A British Grime artist who stands by his beliefs
Image Credit: Credit: By NRK P3 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.
At xRhythms, we review, enjoy and endorse a lot of different musical artists. When choosing this weekend’s inspirational person, it was more than just his birth date that stood out to me. Whether you know the genre of Grime well or not, I imagine this name is not unknown to you.
Rapping from the age of 11, standing up for political and social activism and being passionate about Christianity; of course, it’s none other than Stomzy.
Michael Ebenezer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr., also known as Stormzy, was born in London and said that early on in his life that he was a naughty child, but not a bad one. He would play up in school for his entertainment but he still did well academically despite teachers believing that he wouldn’t.
He took an apprenticeship for an oil refinery but found that he spent more time at a pirate radio station and was caught writing down lyrics instead of working. He made a conscious decision to change his behaviours from when he was at school and he started up a YouTube channel to present his freestyle rap.
Being determined to succeed.
Choosing to walk away from a difficult past and being determined to succeed is an admirable thing to do. Stormzy knew that he could continue to play up but to showcase his talents he would need to work hard and take it seriously.
Awaken the Greatness Within have quoted Stormzy and it highlights his decision between safety and passion, “Engineering was the safe and sensible choice, but music was what I loved and wanted to do.” He took a chance and went for the option that he was less comfortable with, but by doing this he is now doing what he loves every day.
This can inspire us all to follow our dreams no matter how scary they are, because Stormzy had simple beginnings and said that he was just a kid from South London who started rapping in parks with friends. Sometimes it’s the small beginnings that create amazing lives.
Stormzy has also been a political and social activist, raised support for the Grenfell Tower victims and is also very vocal about his connections with Christianity.
He has involved his relationship with God in his work.
In the BBC’s Christmas day line up in 2019, he read a passage from the Gospel of Luke but this isn’t the only time he has involved his relationship with God in his work. On his album ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’, he displays his faith openly on the songs ‘Blinded by your Grace’ part 1 and 2.
Not many others in Stomzy’s genre have spoken about faith and been very popular in the mainstream charts, he is a maverick and is more popular because of this. He uses music as an avenue to be truthful about his feelings and this level of depth is very refreshing to hear and see.
Stomzy should inspire us to be open about our beliefs, and promote them in our life and work. We shouldn’t let our pasts drag us down and fight to achieve what we are passionate about achieving.
He lets us know that it’s okay to have regrets as long as we are learning and growing and this solidifies him as a true inspiration.