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Stormzy Covers The FADER’s Diaspora Issue

English grime and hip hop artist Stormzy, covers The FADER’s magazines first-ever Diaspora Issue. Stormzy met up with The FADER’s Aimee Cliff, where they touched on his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer, debuting at No. 1 album in the U.K., growing up supported by a single immigrant mother, his recent experience with police discrimination and much more.

On police breaking down his own door, thinking he’s a burglar:
“I’m thinking, Bruv, I’m not fucking shocked. As a black youth, nothing has changed. If someone doesn’t know I’m Stormzy, I’m a 6’5” dark-skinned brother in an all-black tracksuit with a gold tooth and a deep voice. If people have views already, I’m gonna fit that view.”

How black musicians are treated in the U.K.:
“I’ve never understood this whole thing of there being this elite force in British music, but on the side is grime and rap. There’s at least five or six artists in that elite of American music. Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, Kanye West and Jay Z will be there. In this country, it’s not like that. I just question shit. I ask, Why can’t I get played on that radio station? ‘Oh, they can only play it in the evening.’ But there’s a clean version, why can’t they do daytime? They might say something about the tempo of the song, or the feel of the song. So when I’m getting in the charts, it’s [so I can] break all the walls down, and say, ‘OK, what are you gonna say now? Why can’t you play me?’”

On his approach to fame:
“A lot of places, I may be one of the few minorities in the building, or on the panel, or on the stage. I’m gonna be facing a lot more of these situations. In this country, there are not enough black actors or musicians. So when someone gets there, you’ve got to be the voice that calls out the bullshit.”

On growing up with powerful women:
“My mum was looking after all of us and working all these jobs. I remember her coming home, being back for like an hour. Putting the kettle on, making a corned beef sandwich, sitting in front of the telly. Trainers on, back out. Women are powerful. Both my big sisters didn’t take no shit either, and they used to protect me.”

Mental health and its prevalence in his community:
“It’s a mixture of smoking lots of skunk weed and what we see and go through. There’s people around me who just have dark clouds of energy all the time. That was me when I was younger: paranoid. I used to think all my friends hated me, that someone was going to rob me. In the hood, you don’t even clock it. It’s the norm. I’m in a weird place. I linger over it.”

Read Stormzy’s full cover story, live now on

Pittsburgh-based DJ, Blogger, Podcaster, Editor-in Chief and Founder Of Elite Muzik

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