Friday, 27 September 2013

The Blank Canvas Interview: Little Simz, The Rising Success

Since her last mixtape XY.Zed, Little Simz is back with her fourth and latest mixtape Blank Canvas which dropped yesterday. Blank Canvas has reached new heights, by the fact that it was premiered on Jay Z’s official website ‘Life and Times’. Already, her song Bad (produced by Balistiq) has achieved song of the day on i-D magazine’s Twitter, and was played on BBC Radio 1 by Zane Lowe. Simz has been shown so much love in the last 24 hours for what she is achieved with Blank Canvas, and it’s clear that opportunities can arise from all of this. The mixtape features collaborations with the amazing Melo-X, Thurz and her team members in Space Age, Josh Arce and Chuck20. Each of these artists, have contributed in helping Simz to make her mixtape something very magical. I was lucky to be the first person to interview Simz about Blank Canvas, and find out her thoughts on the whole experience of it.

Talk to us about the success and transition from ‘XY.Zed’ to Blank Canvas?
"The transition between XY.Zed and Blank Canvas has been phenomenal! Over the course of 6  months allot has happened in my life from finishing college to starting university, to entering a new management situation and to finding my sound which has influenced my writing and the direction I’ve taken to create the music I do."

What's the story behind Blank Canvas and how did you come up with the name?
"Blank canvas is basically an interpretation of how we look at ourselves and how we see one another. It's also about seeing everyone as a blank canvas, and for myself, music is my art."

What’s your favourite track on Blank Canvas?
"The bells, reason being that it's such a statement track. It symbolises me and my journey coming through the industry. The Sound of the Bell let's people know little Simz is coming."
What producers have you been working with recently?
"Balistiq have been my most frequent producers and have done an amazing job in helping me create my mixtape. However, I’m always open to work with different producers and try different sounds."

You only really do collaborations with Space Age. What's it like being in a collective (Space Age) as well as being an individual artist?
"Being in a collective is truly a blessing. Not only are we a collective, we are a family. We have known each other for so long, come from the same area, around the same age and can relate to each other on different levels. It’s great to be around people who inspire you and make you a better person as well as being the people you make music with. Even though I’m also an individual artist, we all have each other’s backs. And, we’re all talented which is a bonus!" 

Who do you plan on collaborating with in the future?
"I love Banks because she is original and unique. I think her movement is sick! Her EP’s and songs are consistent images of the way she puts herself out there. I love when artists are consistent. I would also like to work with lots of song writers; it’s always good to try different things."
10 Random things you didn't know about Little Simz

1. From an art perspective, who’s your favourite artist?

‘"Pablo Picasso is Ill. And I also like Alex grey."

2. What other things do you do to express your creative side?

"I like to read. I think it's important to be knowledgeable in life, in anyway possible. I also find that it helps with my writing of music, so overall I can pick up new words and expand my knowledge."

3. Favourite Car?

"Jeeps. I like big cars."

4. Describe a morning routine in a day to day life of Little Simz?

"Wake up, make my bed, put my music on loud, brush my teeth, shower, iron my clothes, do my make-up and hair, put my clothes on eat and leave. However on a lazy day, I wake up and chill on the laptop listening to music."

5. 3 most preferred genres of music?

"Hip hop, neo soul and electronic."

6. On a weekend, would you rather party all night, or have a studio session with your friend?

"It has to be a therapeutic studio session. It’s a comfortable and productive environment, and it’s always good to be productive. It’s also genuinely something I enjoy doing more, and I like having my own space. If it's a cool vibe I feel more creative and I don't have to hold back."

7. I know you're pretty intrigued with photography, would you ever consider the role of a professional photographer whilst living as a rapper in your profession?

"Definitely! I like photography allot because I want be the one documenting and taking pictures on stage instead of just the one people are taking pictures of."

8. You've done some a modelling for illustrated People. How did you find it?

"They reached out to me on Twitter asking me to shoot for them, and they've been helping me out ever since. On the whole I really enjoyed the whole experience. I took pictures with three other artist and we had allot of fun with it. Also it was for one of their campaigns called London youth."

9. What do you think you would have been if you didn't choose the rapping profession?

"I probably would have gone into acting. Acting and photography are sick."

10. Favourite movie?

"Got to be Love and Basketball." 

If you haven’t heard Blank Canvas yet I’ve posted the link below to her Bandcamp where you can download your copy of the mixtape. Follow Little Simz, Josh Arce and Chuck20 on twitter and keep watching their movement. As mentioned in my previous in my last blog post, a Space Age EP COULD be on the way!

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