Don’t Sleep Vol. 1 | Music Videos

[Cover image shot by Cam Robert]

This past week has definitely been another one for the books. Amidst albums from Kali UchisSaba, and ODIE just to name a few, many W&V favorites also shared new sets of visuals for us to enjoy. To help sift through all the dope stuff that dropped, below are five music videos you should definitely peep.

Duckwrth – “TAMAGOTCHI”

Duckwrth is a natural bundle of energy that’s well on his way to getting the recognition he deserves. In the Lino Asana-directed video, the purveyor of funkwave whips through the Mojave flexing his control of the rap game in the latest set of visuals from his XTRA UUGLY mixtape. “Tamagotchi” is perfect for both open road cruising and no holds barred mosh pits.

Sylvan LaCue – “Empathy” (ft. BJRNCK)

Sylvan LaCue is a well-seasoned warrior in the rap game. Earlier this year, the Miami-raised artist unveiled his Apologies In Advance album, guiding listeners through a spectrum of emotions through his skills on the mic and on the boards. “Empathy” is another snapshot from the story brought to life by his right-hand director Jonathan Benavente. Topped off with silky vocals with BJRNCK, this is another beautifully crafted video from the WiseUp crew.

Little Simz – “Morning” (ft. Swooping Duck)

From touring with Gorillaz to her own headlining tour next month, Little Simz has kept busy spreading good vibes all around. King Simbi gives us a peak at tour life in “Morning,” which features her venting over jazzy rhythms from Australia’s own Swooping Duck. Directors Versetti and Jeremy Cole, If you haven’t already, be sure to peep the deluxe version of Stillness In Wonderland.

Ciscero – “Function” (ft. GoldLink, April George, Cheakity)

With his Devil’s Pie EP on the way, Ciscero is back with the latest visuals from the project. Director Michael Bregenzer gives “Function” a truly cinematic feel that captures the harsh truth of the DMV streets when a seemingly fun night turns sour. Ciscero, April George, and Cheakity highlight their sonic chemistry over production from Supah Mario. Also be sure to check out the original track featuring a verse from GoldLink.

Gallant – “Gentleman”

Gallant has been fairly quiet in terms of releases since his stellar Ology album dropped back in 2016, but the Los Angeles crooner returns with another spine-chilling release. “Gentleman” is equal parts sensual and alluring that we love from Gallant, oozing with unfiltered passion. Director Sasha Samsonova paints Gallant in a steel blue hue as he delivers an echoing falsetto that’s sure to have you grooving along.


Little Simz Drops Hard-Hitting “Good For What”

In the midst of touring with Gorillaz, Little Simz is back with another heater titled “Good For What.” As one of the eight additional tracks slated to appear on the deluxe version of Stillness In Wonderland, Simbi goes all out in her latest single accompanied by a Duy Nguyen-directed video. Harrowing production from Astronote backs her aptly confident verses, unfazed by nonbelievers while flexing on the competition. Simz continues to ramp up her momentum with each release, setting herself up for another banner year in 2018.

Check out “Good For What” below and expect Stillness in Wonderland (Deluxe Editionon November 3.

Vibe Out With Little Simz On “Backseat” Via COLORS Berlin

Little Simz has kept busy all year—from her headlining Welcome To Wonderland tour to joining the stage with Gorillaz, the London artist continues to garner a loyal fanbase around the world.

King Simbi recently swung by COLORS Berlin to perform her latest single titled “Backseat.” Produced by Astronote and topped off with additional vocals from Ella Mai and VanJess, Little Simz provides a status update for her fans. “Backseat” showcases Little Simz at her finest while we await a new surprise hinted to arrive in November,

Check out Little Simz’s performance of “Backseat” below.

OTG Recruits Little Simz For Debut Single, “The Book”

OTG has helped bring to life many Little Simz tunes in the past, offering production on tracks like “Just A Dose” and “This Is Not An Outro.” As the first peak from his forthcoming Garden of Osiris EP, the Age 101 artist unveils his official debut single “The Book.” Simbi returns to bless OTG’s eclectic production with her wispy vocals, creating an overall slow-burning experience. Topped off with additional guitar melodies from QTLA, this is one you don’t want to miss.

Stream “The Book” below.

Little Simz Breaks It Down On NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert

Each week, Little Simz‘s outstanding talent begs more and more recognition. Her growth since the landmark debut of A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons is a fascinating trend; Simz has matured as a person and musician from a dazzling debutante to an experienced and artistically significant performer. Stillness in Wonderland, and all that has come with it, is evidence of this growth, with Simz most recently taking to NPR for a fantastic performance on her Tiny Desk Concert.

