The grime star wants “anyone out there going through it” to know they’re not alone.
Stormzy has spoken frankly about his battle with depression, explaining that he wanted to use his new album to help those tackling similar issues.
In an interview with Channel 4 News last night (March 1), the grime artist – who is in the running for the #1 album spot tomorrow with his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer – said his struggle with depression made him realize how “fragile we are as humans.”
“I always saw myself as this strong person who just deals with life, I get on with it – and if something gets me low, I pick myself back up. That’s always been my philosophy. Even down to the point where one of my closest friends who was suffering from it, I used to dismiss him.”
“It wasn’t a harsh way, I just used to think ‘just be happy’, do you know what I mean? ‘Just pull it together’. That was a world that was so alien to me. I just used to think ‘you get up, march on’.”
Stormzy says that he suffered from depression himself, but was hesitant to tell the world. “What convinced me to talk about it was the fact that if there’s anyone out there going through it, I think to see that I went through it would help.”
In Gang Signs & Prayer track ‘Lay Me Bare’, lyrics include “like man’a get low sometimes, so low sometimes / Airplane mode on my phone sometimes.” The Croydon MC also raps about “sitting in my house with tears in my face.”
“I feel like I always come across confidently and happy, and I’ve always made sure that I don’t promote [the] negative… I just present myself in a positive way so I can spread that,” he told Channel 4 News. “So people will be looking at me, thinking I don’t go through nothing. So for me to just let people know, ‘no, I do. I do go through that’. I thought that was important for people to know that.”
Read our review of Stormzy’s Gang Signs & Prayer – “an emotional grime epic that delivers the gospel according to Stormz.”
For more information on dealing with depression or other mental health issues, visit Mind.