Rapper Little Simz has opened a “beautiful” new recording studio to help young people make music.

The Mercury Prize-winning singer, who grew up in Essex Road and attended Highbury Fields School, joined more than 100 young people at Lift youth hub on Wednesday (April 24).

The new recording studio in White Lion Street was funded by a £35,000 investment from Islington Council and a further £10,000 from Isledon Arts.

The sound-proofed, air-conditioned studio will allow young people to try their hand at songwriting, music production, and podcasting – all for free.

Little Simz - real name Simbi Ajikawo - said the youth hub was how she began the journey to stardom that led to her playing Glastonbury Festival this summer.

She said: “It was really a place where I felt safe. It was a place where I was reminded that I can dream, that breathed community, that breathed life into young people.

“I couldn’t wait to get out of school and come here and create magic, and be among amazing young people who were trying to do that and better their lives and chase dreams.

“It’s crazy what you’ve done with the place, it’s so amazing. It’s such a dream to be here, I’m super, super-honoured. It’s an amazing, beautiful space.”

Lift is a youth hub in Angel owned by Islington Council and managed by Isledon Arts. Built in 1874 as a school, it has operated as a dedicated youth hub since 1993.