Little Simz reveals why her music remains relevant as she marks Ivor Novello win

Little Simz has credited the success of her music with tapping into topical themes like Covid-19 and Black Lives Matter, after winning her first Ivor Novello award.

The north London rapper and actress, 26, was awarded the prize for best album at the annual Ivors ceremony, which celebrate songwriters and composers, for her acclaimed 2019 record Grey Area.

It was her first Ivor Novello and the second for her producer Inflo, who won in 2017 for co-writing Michael Kiwanuka’s Black Man In A White World.

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She told the PA news agency: “It just goes to show it is all about the music but I guess it has aged pretty well. The album still feels new to me even though I wrote it in 2018 and it came out in 2019.

“I am not in the same space but some of the things I am writing about I still feel. In that sense it still feels new.”

Asked whether the album had taken on new meaning since its release, she said: “More so now than ever probably (the song) Pressure, in light of what has been happening over the past few months, like Covid and the whole Black Lives Matter movement.

“All these things, it still feels very prominent. It feels like I wrote Pressure to do with that subject matter, but I have been speaking about that for the longest.”

Top Boy UK Premiere – London
Top Boy UK Premiere – London

Simz, who starred as Shelley in Netflix’s revival of Top Boy, said the gong was more special because it was chosen by songwriters.

She said: “Just to know that there are other creative songwriters that respect my pen and recognise me for that. It’s a mad feeling.

“I don’t go into the studio to get accolades or get awards or any of these things. Music is a spiritual thing for me.

“I have been doing it since I was nine and it’s been a very long journey, so to now be getting the recognition that I feel I deserve, in a way, is a very nice feeling.”

Elsewhere at the Ivors, Mercury Prize winner Dave and producer Fraser T Smith won the Ivor Novello for best contemporary song for Black, while the award for best television soundtrack went to Labrinth for Euphoria.