Like a lot of people growing up in London in the 2000s, Little Simz found someone to look up to in Amy Winehouse. The brassy jazz singer was abrasive, funny, and unapologetic about everything she did, and the fact that she did it all while still making great music was a source of inspiration to all kinds of young impressionable music fans.
When speaking to Matt Wilkinson on his Apple Music 1 radio show, Simz talked about Winehouse’s impact on her artistry and why she gave the late singer a shout out on the opening track for her recent LP Sometimes I Might Be Introvert.
“Obviously grew up listening to Amy Winehouse and being a fan of her music, and just seeing her as the big homie,” Simz explained. “Amy Winehouse, she’s amazing. And at the tender age of 27, when she sadly left us, that at the time felt, not far away, I knew it was young, but I was younger than her, so it still felt like far away. But now I’m here, it’s like, ‘Actually, that’s very young.'”
“I feel like my life is just, I’m just getting started. So it just put things into perspective that she literally had her whole life ahead of her, her whole career ahead of her. And I know she was someone that was, I didn’t know her personally, but from interviews and seeing her whatnot, she really cared about the art.”
Winehouse did care about her art. Never happy being seen as a pop singer, Winehouse collaborated with figures like Tony Bennett and Salaam Remi in order to prove her bona fides. Simz’s eclectic mix of styles is likely something that Winehouse probably would have gotten to if she had lived long enough, she in a way Simz is fulfilling the purpose that Winehouse left behind.