Simmons grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He graduated from Westbury High School in Houston, Texas and earned degrees from the State University of New York at Old Westbury, attended Ealing College in West London, and Birmingham-Southern College.
Simmons moved to Birmingham in 2004. He helped create the children's art education programs of the Alys Stephens Center which evolved into Artplay. He served as an outreach educator with that program until 2022 when he moved back to Harlem, New York.
Simmons performed his original work, "The Journey" as an "ode to the athletes" during the 2022 World Games opening ceremony.
- Sharrif Simmons website