Simbi shows off three of the biggest songs off SIW: “Poison Ivy,” “No More Wonderland,” and “Picture Perfect.” The set list is carefully and masterfully selected; amounting to a 10-minute performance, the songs are all crucial axes of the album, and eloquent introductions to Simz’s craft. Backed up by Brooklyn’s Phony Ppl, Simz switches up from her album renditions to slower and more thoughtful covers that glide over their instrumentation.

Simz’s performance is a testament to her natural skills as an entertainer. She looks comfortable and in charge in the spotlight, a feat considering the personal level she takes many of her songs to. Simz sells her performance easily and comfortably. Even as she takes to NPR in front of an audience to show herself off, it’s easy to tell that, at the end of the day, Simz is just another music fan. She is more than happy to share the stage with Phony Ppl, letting them take liberties with her music that many artists would not be comfortable with. Simbi breezes her set with a smile on her face and a positivity that infects the audience.

Revisit Stillness in Wonderland here, and catch Little Simz in a city near you on her latest international tour. Stream her Tiny Desk Concert here.

Little Simz Goes Down The Rabbit Hole In “Picture Perfect” Visuals

Little Simz is on a roll. The London Rapper debuted her second studio album Stillness in Wonderland at the end of last year, and since then has continued to gain momentum and praise from around the world. Now in the midst of an international tour, Little Simz shows no fatigue. Where her previous tour saw the inception and conceptualization of SIW, Simz’s latest travels have seen her drop several sets of visuals, the latest of which brings “Picture Perfect” to life.

Simz takes us a breathless journey in the video. An animated video done in a noire comic style, the video is very much intertwined with the song, fleshing out narrative between themselves. Black tones frequently dominate the background in the opening minute, only to explode into color at the chorus. Symbols from the titular “Alice in Wonderland” float in and out of the picture, alluding to the imagery Simz invokes throughout her stellar album. Foremost is a crown, which seems to be infinitely approaching Simz’s head, but never quite settling down. The video, much like the song, is a journey from beginning to end.

The London rapper has set herself up for a massive year. It would not be a surprise to see the crown eventually settle on her head by the end of it. Check out the visuals for “Picture Perfect” below and revisit Stillness in Wonderland.

Little Simz Is Winning With ‘Stillness In Wonderland’

Ask any aspiring musician what their wonderland is and nine out of ten will say the music industry—the allure of big labels and big money is drawing artists down the rabbit holes of appearances and facades that can make or break a career. In an industry that is becoming simultaneously more homogenous and diverse, Little Simz lies outside of the typical definitions of a performing artist. From her dedication to her indie label Space Age 101 to her genre-defying music, she is very much a revolutionary force in hip-hop.

Simz is relentless. Her style of music adds a more soulful flavor to the rapid-fire lyric-intensive grime influences ingrained in her identity by her life in London. Over the last three years, Simbi Ajikawo has released 10 projects, including her award-winning debut LP A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons. Simz didn’t rest on her laurels, however, instead launching into a full year of touring internationally as solo artist and special guest. During this time she undertook her “biggest challenge to date,” the creation of her second studio album Stillness in Wonderland (SIW).

SIW is a polished and incredibly tight album. As with all the projects Simz has released, the album capitalizes on her lyrical ability and natural ease over a variety of instrumentals to create a effortless collection of tracks. Simz described the difficulty she faced in finding an inspiration, settling by a stroke of broadcasting fortune on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland as an eloquent metaphor for her venture into the nuance of the music industry as both an external and internal journey. SIW is a cohesive narrative, a sequel to the story of her encounters with trials and persons as she travels further down the rabbit holes she has found herself exploring.

The “Cheshire’s Interludes” tie the narrative of SIW together. The voice of her benevolent yet intimidating tour guide welcomes her to Wonderland, and implores her to “trust in her intuition.” “I know you’re quite the dreamer, be careful,” warns the voice. “This could end up being your reality.”

Simbi describes the album as a project of self discovery, “forcing me to spread my wings musically and creatively and allowing me to grow as an artist.” This album is Simz’s platform to do just that, trust in her intuition to create a project that is more deeply personal than anything prior we’ve seen from the Londoner. Songs like “Poison Ivy,” “Doorways + Trust Issues,” or “Low Tides” show a deeper and more introspective side to the artist as she reflects on romance, anxiety, and insecurities as an artist and human. Simz brings a familiar cast of characters in the form of long time friends and collaborators Chuck20, Bibi Bourelly, SiR Tilla and Josh Arce. Newer faces add more vibrancy and color to songs like “Shotgun,” a dreamy song that contrasts Simz’s bouncy deliveries with smooth, ethereal bridges delivered by The Internet’s Syd. Simz trades bars with grime kings Chip and Ghetts on “King of Hearts.”

