Little Sims, the most famous introvert in British music, lit up West Holts on Friday night. The rapper crowned a whirlwind six months after the release of her much-publicized latest album, with the title slot on the most intimate of Glastonbury’s three main stages. Capturing a spirited crowd with her enticing blend of dirt, funk and soul, the North London native captures her star status.
Simz, who started rapping in the school playground, steps into the spotlight with several mixtapes and a top-five album later on at Worthy Farm. She was wearing a bright red puffer jacket, her hair stacked and black sunglasses flanking her face. The back of her demure black shirt features a demonic, horned creature. Beneath her in the crowded crowd, people flock to get a glimpse of the new Queen of Glastonbury.
The set begins with a lively drama – a style that definitely came in handy for her pivotal role on Netflix senior boy – From her single “Introverted”. He talks about her struggle to understand and convey her introverted nature: “I was worried about this party,” she later admitted, with a short look of bewilderment and triumph on her face, “but I’m having a great time here.”
It seamlessly crosses the musical spectrum, transitioning from classic funk and silky soul to dirt, snare, and intoxicating R&B. But it’s not just her raw music that inspires such devotion: the bittersweet sectarian nature of her lyrics elevates her to the role of poet and storyteller in the twenty-first century. On tracks like “I Love You, I Hate You” with ragged emotion, she addresses her absent father, revealing her heartbreak through a grooved, high-pitched bass line.
Moving into an affectionate mode, she was joined on stage by her album assistant Cleo Sol. “We’ve got some tracks for you,” Sims announced, before launching into “Woman,” a quiet, jazz-filled chant. Her usual silky bars are delivered to a choppy rhythm and sparkling sparks of synthesis.
“How did I get here?” she asks, as she reflects on her ascent to the Glastonbury stage headliner. Her group is an adequate answer. With the lights of Worthy Farm dimming all night, the Little Simz star shines brighter than ever.