Winning or losing in music is all about having the right people in the right roles to execute a plan. Being the great artist he is Stormzy understands that his role on the team is to focus on music first. The secret to his success is not only in creating great music, but in creating memorable moments we can all be part of. On Wednesday 1st February 2017 following a long hiatus Stormzy returned to social media with a bang, grabbing our attention with a call for his young black kings to “rise up”. We then saw obscure messages being projected around London simply saying #GSAP. No one had a clue what the four lettered acronym meant but we were about to be blown away by the marketing campaign that followed.
Music fans were already gassed that Stormzy had been nominated for a BRIT Award for BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH ACT, but something equally as exciting was about to happen. Remember when Stormzy told us “I want it to be the biggest warning shot to the industry. We are coming. We’re coming with dutty freestyles, with menacing themes, and horrible language over merky beats and guess what? You have to play it!” Well, he did it. The lead single from his debut album entered the singles chart at number 8. The artwork for both the album and Big for Your Boots looked very much like a ‘gangsta’ version of the last supper. Word was out that the album was called Gang Signs & Prayer, however Stormzy is by no means a gangster, a point his neighbours failed to spot when reporting him as being a burglar at his Chelsea home. The mainstream coverage following the incident in which the police destroyed his front door to enter the property demonstrated what a household name Stormzy is along with his ability to use every situation to his advantage.
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Deb McKoy is the Founder and Consultant at Peppergrain Ltd, London, UK. She began her career as a recording artist, achieving success in the UK national charts before going on to help businesses and individuals maximise their brand.