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Stormzy Talks Fame, Social Media, Ego, Faith & More On Apple Music 1

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British music icon Stormzy joins Tems on the final episode of ‘Leading Vibe Radio’ airing tomorrow (Saturday 11th June) on Apple Music 1. In the interview, which airs at 3pm BST, Stormzy chats to hosts Tems and Muyiwa in a thoughtful and expansive conversation where he discusses ego, how he navigates fame and maintains a sense of normality, his faith, quitting social media, his flaws and humanity, and more.

‘Leading Vibe Radio’ is hosted by Nigerian singer-songwriter, producer and Apple Music Up Next alum Tems and her co-manager Muyiwa. Please find key quotes from Stormzy’s chat below. Please credit Leading Vibe Radio with Tems on Apple Music 1 if you use this information.

Listen to the interview in full tomorrow (Saturday 11th June) live for free at 3pm BST or anytime on Apple Music at apple.co/_LeadingVibe.

On ego…

There’s a Jay-Z lyric, one of my favourite Jay-Z lyrics. It’s on [album] ‘4:44’ and the first song on that album is called ‘Kill Jay-Z’ where he talks about killing his ego. And on the same album, on ‘Bam’, he says, “Sometimes you need your ego, gotta remind these fools”. And I feel like that lyric mad resonates with man, both sides of it. Killing your ego. Mad resonates with me. Also, sometimes you need your ego, because as much as ego is a hindrance, it’s a reminder of yourself, of who you are. I think that’s important sometimes.

Read Also: Focus on your music and stop talking loosely- Sammy Forson hits at Yaw Tog over Stormzy comments

On being accused of selling out…

I’ve broken so free of this. So I give God the glory for that. One of my triggers was always the box I was put in as an artist especially coming from Grime. I’m a Grime MC, I was a Grime MC, I’m not a Grime MC, coming through the route I came through, you’re meant to do this, you’re meant to do that, and if I start singing it’s like, ‘Ah, you you’re selling out or you’re mainstream or commercial’. I had all those things thrown on my name in terms of ‘sell out’ and ‘going pop’ and all of these things. It always used to trigger me because I always used to think I’m genuinely being the most authentic, honest artist and version of myself. There’s never been a time in the studio with my music where I’ve made a decision that was like, ‘Oh, we’re gonna do this to be mainstream or we’re gonna do this to sell records or we’re gonna do this to blow up there’. Never. But of course the product of my work was causing me to blow up and go mainstream. So people would associate that with me making those decisions actively and that used to trigger me. The reason why it triggered me was probably coming from a vulnerable place. It felt like it’s the equivalent of a child thinking, ‘Whatever you accuse me of doing, I’m not even doing that’. I used to have that kind of mentality. I’m just trying to be who I am, the musician I am. So that used to trigger me a bit, but I feel like the past few years, just getting closer to God and self-reflecting and going on a journey of self-discovery and just really like standing in my purpose and really standing in who I am as a man and standing in who I’ve been ordained to be and standing in my truth and understanding, this is my truth. People are arguing with me about my truth. And because it’s my truth, I can stand on it … This is my f***ing truth. Yes, I like to sing. Yes, I love Tems. Yes, I love Frank Ocean. Yes, I also love J Hus and yes, I love Coldplay, and yes, I want sing on that melody and yes, I wanna rap and yes, I wanna do that Grime freestyle … this is my truth.

On quitting social media…

I remember when I first came off social media. I had a European tour straight after. I came off social media in February. I had a European tour in like March. And I remember I was doing an arena show in Denmark. I think it was about 15,000 people. We done the show and I came off stage and I remember one of my first feelings was getting the clip of us to put on social media but I didn’t have social media. I remember it being a weird feeling. Because that’s what I would normally do anytime I’ve done something great, I’m gonna show everyone. And I remember thinking in that moment, that’s ego, that’s ego. That’s probably validation. In that moment I’d done it, I’ve done the show … It was crazy. But I was like, wow, man’s in Denmark. We’re doing arenas in Denmark. That was a big lesson for me in terms of what ego is and how you gotta kill ego. I think that was probably my biggest moment of it. Because what is it that I’m trying to gain? Because that happened in real life. You done that. It was a big turning point for me in understanding that there is an ego in man I need to kill because look how blessed we are. That happened, God knows it happened. My people know what happened. What is this final piece that I need for my ego? Maybe with all of us in whatever line of work we do, whether we’re artists, whether we’re lawyers, whether we’re teachers, and we go on our journey and we climb, that ego grows. And I feel like every once in a while we gotta check ourselves.

Read Also: Davido tells Apple Music about his new album, working with Kanye and more

On how he navigates fame and maintains a sense of normality…

I feel like it’s a journey. From when my life started becoming the life of an artist, the life of someone in the spotlight. There’s the early stage where you are getting used to it, there’s the stage where you’re more used to it and I feel like where I’m at now, I’m very focused on reserving my right to be a human. I always say that whoever Stormzy the artist is, the world will drag that to whoever they want that to be or wherever they want that person to be. There’s a man in there who needs to remain before the artist. Before I’m any artist or before I’m this person, I’m just a man and I’m always gonna make decisions for the man first. Whereas before, I’ve always put the artist first and what I’ve come to learn now is that the artist and the man, they’re one thing. So if I protect the man, the artist gets to exist and he gets to breathe and he gets to be the best version of himself.

