little Simz