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»She may describe herself as little but an emerging Islington rapper and actress is clearly destined for big things.

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Lil Simz, real name Simbi Ajikawo, has performed alongside Estelle, Tinie Tempah and Ms Dynamite and this weekend stars at the BBC Hackney Weekender.

Thousands already know her as Vicky from the 2009 CBBC show Spirit Warriors.

Although still only 18, she has grand ambitions: “I feel that teenagers don’t have a lot of aspirations.

“I want to show them it’s possible to achieve your dreams.

“I also want to change misconceptions and judgements associated with female rappers.”

If you weren’t lucky enough to bag tickets for the free BBC festival, the self-styled “Princess of Rap” is staging an exclusive gig with her band and supporting artists at the Roundhouse in Chalk Farm Road, Chalk Farm, on Thursday July 5.

Exciting

“It is going to be really exciting,” said Lil Simz. “It is great to represent performers from my generation.”

The night is presented by the famous venue’s emerging talent arm, Roundhouse Rising, which in the past has helped to kick-start the careers of the likes of Tottenham rapper Wretch 32.

As well as headlining, Lil Simz, who lives in Halton Road, Islington, has curated the gig, putting together a packed bill of fellow up-and-comers that includes Grace Fleary, winner of a popular Simon Cowell-style, community-run contest, Islington’s Got Talent.

Lil Simz, a former pupil of Highbury Fields School, in Highbury, says she caught the performing bug aged nine and honed her creative skills at St Mary’s Youth Club in Upper Street, Islington, where pop stars Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke also attended.

A big break came two years ago when Radio 1Xtra’s DJ Semtex began playing her track Stratosphere.

Since then the young MC, who counts former Fugee Lauryn Hill and US rapper Nas among her idols, has already performed at the Lovebox Festival, O2 Academy and Hackney Empire.

She said: “I am rapping about being 18 and living in London. I don’t preach but try to bring a positive message.”

The reference to “Lil” stems from her height growing up and soft tone but now she is certainly no shrinking violet.

“I’m just an average girl but on the stage I really play my heart out,” she added.

n Visit www.lilsimz.com for more. Lil Simz: Wishes is at the Roundhouse on Thursday July 5 from 7.30pm. Tickets are £5, go to www.roundhouse.org.uk or call 0844 482 8008.

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