Born and raised in North London, the young wordsmith known as Little Simz brings a new level of intelligence, creativity and musicality to the global Hip Hop arena.
At just 20 years of age, nothing could have prepared Little Simz for her meteoric rise over the past year. Charismatic, fierce and lyrically mature, the rapper and musician caught the attention of JAY Z's Life + Times platform in 2013, seeing them premiere her FOURTH mixtape BLANK CANVAS and Simz catapulting into a whole new stratosphere. That recognition subsequently won her an invite to support Schoolboy Q on his Oxymoron tour and saw her tipped to become raps next great hope by Complex, High Snobiety, XXL, Variety, The Independent and The Guardian to name a few.
But even with a growing line of high-profile stars queuing up to collaborate and offers from many a major label, Little Simz decided to head back to her bedroom studio to follow the mixtape with her debut EP E.D.G.E and release it on her own label AGE 101 in the summer of 2014.
The critically acclaimed offering (an acronym for Every Day Gets Easier) which married entirely original soundscapes with Simz' stellar wordplay, flow and content, shunned easily accessible big name features and only featured her Space Age collective, a young clan of North London creatives who Simz grew up with.
After a whirlwind year, which also saw her release three instalments in her AGE 101: DROP Series of mini-EPs, Simz can now count Andre 3000, Snoop Dogg, J.Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Kano amongst many more as fans while her tracks continue to be spun by the likes of Zane Lowe, Gilles Peterson, Huw Stephens, Annie Mac, Mistajam and many more.
Recently winning the 'Breakthrough Act Of The Year' award at the highly respected 10th Annual Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards and being nominated in two categories at the MOBO Awards (Best Hip Hop Act and Best Newcomer), where she also performed alongside veteran soul singer Candi Staton, all eyes are set on the young leader's next steps.
Walterboro, South Carolina, it didn't take much for Nick to stick out in the town with a population of approximately 5,000 people. While he was firstly known as a gifted athlete, he discovered that Hip Hop was an equally, if not more, competitive sport. He wrote his first rhyme when a group of friends dared him to write one better than theirs. After winning them over on that bet, the rest of the town followed suit as he battled neighbors and classmates one by one, defeating them all. Though he was usually the youngest in the battles, he always rhymed with complexity and maturity beyond his years, a direct result of hearing the music of his grandparents and older siblings. Gravitating towards the sounds of Nas, Biggie, Pac, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Outkast, Scarface, Snoop, 2Pac, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Stevie Wonder, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and D'Angelo, Nick felt he might have been raised in the wrong era. That, coupled with neighborhood OG's taking him under their wings; he inherited gems that most kids his age weren't exposed to. As fate would have it, Nick and his family relocated to Atlanta, GA, the epicenter of rap music, which was a more suitable environment to foster his intrinsic talent. Upon his arrival entering 9th grade at Washington High School, he immediately threw himself in the rap ring by ditching school and going to nearby Clark Atlanta University to battle college students. The lyrical combats sharpened his tongue to the point that one of his teachers suggested he discontinue his education and pursue music fulltime. Much like his character, Nick didn't quit and finished what he started by graduating however he did continue his studies albeit in the School of Hard Knocks. The ambitious rhymer experienced several failed deals, which caused him to grow frustrated but he never lost hope. A chance encounter with entertainment business mogul Jason Geter restored Nick's faith in an industry he had wanted to be a part of since childhood. Signed to Geter's Culture Republic imprint, which includes partners Chaka Zulu (Ludacris) and Bernard Parks, Jr. (Cee-Lo, Goodie Mob), Nick's star quality has been illuminated. Under the leadership of the Culture Republic team, Nick released "Royalty," featuring CyHi The Prynce who he met on the open mic circuit. The track was followed by a video that put the MC's name in the right conversations. Nick went on to appear on Sway In The Morning and fired off a succession of epic freestyles that galvanized the listening public, which were followed up by introspective records like "Gold Chains," "Dead Poet Society" and "The Jungle." Nick formally introduced himself on his debut mixtape, '88, which has been labeled a classic. Though the project includes minimal features, the names speak volumes of the respect Nick has garnered. Killer Mike, Big K.R.I.T., Young Dro, BJ The Chicago Kid and Stacy Barthe, all bless the musical masterpiece. With help from an in-house production team consisting of Dominic Gordon, '88, brings a new level of conceptual sophistication to Hip Hop. Praised for his clever bars well documented by multiple media outlets, tastemakers and fans, Nick's rapid rise has been earned over time. Understanding the importance of individuality, storytelling, diverse subject matter and musical experimentation, Nick's possession of these qualities have put him on the trajectory of becoming one of the game's most authoritative voices.