How Stormzy kickstarted the grime genre

Whilst the likes of Ed Sheeran and Adele once again show us that bland music is one of the safest ways to dominate the airwaves, it’s nice to see how Stormzy has proven that innovative music and chart success don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

The 23-year old star recently leaped to national attention when his Gang Signs & Prayer album became the first grime album to top the charts. So what is it about Stormzy that has made him such a trailblazer for this bold new music?

Whether it’s his lyrical dexterity on early tracks like WickedSkengMan Part 1 to more relaxed recent offerings like Cigarettes and Cush, Stormzy has managed to cultivate a sound that pays homage to classic grime, but introduces new sounds in a way that’s impossible to ignore.

Whilst Stormzy may have been raised on the likes of Skepta and Wiley, he’s also proven to be capable of introducing some interesting new sonics. From R&B influenced melodies to the amusing WhatsApp alert tone on Know Me From, Stormzy is clearly an artist who keeps pushing things forward.

But it’s the way that he’s managed to attract attention outside of the grime scene that’s made him an artist who’s impossible to ignore. From lengthy interviews in newspapers like The Guardian to the hashtag #GSAP that was all over London’s billboards earlier this spring, Stormzy has proven to be someone who knows exactly how to handle traditional media and advertising methods.

Even his own social media use has revealed itself to be pretty interesting. After a year-long social media hiatus, Stormzy’s tweets have managed to be become front page news. And whilst he credited crisps and green tea with fuelling the success of his Gangs Signs & Prayer album, he’s even managed to receive the first Deliveroo Gold Card as a result of his album going gold.

2017 will certainly be a year to remember for the grime star. From meeting up with his footballing heroes at Manchester United, to helping Labour pick up for young voters, it’s clear that the effects of Stormzy’s success go way beyond music.

And with a hugely anticipated Friday night headline slot at this year’s Longitude Festival in Ireland, it looks like Stormzy is going to have to use his Deliveroo Gold Card a little more to keep him going through what’s expected to be a very busy year!

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