The guests she brings make story of the album more coherent. What is wonderland without friends to keep our protagonist on track and push her to be better? However, as Simz begins to familiarize herself with nuances and obstacles of the industry she demonstrates her ability to do it herself as well. The crazy, breathless flows of “Picture Perfect” and “No More Wonderland” let Simz showcase her independent ability over the instrumentals, which she fluctuates between bodying and fading into.

SIW is more than Little Simz’s sophomore album. It’s a declaration of intent. Simz is a driven, fiercely independent and talented musician with a massive repertoire and emphasized by her outstanding natural ability. Her genre-bending music is defying all assumptions. She put herself into her album, pushing not only to better herself but also to make a positive change in the world. The album is already receiving plaudits from her fans and peers, and is an emphatic end to 2016 for Little Simz.

Stream SIW on SoundCloud and check out Simz’s 15-minute feature film to accompany the album, Stillness in Wonderland: The Film.

Little Simz Builds Momentum In Preparation For New Album

England’s maverick independent star Little Simz has long been a favorite in the UK scene. The release of her AIM-recognized best independent album, A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons, garnered her international attention, which she compounded upon with the release of her second project of 2015, Age 101: Drop X. Simbi’s 2015 projects saw her collaborate with artists such as Mick JenkinsTilla ArceJosh Arce, and fellow member of her independent label, Chuck20. Both showcase her considerable talent and range, from her classic upbeat delivery to slower, more introspective pieces.

Simz’s second full studio album, Stillness in Wonderland is scheduled for release on this coming Friday, December 16. The album is topping the charts before even hitting shelves; after teasing the project with her single “Poison Ivy,” SIW has shot up to the number one most pre-ordered album in the UK.

Simz didn’t stop with “Poison Ivy,” however, bringing us more heat in the form of a second single, “Picture Perfect.” Where the slower, more emotional tone of “Poison Ivy” was a departure from Simz’s normal cadence, “Picture Perfect” sees Simz return to a more familiar flow. The breakneck speed and and complex rhyme patterns that have long characterized Simbi’s music find a groove over a crazy jazz-funk beat from producer Rascal. The song is just as potent as “Poison Ivy,” and equally as raw in different ways.

It’s been a while since Simz dropped a new project, and in the last year she seems to have picked up a lot from the talented musicians she has surrounded herself with. The hallmarks of her music remain; regardless of how different the two tracks off SIW are, she seems to have found her sweet spot, and sounds more comfortable than ever. Get ready for Stillness in Wonderland. Stream “Picture Perfect” below, and pre-order SIW on iTunes here.


Little Simz Officially Announces New ‘Stillness In Wonderland’ Album

From being named one of Europe’s 30 Under 30 by Forbes to touring with Anderson .Paak and KanoLittle Simz shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. The London artist is following up on her critically acclaimed A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons with one hell of a year under her belt, officially announcing today that her new album titled Stillness in Wonderland will hit speakers on December 16.

Alongside the album announcement, Little Simz presents its first single, “Poison Ivy.” Simbi’s heartfelt verses are channeled with a melodic delivery that carries listeners forward with mantra-worthy lines, interspersed between gentle guitar riffs and echoing bass from producer SHE. Also along for the ride is Tilla, who offers her smooth vocals to round out the track.

Stream “Poison Ivy” below and pre-order Stillness in Wonderland here.

Kehlani & Little Simz Team Up For Confident Track, “Table”

2015 was easily the breakout year for both Kehlani and Little Simz; while Lani unveiled her commercial debut You Should Be Here and embarked on a completely sold-out tour, Simbi released her A Curious Tale Of Trials + Persons, which was recently named best independent album of the year at the AIM awards last month. Both talents have continued their catapult to success, with a handful of singles from Kehlani and Simz supporting Anderson .Paak, Kano, and Lauryn Hill on their respective tours.

Adding to their list of accolades, the Oakland singer and British emcee have joined forces for a match made in heaven, “Table.” Their first collab recruits an equally stacked team on production, including Jahaan SweetDJ Dahi, and DJ Relly Rell. The crisp foundation complements their down-to-earth verses, channeled by Lani’s soft croons and Simbi’s confident verses.

Stream “Table” below and revisit Little Simz’s recent collab with Jack Garratt, “Far Cry.”