Stormzy is joyfully honouring his roots in both Croydon and Ghana as one of the UK’s most successful rappers and artists and has proudly declared that the best music in the world ‘is coming out of Africa’ right now.
The 29-year-old is already working on his fourth album after 2022’s This Is What I Mean, with multiple Brit and Mobo Awards under his belt, as well as three number one singles and his past three albums all debuting in the top spot as well.
He also became the first Black British solo headliner at Glastonbury in 2019 and saw his song Interlude used during a key scene in the highly anticipated Marvel sequel last year, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Musing on the shift as mainstream pop culture welcomes more music from across the Black and African diaspora, he shared: ‘People are just being unapologetic in their Blackness and it’s the greatest music on Earth right now.
‘The greatest music on Earth is coming out of Africa. Even that is just inspiring: be your Black self. And look! It’s got the world on fire.’
‘I’ll tell my kids I was a part of this time in culture. I had an offering. I was here; I was a part of it,’ he added to Dazed, as the cover star for their Summer 2023 issue.
Discussing his upcoming new music, the rapper reckoned that creatively ‘nothing has changed’ but that he is ‘even bolder, and I’m even braver, and I’m even more fearless’.
All of those qualities have previously been there, but Stormzy said he is now ‘all those things but with maturity’.
He also insisted that the artist he is now ‘and the artist who made Gang Signs & Prayer are so different, but they are exactly the f**king same’.
Stormzy – born Michael Ebenezer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr – claimed that neither the 2017 version of him nor the 2023 Stormzy ‘gives a f**k about pleasing someone’s appetite’.
‘Not in an ignorant way, [but] because it’s coming from a real, genuine place in [my] spirit,’ he revealed.
Away from music, the devoted Manchester United fan is set to manage the England side in this year’s Soccer Aid tournament for Unicef next month, alongside former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, Chelsea women boss Emma Hayes, and Line Of Duty star Vicky McClure.
Held on June 11, the event will see the World XI FC team, captained by Usain Bolt, take on Stormzy’s formidable squad comprised of the likes of Sir Mo Farah, former footballer and captain for the team Jill Scott, TV presenter Paddy McGuinness, singer Tom Grennan, singer Liam Payne, and former footballer turned pundit Gary Neville.
Meanwhile, the opposing World XI team includes familiar faces like boxer and Love Island star Tommy Fury, comedian Lee Mack, TV presenter Mo Gilligan, and reality TV star Kem Cetinay.
Speaking about the event, Stormzy said: ‘I’m a massive football fan, so getting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to manage England is a dream come true.
‘The fact it’s at Old Trafford, and I’m a Manchester United fan, makes it extra special.’
He also joked: ‘I’ve got a really good coaching team with me and if we’re struggling with 10 minutes to go I’ll call my mate Jose!’
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