READ, WATCH, LISTEN: Meet NZ-bound Grime superstar Stormzy + WIN!
Born Michael Omari to South London town Croydon, Stormzy has tirelessly eked out a firm-footed place in the UK music scene as an innovator.
Boosted to a new audience after being name-checked by none other than Adele, and driving an official remix of Ed Sheeran’s single ‘Shape Of You’, Stormzy has reiterated his relevance with new album Gang Signs & Prayer.
Blasting it’s way to the top, Gang Signs & Prayer has become the first ever grime album to reach #1 on the UK music charts.
While Stormzy has no need to lean on other artists for quality bars, his ability to shine has attracted a slew of big-time contributors on this album (Kehlani, MNEK, J HUS, Ghetts), furthering his international clout as a musician with the capacity for true genre diversity and adaptability.
Gang Signs & Prayers plays from start to finish as a party. The album ebbs and flows with a natural grace, each track critically placed to ensure balance and variety from song to song.
Lead single ‘Big For Your Boots’ pairs a classic scuttling grime breakbeat, with taunting rhymes impossible not to bop to.
Big on staying ‘real’, with Stormzy’s mum featured in the music video for his instant classic ‘Know Me From’, his ethos has always been to do big things but remember where you’re from – ‘Big For Your Boots’ drives this message home in a playfully aggressive way.
‘Cigarettes & Cush’ featuring the infinitely sultry Kehlani is a polished R’n’B affair – a love letter, a promise to fix one’s wandering ways, a smoke-filled room to apologise and ‘do right’.
After showing a keenness for gospel by adapting Kanye West’s ‘Ultralight Beam’ with ease, passion, and finesse, Stormzy has included two gospel interludes (with the soulful MNEK) on this latest release, the variety of these only adding to the textural integrity of the album.
Game of Thrones star, Raleigh Ritchie lends his voice to the slick and soulful ’Don’t Cry For Me’, with ‘Lay Me Bare’ closing the album with sparse piano chords and intense lyricism from a fierce man not afraid of the earnest crusade of coming clean about fears and worries.
Much to the excitement of us here at NZGirl, and fans throughout New Zealand, Stormzy is bringing his Gang Signs & Prayer tour to New Zealand for TWO SHOWS ONLY.
Heavy-hitting grime artists in their prime are rarely seen this side of the globe, and Stormzy’s show is sure to be a feast for old fans and new listeners alike.
HOW TO ENTER
To enter the competition, simply comment below, or on the NZGirl Facebook post linking to this article, with what your grime MC name would be and a sentence explaining why! Be as silly or as serious as you want.
Competition closes 17 July 2017