Little Simz: "Taking It Where No One Else Has Taken It"

As the first headlining artist of the SoundCloud x Milk collaboration, Little Simz proved to be a dynamo of energy; a performer who mixes London street cred with international excellence in electronic beats. That’s not even touching on her magnetic stage presence, an effortless appeal that has star power written all over it. With the premiere of her new single ‘Closer’ right here on Milk Made – a track produced by Tiffany Gouche and taken from AGE 101: DROP 3000 which is being released later this month – we spoke to the artist about her creative ethos, what’s happening in the music scene across the pond, and recording her debut EP on her bed.

How was it shooting at Milk? Did you have a good time?

Yeah, shooting at Milk was crazy. Whenever I’m working with a new company I always make sure to do my research beforehand. And I did my research on Milk, just asking people, and they would all say ‘Yeah, if you’re doing something with Milk, shit you must be good. They only take on things that are good.’ So I was really, really excited to come to the studios and see the whole atmosphere. There was so much going on, other photo shoots and seeing people run lines. It was just a bunch of things all happening at once, and it was really fun.

So you grew up in London…what’s the current hip hop scene like there?

The hip hop scene in London…I mean it’s cool. There’s a few acts that are breaking through, making a name for themselves. I’m into the hip hop scene but I’m trying to get into different things. I feel that in London especially you have a lot of new emerging artists that aren’t just hip hop. There’s electronic, soul, and it’s all a lot of young people doing it. So I’m trying to get into the hip hop scene but I feel like I’m trying to be the first from here that can really take it where no one else has took it. It seems like I’m headed in that direction.

What age did you realize you wanted to make music?

I knew that I wanted to be an artist probably when I was 13 or 14. That was when I knew this is what I wanted to do professionally, for my career. It kind of stemmed from there, but when I was nine was when I first started getting into music. It was just little things I did at youth club, and I wasn’t aware of how far I could possibly take it, or how much of an impact I can make on the industry.

You’re also an actress…tell us a little about that?

That started roughly around the same age. I started at my youth club, St. Mary’s, and I got TV work when I was 15. And then more TV work as I got older, 18 or 19, and that’s about as far as it went really. Hopefully next year I’ll get into some more, but right now it’s all very music focused, and that’s where I want to take it.

Your debut EP ‘Edge’ has been very well received. We also heard that you made most of it in your bedroom…is that true?

I did yeah, pretty much the all of it in my bedroom. I mixed and recorded the whole thing there. I like doing stuff like that myself, and I’ve been fortunate enough to study music technology at university, so it’s good to be able to learn those things and do it myself.

Do you have a full length in the pipeline?

Yeah, definitely. 100%. I’m getting ready to work on it now. Right now I’m figuring out what producers I want to work with, things like that.

Any particular artists and/or records that you’ve been listening to that you might want to work with/have inspired you?

I definitely want to work with James Blake at some point in my career. I think he’s an amazing artist. I would love to work with Kendrick Lamar, and a band from London called The Hicks. I actually will be working with them on their upcoming record.

Who would you list as your creative idols?

I think Jimi Hendrix. He’s just an amazing musician, and a guitarist, and I really respect what he’s done, especially for the world of soul and blues. Probably Jay-Z and Biggie Smalls.

What’s the most exciting part about your job?

The fact that I get to wake up every day and do something completely different. That’s the most exciting part for sure.

You can preorder Little Simz’s single with Jakwob, ‘Time Capsule,’ released December 14th here

Photography by Mitchell Mclennan
Creative Direction by Paul Bui

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