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Lauded as a soul music superstar from her early twenties, Simpson has always been at once angelic and mystical while managing to never isolate her audience – she is as at home accompanying a hip hop artist as she is producing truly sine-tingling soul music. But as the years progressed it was as though the machine around her failed to see she was growing. Simpson was no longer is her twenties, was certainly not to be pushed into a box and was (and perhaps still is) more than willing to walk away from it all for the sake of her happiness.

The best part of the story so far is that she is back, with a new album (Songversation) in hand and a revamped stage show. So how have things changed? “Creatively things are completely different; it’s all different,” Simpson says with a burst of enthusiasm. “I feel different, my show is different, I feel a change onstage. The show isn’t just different because I wanted to create a different show but also because I am different so I’m bring such a changed energy to things. I’m taking more chances, I feel free to be more courageous and to be free in my creativity. The performance concept is inspired from the album Songversation so I’m incorporating conversation and text with the music and songs.”

Simpson’s audience have often held her in high spiritual esteem and it’s a concept that is somewhat peculiar to her. “I never really noticed that at first; when I did I found it quite strange,” she says. “I like to write songs because I like to feel that spirit come through me and to feel that creative experience but there were so many times that I felt like people were looking at me like I should’ve been happy and I just wasn’t happy – that much I did notice. People were like, ‘If I was your age, doing what you’re doing I’d be so happy,’ people were trying to get me to move off my sadness by somehow reprimanding me. I didn’t realise until recently, until coming out of my spiritual transformation, that I really feel like I have things that I want to share with people and not because I’m above anyone spiritually or more together than anyone but because I’ve been through things and have a story to tell. I don’t see myself as a teacher though.”

Are you happy to keep trekking along this musical path?

“You know it’s actually really cool and the answer is yes,” she says. “I’m really honouring this time and I didn’t assume it would be yes at all and I’m honouring the fact that I’m genuinely asking myself if this is what I want to do. It’s all I’ve ever done and so I would just jump in and do another year in the past but now it’s different. Even at the end of last year when I took a break in December I stopped and I recounted the year and realised it was a really hard year but the tour made it all worth it and despite the difficulty it was all worth it.

“I took several weeks to, again, ensure I want to do this and the answer was yes and it was yes not because of what my mother said or because I was scared I couldn’t pay for my house or because of anyone else. I’m still refining things, I’m refining my business and how I allow people to deal with me but I’m no longer stuck. I’m not being controlled and I’m the highest power in my business for once. But you’d have to ask me again next year about next because I’m celebrating the fact that I can now choose.”