When it comes to having an impact on music, culture, and politics, you’d struggle to find a more influential UK artist than rap superstar Stormzy. In the past few years, the “Vossi Bop” performer has cemented himself as a leading force in the UK music industry, and with an outspoken approach to politics, he’s certainly no stranger to a bit of controversy. However, during a recent interview, Stormzy opened up to GQ about some more intimate parts of his life, proving there’s much more to the BRIT Award-winner than meets the eye.
Speaking to the GQ, the “Shut Up” rapper touched on a range of topics, including his approach to the recent UK election. Stormzy spoke further about his well-documented disapproval of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, his electrifying Glastonbury set, his passion for Black British culture, and much more. But perhaps the most intriguing aspects of the in-depth interview arose when the rapper shared some little known facts about his day-to-day life such as his increasingly strong faith and one life-altering childhood experience, along with his struggles with his public persona and an adorable nickname her has for his sister.
So, if you’d like to discover more about on the UK’s most famous performers, here are the moments that caught our attention.
1. He credits God for all his successes
Although it might be considered a rarity for mainstream British artists to be open about religion in the public eye, Stormzy has no qualms about expressing his love of God — and revealed that, when it comes to his life and career, “God gets all the glory for everything.” The rapper went on to reveal his belief that God “engineers his sh*t,” and explained that, despite many artists being equally as talented, they were not gifted the same opportunities, and because of that, there must be “something deeper” to his success.
2. An apprenticeship changed his life
After being excluded from school, the MOBO award winner began a two-year engineering apprenticeship, and although most teens would be reluctant to leave their friends and hometown behind, Stormzy considered himself lucky to move out of London when he did. The rapper explained how, during that time, he was thrust into a situation with no distractions and with people from all walks of life — and speaking of his apprenticeship experience, he revealed, “On those five days of the week there was no street. Nothing. I just had my headphones on, going to college.” GQ explains that Stormzy believes this apprenticeship is what put him on the path of “relative sobriety and self-control.”
3. He has an adorable nickname for his sister
During the interview, Stormzy also touched upon the relationship with his family and, when discussing older sister Rachael, explained how she would often “appreciate when I did something nice to people.” The rapper also went on to reveal how he was somewhat “trained” by his older sibling, who he likes to refer to as “the OG.”
4. He’s careful about road rage
Now, many of us are guilty of the occasional bout of road rage, and it seems things are no different for chart-topping artists like Stormzy. When opening up about the pressures of his public persona, the rapper discussed his own imperfections, which include “bad road rage.” The “Blinded by Your Grace” performer also admitted that he doesn’t “always move correct,” and despite oftentimes being held to a higher standard than most, he doesn’t “want to be judged.”
5. He thrives off his hectic schedule
Despite oozing with confidence on stage, the rapper disclosed that, a lot of the time, he can actually be “quite hard” on himself. Discussing what might bring on these anxieties, he later revealed that a significant lack of peace over the past five years could be responsible. However, Stormzy went on to note that a hectic schedule “isn’t necessarily a bad thing” because “life can’t always be peaceful.”