Another thing that really helps me feel normal is separation from noise. Whether that be noise on the internet, whether that be noise in reality, whether that be noise in events. I’ll just make active decisions to not be around noise. Because I feel that noise doesn’t allow me to be normal. Because if I consume noise and energy all the time there’s something that’s not normal about that. So I think there’s a degree of separation that’s needed. My family makes me feel normal. If you can manage to separate yourself from that in the careers that we’re in it’ll give you a little bit more clarity, give you a little bit more room to breathe, to think. And that’s a big part of how I stay, whatever normal is, in this kind of abnormal journey we’re on.

On his flaws and humanity…

Man is a human. I’m gonna make a mistake. I’m very flawed. Whatever actors done this or musician done this, it’s like, yeah, they’re just humans. So I always feel like whatever I can do to always remind myself and stay around environments and people that never allow me to think I’m ever elevating above this human bracket, that’s what I need to do … Whatever allows me to always understand that I’m just a man. I’ve said it a hundred times. I get road rage. I got a bad temper. Of course I strive to be the best version of myself. So God forbid I’m doing any of that, but I’m a man and I’m flawed and I have my emotions and I go through things and I’m not always the best version of myself I try to be. I just need to reserve that right. We are just humans.

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Apple Music’s latest Africa Rising artist is Afrofusion singer, Gyakie

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Apple Music today announced the latest featured artist in its Africa Rising artist development program as Ghanaian Afrofusion singer-songwriter Gyakie (real name Jacqueline Acheampong).

 

“I’m so excited to be sharing the music I made all the way from Ghana to the global stage and grateful to Apple Music for being a huge part of my journey so far. I’m honoured to play my part in widening the global African story,” she tells Apple Music.

 

As the daughter of Ghanaian highlife legend Ernest “Owoahene” Nana Acheampong of the legendary Lumba Brothers, Gyakie’s musical roots run deep and her eclectic take on Afrofusion has seen her make immense strides in a short space of time.

Read Also: Gyakie Drops Second Single Ahead Of Her “My Diary” EP

Gyakie achieved massive success with singles “Love Is Pretty” (2019), “Never Like This”(2019) and “Sor Mi Mu feat Bisa Kdei” (2020), but it was her debut EP release SEED(2020) that set her apart from her contemporaries, with its lead single “Forever”, alongside“Forever Remix featuring Omah Lay” (2021).

 

Her latest EP, MY DIARY (2022), available to stream on Apple Music in Spatial Audio from 22 July, reinforces her knack for merging multiple genres seamlessly, from the jazz lounge-esque opener “AUDIENCE”, to the Afrobeats-rooted “MY BABY” and first single “SOMETHING”.

 

The latest music from Gyakie along with that of Africa’s hottest new artists, is available now on the Apple Music Africa Rising Playlist.

 

Apple Music’s Africa Rising, is an exclusive artist development programme and companion playlist geared towards identifying, showcasing and elevating rising talent and introducing the next generation of African superstars. Africa Rising alumni to date include: Omah Lay, Manu Worldstar, Tems, Amaarae, Ayra Starr, Yaw Tog, Blxckie, Nikita Kering, Buju, Fave, Nomfundo Moh and Victony. Africa Rising sees Apple Music select six artists every year who each receive a minimum of two months of editorial support across the Apple Music platform including a launch interview with Nadeska on Apple Music 1. Nadeska has also launched a new weekly Africa Rising feature on her show highlighting the hottest new artists on the continent.

Read Also: Gyakie shares teaser clip from upcoming interview with GRAMMY.com’s new series

Africa Rising is the latest of many Apple Music initiatives aimed at taking African talent to the world. Now available in 33 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa, Apple Music 1 is home to Africa Now Radio which has featured interviews with some of the continent’s hottest artists such as Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Cassper Nyovest, Mr Eazi, Patoranking, Rayvanny, Kiddominant, Mayorkun, Fireboy DML, Adekunle Gold, Master KG, Yaw Tog, Blxckie, Nikita Kering, Buju, FAVE and Nomfundo Moh.

 

Apple Music also selected Nigerian Afrobeats singer-songwriter Tems as its Up Next artist in 2021, Nigerian Afropop star Rema in 2020, Grammy Award-winning Afrofusion superstar Burna Boy in 2019, and Nigerian singer and entrepreneur Mr Eazi as the first recipient in 2017. Up Next is Apple Music’s global emerging artist program.

