by Rachel Ogbu//Stormzy whose real name Michael Ebenezer Kwadjo Omari
Stormzy whose real name Michael Ebenezer Kwadjo Omari Owuo is the Ghanaian-British grime rapper making waves right now in the UK. Last month alone, he was in the news for his raves at various gigs from the prestigious Brixton Academy to a huge European tour promoting his No 1 album, Gang Signs & Prayer. He’s even made time to donate an impressive £9000 to a South London student helping them pay to go to The Harvard Graduate School.
The 23-year-old who rose to fame on YouTube became the first artist to win the MOBO’s newly introduced ‘Best Grime Act’ award in both 2014 and 2015. In March this year, his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer clinched the Number 1 spot on the Official Albums Chart after he surpassed fellow artist, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man with combined sales of 69,000. Now everyone from Ed Shereen to Adele and Little Mix are fans and want to collaborate with him. “55,000 people, 29 cities, 10 countries… all coming together to experience the album live, endless love for everyone who has come through..,” he said in his recent Instagram post.
“I needed to make an album that represented me, which was always going to be a struggle,” he explained in a phone call to The FADER. “I wanted to touch on the gospel side of things, and my faith, because that’s so integral to my character. And the other side of my life — growing up in the streets, doing the things I’ve done with the people I was with, that is also a very integral part of me. I’m not a one-dimensional character.”
In 2016, Stormzy won The Times Breakthrough Award and the AIM Independent Music Innovator Award, his singles and social vibes have made the grime genre movement come full circle with US stars like Kanye and Drake praising the lyrical orchestrations.
He is heading to New Zealand for the first time to perform at two shows in late July and early August.
Photo: Huffington Post UK