Who is Little Simz? Islington artist scoops Best New Artist at the Brit Awards

Little Simz performs during the Brit Awards 2022 at the O2 Arena, London
Little Simz on the red carpet at the Brit Awards 2022 at the O2 Arena in east London

From rapping London schoolgirl to red carpet Brit Award winner, there's no stopping Little Simz and her rapid rise to fame.

She was even singled out for praise by Adele and rapper Dave at Tuesday night's glittering ceremony after picking up the award for Best New Artist.

So who is Little Simz? And what was her journey from schoolgirl to music star?

  • What is Little Simz real name?

Long before finding fame Little Simz was known by family and friends as Simbi, short for her full name of Simbiatu Ajikawo. The name was shortened further and turned into Little Simz to give her the stage name we all know her by today.

  • Where did Little Simz grow up?

Little Simz is a born and bred Londoner and grew up in the north London borough of Islington. She was born on February 23rd 1994 to Nigerian parents of Yoruba heritage, a group that makes up around 15% of Nigeria's population.

She has spoken in the past about growing up on a council estate and dedicated her winner’s speech to inspiring kids from different backgrounds to "keep dreaming".

Speaking at the Brits she said: "My name is Simbiatu Ajikawo. I am from North London, Islington.

"I grew up on a council estate. I am an independent artist and to be here tonight receiving this award is such a blessing. I am so grateful."

She said her award was proof that if you work hard at something, no matter where you come from, no matter your background, no matter your race, "you can do something extraordinary".

Little Simz receives the award for Best New Artist with her mum during the Brit Awards 2022
  • Where did Little Simz go to school?

The rapper studied at Highbury Fields School in north London which helped shaped her ambition to follow a career in music. From the age of seven she also went to St Mary's Youth Club in Upper Street a place credited with helping young people 'find something unique about themselves'. Former members also included X Factor winners Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke.

Her passion for music flourished after enrolling for Westminster Kingsway College. In a tweet she said it was the only college that would accept her.

  • What are Little Simz other talents?

Most recently Little Simz appeared in Netflix drama 'Top Boy' where she starred in season 3 playing the part of Shelley. She said she was a big fan of the original Channel 4 series and enjoyed watching it while at school. She also appeared in Children's BBC series 'Spirit Warriors' as well as E4’s 'Youngers', where she played Meleka.

  • What type of music does Little Simz perform?

She released her debut album 'A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons' on her own label in 2015 which was followed up with 'Stillness in Wonderland' a year later and Grey Area in 2019 which was nominated for a Mercury Music Prize.

She also won critical acclaim for her album 'Sometimes I Might Be Introvert' and won best album at the Ivor Novello awards as well as the NME Award.

Little Simz will also join Billie Eilish and Diana Ross in the lineup for Glastonbury Festival 2022.

At the Brit Awards the 27-year-old singer was presented with Best New Artist by singer Celeste and Olympian Tom Daley.

Little Simz also performed during the award’s ceremony with actress Emma Corrin making a surprise appearance.