Highbury rapper Little Simz stays cool despite double Mobo nomination

Little Simz

Little Simz - Credit: Archant

A rap sensation from Highbury is keeping her feet on the ground despite being nominated for two Mobo awards at the age of 20.

Little Simz

Little Simz - Credit: Archant

Little Simz, the latest star to emerge from the St Mary’s Youth Club, has taken the hip-hop world by storm and already established a following in the US after her fourth mix tape was promoted on Jay Z’s website Life+Times last year.

Since then she’s headlined a gig in Times Square in New York, filmed a video in the Hamptons and is now up for best hip-hop act and best newcomer at the Mobos later this month.

But unlike Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke, who both came out of the same Upper Street talent factory, Simz, as she likes to be called, is determined to go her own way.

“I’m just being myself,” says the former Highbury Fields School pupil. “I’m never trying to be this person that thinks she’s so famous, I just tell my stories.

“I always want to make ­relatable music. A young girl can look at me and say ‘she’s just like me – she’s still struggling, she’s still doing what she’s doing’.

“I still want to be young, I don’t want to grow up before my time.”

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The cover of her latest EP, which sees her sticking two fingers up to the establishment, is a perfect example of that attitude.

“If you just saw that and hadn’t heard me you would think I was being rude – but that’s not what I’m about, don’t let anything else influence it, just press play.

“I’m not perfect, I’ve never been one to play by the book.

“That’s why I’ve started my own record label, I’m going to do it my own way and I’ll still get to where I want to be.”

In the best hip-hop act category at the Mobos Simz is up against the likes of Professor Green and Tinie Tempah and is the only female artist of the six nominees.

While in the best newcomer category she has the chance to follow in the footsteps of global superstars Jessie J and Rita Ora.

But despite being on the cusp of super-stardom Simz, who is studying a music technology degree at West London University, is still humble. “I’m just very happy to be nominated, especially in the hip-hop category being the only female,” she said.

“My family have been huge in keeping my feet on the ground and keeping me focussed on my university work.

“My mum said to me: ‘imagine if you could be killing it in the rap game and then turn round to kids and say ‘I’ve got a degree as well’’ – I like that idea.”

n The Mobo awards take place on October 22 at the SSE Arena in Wembley. To vote go to mobo.com/voting