It has been a decade since grime first shook up the UK music scene, but today it has a new star in Micheal Omari, a burly 23-year old south Londoner, who is better known as Stormzy.
For those with a greater understanding of Grime will be well accustomed to pioneering names such as Dizzee Rascal, Kano and Wiley but who would have thought that the genre was to blow in the way that it has?
Put simply: Stormzy is the real deal. He has been dominating the music charts this year with his latest album Gang Signs and Prayers, that has resulted in grime’s magnificent rise to the top of British culture.
If you have never been lucky enough to experience Stormzy live, the only way to describe it is; think of being in the downstairs room of Cameo and times that energy by 100, it is absolute madness.
The enigmatic wordsmith took to the stage and explained how electrified he was to bring his 16 venue sold out UK and Ireland tour to the Bournemouth o2 academy last night.
“The last time I came here was last year with Annie Mac. I was having a conversation with my tour guys and manager and I said we’ve got to go to Bournemouth, we cannot not go to Bournemouth. It is about playing the smaller places that matter most to me.”
The crowd were wild in welcoming him, greeting him by a forest of phones all surging forward trying to get a closer picture of the formidable 6’5 giant as he urged his ‘mandems’ to not be afraid to sing their lungs out and enjoy themselves.
His set was full of his notorious diversified tracks, “Cigarettes and Cush” along with invoking the grace of God with “Blinded by His Grace” all made an appearance. While the faster, more aggressive tracks were combined with Stormzy’s flawless sense of rhythm – “Cold” his latest single, sent the crowd into an absolute frenzy.
Even Ed Sheeran made an appearance – no not literally, unfortunately we weren’t going to get a repeat Brit performance, but Stormzy played homage to his ‘brother that couldn’t be here’ by playing their ‘Shape of You’ remix and the crowd bloody loved it.
Oh and of course the crowd went crazy over his big anthem; ‘Big For Your Boots,’ a swaggering standout hit, full of medieval-style choral stabs and Stormzy gave a fearless performance. It was an aggressive, sweaty set and by the end of it he was topless and out of breath.
Stormzy was full of wit and rage, he was in his absolute prime, he was so incredibly humble and seemed genuinely thankful that his devoted fans had turned up to support him at this intimate setting.
Stormzy made his first appearance making YouTube videos way back in 2011, but it was not until he started sharing his WickedSkengman freestyles when he began attracting wider attention and plaudits.
It has nearly been two years, since THAT iconic video of Stormzy laying down the freestyle ‘Shut Up’ in a red tracksuit to an anticipated audience. Since then his appeal has increased in frightening amounts. His popularity on Twitter is phenomenal, not least down to jaunts such as inviting shed loads of fans to a booked out Thorpe Park for his 23rd birthday, or performing in the ring ahead of an Anthony Joshua fight. His incredible effort and ability to rally his followers and gain new fans in his attempt to get his album Gang Signs and Prayers to beat Rag ‘N’ Bone mans Human, shot him to number one earlier this year.
Not only has the MC continued a releasing streak of chart toppers, his affable personality has allowed grime to slip seamlessly into mainstream. Thanks to this man and the legends before him the defining sounds of UK youth, grime will not be ignored.
Picture taken by Instagram User: abbielrogers