Last night saw the premiere of the short film following Stormzy on his recent business venture to Tokyo. Through his sponsorship with Adidas, and a request from the legend that is Nigo, Stormzy was able to fly out to Japan to perform events, and be the face of a fresh new campaign fronted by the sportswear giants.
After taking the time out to watch the video on the Adidas Originals youtube channel it gave me the opportunity to learn a lot about Nigo’s views and mindset, Stormzy’s current situation and where he is currently at regarding his work, art and lifestyle.
Nigo talks about Stormzy’s videos and how he believes that they bring rap back to the origins of hip-hop and rap. After discussing the topic of rap Nigo states that rap started on the streets and that is a massive factor as to why Stormzy has brought rap back to what it was originally all about. I share similar views as Nigo in the sense that we both believe that rap is too heavily focused on diamonds and cars etc. Over the past decade or two it has swayed way too much towards materialism, and it does need bringing back to it’s roots. Hence why Represent Grime carry such a strong passion for grime music. Grime is so raw and urban and comes from a place where what people talking about is real life and people can relate to it. When Nigo says that Stormzy returns rap back to it’s origins, it is not only a compliment to the man himself, but the grime scene on a whole. Despite Stormzy being extremely unique and his own person, in my eyes Stormzy is a representative of the grime scene on a global basis. We are talking about a young man from South London who has been influenced by ‘old grime heads’ like Dizzee, Wiley, Kano, Skepta etc, so how can he not be a representative? His sound has been influenced by these people and Stormzy is not just a creative artist, he is a grime artist and he is taking this scene and building bridges on a global basis. So, when Nigo expresses his appreciation for Stormzy’s work, he’s not only expressing his appreciation for Stormzy, but for the art that the whole UK grime scene creates. From Nigo’s brief discussion I came to the conclusion that grime is bringing rap and hip hop back to it’s roots and back to what it really should be about, and it will not be long until the major influential countries like the US will be learning a lot from the UK scene and embracing the culture and approach that we have towards music.
It is not just music that Stormzy and the grime scene is influencing either. Nigo states that Stormzy’s videos shaped his Adidas collection, and after looking at the Nigo collection you can see how he was influenced by Big Mike’s work. This just shows how powerful, not only grime is, but music in general. Good art can influence the greatest of people and can really get your brain engaged into your work and the ‘don’ that is Nigo has clearly been guided by these art forms.
Throughout the documentary we are exposed to what is believed to be some new material from ‘Stiff Chocolate’. When listening to his work I was pleased to here how his sound has developed so much since his earlier tracks, such as ‘Not That Deep’ and ‘Know Me From’. I am not taking anything away from these tracks but you can hear that Stormzy has come a long way and is now creating a more artistic and professional sound. It is not just traditional grime beats that he is spitting over, he is experimenting with his sound and it is definitely paying off. To work in this manner is extremely brave, and going out to Tokyo to perform and work in a completely different culture is a huge statement. ‘The Problem’ tells us of how he doesn’t know what to expect from his live show in Tokyo, and it is huge for him to go from being that guy that everyone loves in the UK and performing sold out shows to preparing for a show that he doesn’t even know if anyone will turn up to. But, at the end of the day that is what all great artists do, take risks.
You can check out the short film below.