Watch Little Simz Play The Tiny Desk Little Simz has been compared to Lauryn Hill for her self-reflective wordplay. And though the British lyricist is a relative new-comer, her Tiny Desk performance was poised and confident.

Tiny Desk

Little Simz

Simbi Ajikawo, who records and performs as Little Simz, first gained widespread recognition with the release of her debut album, A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons back in 2015. Receiving praise from better-known artists like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, the British lyricist has been compared to the likes of Lauryn Hill for her self-reflective wordplay that shies away from the often braggadocios nature of mainstream rap music.

While on her first album Simz opted to tell stories that spoke of her childhood experiences (and the insight gained from them), on her most recent release, Stillness in Wonderland, she expands this notion of self-exploration by creating a world that pays ode to the childhood classic Alice in Wonderland. Much like Alice, Simz's newfound success has taken her on a journey that's leading her to discover a whole new world.

Only 22-years old, Simz is still early in her career. And while she's constantly challenged by the abnormal experiences that come from success, her performance for our Tiny Desk was poised and confident. Accompanied by three members from the Brooklyn-based R&B group known as Phony Ppl, Simz performed a set of three songs off of Stillness in Wonderland, including the standout "Poison Ivy," which chronicles the outfall of a failing relationship. As Simz continues to grow as a musician it will be exciting to see what new worlds she brings to her audience next.

Stillness In Wonderland is available now. (iTunes) (Amazon)

Set List

  • "Poison Ivy"
  • "No More Wonderland"
  • "Picture Perfect"

Musicians

Little Simz (vocals, guitar); Matt Byas (drums); Omar Grant (bass); Aja Grant (keys)

Credits

Producers: Cameron Robert, Niki Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, Morgan Noelle Smith; Assistant Editor: Morgan Noelle Smith; Production Assistant: A Noah Harrison; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR.

For more Tiny Desk concerts, subscribe to our podcast.

[+] read more[-] less

More From Tiny Desk

Jason Isbell performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 30, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Jason Isbell

The Alabama singer-songwriter and his band perform three songs from The Nashville Sound, but their set includes a few surprises, too.

ALA.NI performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 20, 2017. (Photo: Liam James Doyle/NPR) Liam James Doyle/NPR/NRR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR/NRR

ALA.NI

ALA.NI captures and conveys a reverent love of early-20th-century music, while injecting those sounds with charisma and charm well suited for any era.

Maggie Rogers performs a Tiny Desk concert at NPR headquarters. Liam James Doyle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR

Maggie Rogers

The rising pop star performs three of her best-known songs, including a sweet solo take on her career-making "Alaska."

Aldous Harding performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 6, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Aldous Harding

Intensity in songs often expresses itself as volume – a loud guitar, a scream, a piercing synth line. But in the case of Aldous Harding it's in the spaces, the pauses, and her unique delivery.

James Mercer of The Shins performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 19, 2017. (Liam James Doyle/NPR) Liam James Doyle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR

The Shins

James Mercer, the emotional and creative heart of The Shins, gives a moving performance at the Tiny Desk, with two new songs and a classic from the band's 2003 album Chutes Too Narrow.

Albin Lee Meldau performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 12, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Albin Lee Meldau

Albin Lee Meldau possesses a thunderous, deeply affecting voice, which he uses to tell some utterly dark, but demonstrably cathartic, tales.

Rare Essence performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 9, 2017. (Liam James Doyle/NPR) Liam James Doyle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR

Rare Essence

Rare Essence has been bringing go-go to the world since 1976 — the group brought that pedigree, and the genre's massive meld of funk, rhythm and blues and soul, to this raucous hometown Tiny Desk.

Tuxedo performs a Tiny Desk Concert on May 20th, 2017. (Claire Harbage/NPR) Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Claire Harbage/NPR

Tuxedo

Tuxedo, the unlikely-on-paper funk-soul duo of Mayer Hawthorne and Jake One, brought a left-of-center sonic approach and a sharp sense of style to their Tiny Desk Concert.

Fragile Rock performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 16, 2017. (Photo: Liam James Doyle/NPR) Liam James Doyle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR

Fragile Rock

Fragile Rock is a band that relies on the boogie of The B-52s, the melancholy of The Smiths and the humor of Kermit the Frog. Oh, and they're all puppets.

Jay Som performs a Tiny Desk Concert on June 7, 2017. (Liam James Doyle/NPR) Liam James Doyle/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Liam James Doyle/NPR

Jay Som

Melina Duterte may have played all the instruments on Jay Som's newest record, Everybody Works, but her touring band brought a rougher edge to those silky recordings.

Back To Top