Little Simz has canceled their upcoming US tour, citing the venture’s financial unviability as an independent artist.
“I take my live shows seriously and would only like to give you the best of me,” the 28-year-old rapper and actor, born Simbiatu Ajikawo, tweeted.
“As an independent artist, I pay out of my own pocket for everything that encompasses my live performances and touring the United States for a month would leave me in a huge deficit. Although it pains me not to see you right now, I’m just not able to put myself through this mental stress.
The 11-date tour was scheduled to begin in May. This would have been Simz’s first time presenting his widely acclaimed 2021 album, Sometimes I Might Be Introverted, in the United States. A representative for the musician could not confirm whether the cancellation would also affect her planned dates in Canada and South America.
Simz advised artists to “know your worth and stick to your guns”.
His announcement comes at a time of renewed awareness of how difficult independent musicians are to earn a living – and challenges assumptions that live performance is one of the last bankable certainties they have on their side. Last week, the Guardian revealed that Universal Music Group was taking advantage of the 25% cut that Academy Music Group venues take on merchandise sales at its venues.
This month, the famous indie band from North Carolina Wednesday – which has 250,000 monthly listeners on Spotify – went viral after detailing the economics of airing seven shows at Texas industry festival SXSW, which left them $98.39 in debt.
“Technically, we’re a group that’s ‘doing very well’ at the moment!” On Wednesday, singer Karly Hartzman tweeted. “I’m not complaining about doing my dream job, but I want to show why getting paid fairly through streaming would make a difference.”
In January, Britain’s competition watchdog launched an in-depth study into music streaming to determine whether major record labels and services such as Spotify wield “excessive power” and whether artists and fans benefit from fair treatment.
It came after a scathing report from a cross-party committee of MPs in 2021 called for a “complete reset” of a streaming model which it said only benefited big labels and superstars.
Indie music lovers were also reeling from the sale of Bandcamp, a streaming and retail site that prioritized better revenue for creators, to Epic Games in March.
Simz told fans it was important for her to “speak my truth about it” and said she plans to tour the United States when she can.
She said she’s been busy ‘creating and working on art’ in different media: In addition to music, she stars in the Netflix series Top Boy will appear in the upcoming Amazon Prime Video adaptation of Naomi Alderman’s 2016 novel , The Power, and produced her own comics.
In February, Simz was named Best New Artist at the Brit Awards. Although she had released her debut album more than six years earlier, she only became eligible for the award when Sometimes I Gotta Be Introvert reached No. 4 on the UK Albums Chart: Artists Must Have Had An Album Top 40 or two Top 20 singles to qualify.