S1mba's hit single experience with Rover 'surreal'

By Dave Gilyeat
BBC News

Image source, Rax Productions
Image caption,
S1mba says the Black Lives Matter movement means stories like his are now being heard

A breakout musician has described getting a top three hit in the UK singles charts as "surreal".

S1mba released his single Rover on Spotify and was snapped up by record label Parlophone soon afterwards.

The track went viral on video sharing app TikTok, after celebrities including Wes Nelson started dancing to the catchy number.

The first thing the Oxfordshire artist bought after signing his contract was a Range Rover, the subject of the song.

When asked how much the record deal was worth, he said: "A lot more zeros than I've ever seen."

S1mba said he had since "downsized" from a Range Rover to a Mercedes.

"I thought it was too good of a car for me at the moment," he added.

Image source, TikTok
Image caption,
(L-R) Wes Nelson, Luke Mabbot and the Malone family from Gogglebox have danced to the track

Rover charted on 14 April and has climbed the charts ever since.

It has more than seven million views on YouTube and more than 35 million Spotify plays.

S1mba said: "I've been listening to Lady Gaga since I was eight and now I'm in the charts competing with her for number one.

"It's the most amazing, satisfying feeling that something I love is going well."

His fans include Wes Nelson and Luke Mabbot from Love Island, as well as the Malone family from Gogglebox, who posted videos of themselves dancing to the track.

Image source, Rax Productions
Image caption,
S1mba says he bought a Range Rover as soon as he got his record deal

Born in Zimbabwe, S1mba moved to the UK aged nine when his father became head gardener at the Pusey House estate.

"Faringdon wasn't a multicultural place," he said. "Me, my sister and my cousin were the only black people at the school."

The musician said the Black Lives Matter movement had since helped him make sense of his experiences.

"There were times where I was blatantly racially abused," he said.

"Because you're trying so hard to fit in you let it happen.

"You're scared to speak out, and I like that we're being able to now, and the rest of the world is actually listening."

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