 

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EARTHGANG Release GHETTO GODS (DELUXE)

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Atlanta duo EARTHGANG have released a deluxe version of their critically acclaimed record, Ghetto Gods. Featuring five additional tracks ranging from remixes, new songs and reimagined versions of album favorites, Ghetto Gods (Deluxe) brought along friends Wiz Khalifa, Curren$y, Smino and Blxckie to add their flair to the songs. (more…)

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N.ana YS and Parko West face-off with a collaborative ‘RealEati’ EP

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Hot off of their previous EP, the two Ghanaian rappers N.ana YS & Parko West have graced fans and avid listeners with their sophomore project titled, ‘RealEati‘ EP. The 4-track EP reflects the superstar’s growth in both talent and status. (more…)

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Amanda Ofori elevates our spirits on new song ‘Abba’

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Music doesn’t get more celestial than Amanda Ofori’s new song ‘Abba’. Stream or download ‘Abba’ across all major digital platforms here: https://fanlink.to/ABBA-AO (more…)

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Gyakie Drops Second Single Ahead Of Her “My Diary” EP

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Gyakie has released another single, “For My Baby” just a few weeks after her first single of the year and its accompanying video. (more…)

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Apple Music’s Africa Now Radio this Friday with Ruger

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This Week’s Episode Features a Conversation With Ruger, the 5 Hottest Tracks of the Week, Africa Rising and Dadaboy Ehiz’s Favourite Track of the Week!

Tune in to Africa Now Radio with Dadaboy Ehiz this Friday, July 1st at 9a Lagos/London / 10a Johannesburg/Paris / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 and broadcast on Cool FM in Nigeria every Sunday at 6pm.

Cover Star Interview
Nigerian Afropop star Ruger joins Dadaboy Ehiz via FaceTime on Apple Music 1 to talk about his latest track, “Girlfriend.” He also discusses his new album, ‘The Second Wave (Deluxe),’ recording music in unusual places, and reaffirming his talent.

The Big 5
Dadaboy Ehiz shares the 5 hottest new African tracks of the moment. This week’s selection includes new tracks from Ibraah feat. Maud Elka, Timaya, Mlindo The Vocalist feat. Madumane, Yemi Alade, and Sampa the Great feat. Chef 187, Tio Nason and Mwanje.

Africa Rising 
Ghanaian Afro-fusion singer-songwriter Gyakie is the latest Africa Rising cover star, a campaign which shines a light on the next generation of African superstars, and this week’s show features her singles, “FOR MY BABY,” and “SOMETHING.” Listen HERE.

Read Also: Headie One Releases “Bigger Than Life” Featuring Dutch Rapper Frenna

Dadaboy’s Song of the Week
Each week, Dadaboy Ehiz chooses his favourite track from one of Apple Music’s African playlists. This week he spotlights South African singer-songwriter Samthing Soweto and his single, “Amagents,” from Apple Music’s Mzansi Hits playlist, showcasing South Africa’s biggest hits. Listen HERE.

Tune in and listen to the full episode this Friday July 1st at 9a Lagos/London / 10a Johannesburg/Paris / 1a LA / 4a NYC on Apple Music 1 at apple.co/_AfricaNow or on Cool FM in Nigeria every Sunday at 6pm.

RUGER ON RELEASING A DELUXE EDITION OF ‘THE SECOND WAVE’

 

It was only right for us to do that, because these songs were supposed to be on that from the beginning. We were supposed to release like 7 songs, but we cut it down to 4. Then, the idea came from releasing ‘The Second Wave’ EP. We said that we’d release 4 songs, then release 3 additional songs as a deluxe. Then, as life goes on new vibes came from the studio, so we said we’re not even putting those additional 3 songs, we’re going to put new additional 3 songs. That’s how it happened, and I’m happy with how it’s going. Thank God for everything.

Read Also: Nigeria’s new hiphop star, Portable granted bail after reporting himself to police

RUGER ON HIS GRATITUDE AND DETERMINATION

 

I feel good, I feel blessed going to every country that I go to. Netherlands, Australia… People singing my songs word for word. It’s an amazing feeling because not every artist comes out within a year and that song travels that far, but I am a testimony. I thank God and I thank everyone that enjoys my music as it comes out every time. It’s just encouragement for me to work harder and keep doing my best. Never going to the studio to do any mediocre sounds, never going to the studio to say “Whatever I drop they’re going to listen,” I go into the studio giving my 100% best and God will do the rest for me.

RUGER ON FAST-CONSUMING FANS

 

People tend to forget how good Ruger is. People are fast consumers so they consume what they have now and then… Do they forget about you? I don’t know but I feel like if they don’t hear anything from you in a while they feel like “Where’s Ruger?” They should always know that whenever Ruger comes through, it’s always a 100% vibe so these songs are very personal songs to me – “Girlfriend” is a personal song, “WeWe” is a personal song, “Warning” is a personal song – it’s just me stating about my personal experiences, and people who can relate to what I’m talking about, can relate. I feel like these songs are going to go very far, I’m proud of what I’ve done in the studio and I’m thankful to everyone supporting me in every little way they can. I’ll keep giving my best.

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