Little Simz, British music’s most famous introvert, lights up the West Holts stage on Friday night. The rapper caps a whirlwind six months since the release of her latest, much-heralded album with a headline spot on the most intimate of Glastonbury’s three main stages. Born in North London, she has mesmerized audiences with her seductive blend of grime, funk and soul, confirming her star status.
Simz, who started rapping in the schoolyard, steps into the spotlight several mixtapes and a Top 5 album later at Worthy Farm. She wears a bright red bomber jacket, her hair is in an updo, and black sunglasses frame her face. A demonic horned creature is emblazoned on the back of her seemingly demure black shirt. Below her, the tightly packed crowd jostle for a glimpse of the new Queen of Glastonbury.
The set kicks off with electrifying drama – a flair that certainly came in handy for her pivotal role in Netflix top boy – her single “Introvert”. It speaks to her struggle to understand and convey her introverted nature: “I was scared of that gig,” she later admits, with a brief look of confusion and triumph on her face, “but I’m having a great time up here.”
She seamlessly traverses the musical spectrum, moving from vintage funk and silky soul back to grime, trap and rousing R&B. But it’s not just her raw musicianship that inspires this dedication: the bittersweet, self-confessed nature of her lyrics elevates her to the role of 21st-century poet and storyteller. On tracks like the gruffly emotional “I Love You, I Hate You,” she addresses her absent father and reveals her heartbreak over a groovy, uplifting bassline.
She shifts into a soulful mode and is joined on stage by her albumc collaborator Cleo Sol. “We got some bangers for you,” Simz announces, before kicking off “Woman,” a soothing, jazzy paean. Their typically silky beats are delivered over shuffling percussion and bright synth sparks.
“How did you come here?” she asks, reflecting on her own rise to headlining the Glastonbury stage. Your set is answer enough. As the lights of Worthy Farm dim for the night, Little Simz’s star shines brighter than ever.
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/little-simz-review-glastonbury-2022-b2109199.html Little Simz Review, Glastonbury 2022: Rapper’s star shines brighter than ever on the West Holts Stage