Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

Little Simz

Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

“Sometimes I’ll be in my own space, my own company, and that’s when I'm really content,” Little Simz tells Apple Music. “It's all love, though. There’s nothing against anyone else; that's just how I am. I like doing my own thing and making my art.” The lockdowns of 2020, then, proved fruitful for the North London MC, singer, and actor. She wrestled writer’s block, revived her cult Drop EP series (explore the razor-sharp and diaristic Drop 6 immediately), and laid grand plans for her fourth studio album. Songwriter/producer Inflo, co-architect of Simz’s 2019 Mercury-nominated, Ivor Novello Award-winning GREY Area, was tapped and the hard work began. “It was straight boot camp,” she says of the Sometimes I Might Be Introvert sessions in London and Los Angeles. “We got things done pronto, especially with the pace that me and Flo move at. We’re quite impulsive: When we're ready to go, it’s time to go.”
Months of final touches followed—and a collision between rap and TV royalty. An interest in The Crown led Simz to approach Emma Corrin (who gave an award-winning portrayal of Princess Diana in the drama). She uses her Diana accent to offer breathless, regal addresses that punctuate the 19-track album. “It was a reach,” Simz says of inviting Corrin’s participation. “I’m not sure what I expected, but I enjoyed watching her performance, and wrote most of her words whilst I was watching her.” Corrin’s speeches add to the record’s sense of grandeur. It pairs turbocharged UK rap with Simz at her most vulnerable and ambitious. There are meditations on coming of age in the spotlight (“Standing Ovation”), a reunion with fellow Sault collaborator Cleo Sol on the glorious “Woman,” and, in “Point and Kill,” a cleansing, polyrhythmic jam session with Nigerian artist Obongjayar that confirms the record’s dazzling sonic palette. Here, Simz talks us through Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, track by track.
“Introvert” “This was always going to intro the album from the moment it was made. It feels like a battle cry, a rebirth. And with the title, you wouldn't expect this to sound so huge. But I’m finding the power within my introversion to breathe new meaning into the word.”
“Woman” (feat. Cleo Sol) “This was made to uplift and celebrate women. To my peers, my family, my friends, close women in my life, as well as women all over the world: I want them to know I’ve got their back. Linking up with Cleo is always fun; we have such great musical chemistry, and I can’t imagine anyone else bringing what she did to the song. Her voice is beautiful, but I think it's her spirit and her intention that comes through when she sings.”
“Two Worlds Apart” “Firstly, I love this sample; it’s ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy’ by Smokey Robinson, and Flo’s chopped it up really cool. This is my moment to flex. You had the opener, followed by a nice, smoother vibe, but this is like, ‘Hey, you’re listening to a rap album.’”
“I Love You, I Hate You” “This wasn’t the easiest song for me to write, but I'm super proud that I did. It’s an opportunity for me to lay bare my feelings on how that [family] situation affected me, growing up. And where I'm at now—at peace with it and moving on.”
“Little Q, Pt. 1 (Interlude)” “Little Q is my cousin, Qudus, on my dad's side. We grew up together, but then there was a stage where we didn't really talk for some years. No bad blood, just doing different things, so when we reconnected, we had a real heart-to-heart—and I heard about all he’d been through. It made me feel like, ‘Damn, this is a blood relative, and he almost lost his life.’ I thank God he didn’t, but I thought of others like him. And I felt it was important that his story was heard and shared. So, I’m speaking from his perspective.”
“Little Q, Pt. 2” “I grew up in North London and [Little Q] was raised in South, and as much as we both grew up in endz, his experience was obviously different to mine. Being a product of an environment or system that isn't really for you, it’s tough trying to navigate that.”
“Gems (Interlude)” “This is another turning point, reminding myself to take time: ‘Breathe…you're human. Give what you can give, but don't burn out for anyone. Put yourself first.’ Just little gems that everyone needs to hear once in a while.”
“Speed” “This track sends another reminder: ‘This game is a marathon, not a sprint. So pace yourself!’ I know where I'm headed, and I'm taking my time, with little breaks here and there. Now I know when to really hit the gas and also when to come off a bit.”
“Standing Ovation” “I take some time to reflect here, like, ‘Wow, you're still here and still going. It’s been a slow burn, but you can afford to give yourself a pat on the back.’ But as well as being in the limelight, let's also acknowledge the people on the ground doing real amazing work: our key workers, our healers, teachers, cleaners. If you go to a toilet and it's dirty, people go in from 9 to 5 and make sure that shit is spotless for you, so let's also say thank you.”
“I See You” “This is a really beautiful and poetic song on love. Sometimes as artists we tend to draw from traumatic times for great art, we’re hurt or in pain, but it was nice for me to be able to draw from a place of real joy in my life for this song. Even where it sits [on the album]: right in the center, the heart.”
“The Rapper That Came to Tea (Interlude)” “This title is a play on [Judith Kerr’s] children's book The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and this is about me better understanding my introversion. I’m just posing questions to myself—I might not necessarily have answers for them, I think it's good to throw them out there and get the brain working a bit.”
“Rollin Stone” “This cut reminds me somewhat of ’09 Simz, spitting with rapidness and being witty. And I’m also finding new ways to use my voice on the second half here, letting my evil twin have her time.”
“Protect My Energy” “This is one of the songs I'm really looking forward to performing live. It’s a stepper, and it got me really wanting to sing, to be honest. I very much enjoy being around good company, but these days I enjoy my personal space and I want to protect that.”
“Never Make Promises (Interlude)” “This one is self-explanatory—nothing is promised at all. It’s a short intermission to lead to the next one, but at one point it was nearly the album intro.”
“Point and Kill” (feat. Obongjayar) “This is a big vibe! It feels very much like Nigeria to me, and Obongjayar is one of my favorites at the moment. We recorded this in my living room on a whim—and I'm very, very grateful that he graced this song. The title comes from a phrase used in Nigeria to pick out fish at the market, or a store. You point, they kill. But also metaphorically, whatever I want, I'm going to get in the same way, essentially.”
“Fear No Man” “This track continues the same vibe, even more so. It declares: ‘I'm here. I'm unapologetically me and I fear no one here. I'm not shook of anyone in this rap game.’”
“The Garden (Interlude)” “This track is just amazing musically. It’s about nurturing the seeds you plant. Nurture those relationships, and everything around you that's holding you down.”
“How Did You Get Here” “I want everyone to know how I got here; from the jump, school days, to my rap group, Space Age. We were just figuring it out, being persistent. I cried whilst recording this song; it all hit me, like, ‘I'm actually recording my fourth album.’ Sometimes I sit and I wonder if this is all really true.”
“Miss Understood” “This is the perfect closer. I could have ended on the last track, easily, but, I don't know, it's kind of like doing 99 reps. You've done 99, that's amazing, but you can do one more to just make it 100, you can. And for me it was like, ‘I'm going to get this one in there.’”

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