Stormzy X Red Bull Pop Up Show
— 25 Feb 2017, 18:03
So...we should probably talk about last night.
It was difficult keeping it under wraps. Believe us. But we couldn't pass up the opportunity to have Stormzy play to his home crowd, on the very same day that his debut album, Gang Signs & Prayer, launched.
Stormzy is a one-man tour de force. He's swept up 2 MOBO awards, racked up millions of views on Youtube and has a legion of famous fans. Stormzy is bringing Grime into the mainstream in a big way. He is a trailblazer amongst the likes of Kano an Skepta and he is current, he is relevant and he is unstoppable.
The man of the hour had been laying breadcrumbs on social media all day as he weaved through London treating fans to surprise and free gigs. After Twitter and Instagram blew up with the news that Stormzy had played impromptu sets in both Camden and Piccadilly, fans began to speculate where the next appearance might be; with some even calling on him to 'come to Croydon!'.
Then, at around 5pm, Stormzy announced that his next show would be at our very own Boxpark Croydon.
The hype was huge. Stormzy had already delivered a towering performance alongside Ed Sheeran at the Brit Awards, earlier in the week, and his first album had launched at midnight on 24 February to huge critical acclaim; even Adele showed her love for it on Instagram. Fans, both old and new, made their way to Boxpark for a chance to catch a free show from arguably the biggest artist in British music today.
The atmosphere was electric as DJ TiiNY, kept the crowd hyped in anticipation for the main event.
When Stormzy took to the stage Boxpark Croydon lit up and so did he. One of the most endearing things about Stormzy is how incredibly humble he is and it was only a matter of seconds before he was telling the crowd how important and personal this show was for him. 'This is one of the most special show of my life! This is my hometown!'
What many fans expected to a be a one-track set turned into a explosive showcase of hit songs and new recordings, fresh off the album. Performance highlights included the super-charged new single 'Big For Your Boots' and the iconic 'Shut Up'. It was plain to see that Stormzy poured every ounce of passion and energy into his set. Whether you stood next to the stage, up on the railings or way back near the bar, Stormzy dominated the space and filled Boxpark with an unforgettable performance that Croydon will be talking about for some time.
There was something genuinely moving about seeing Stormzy so overwhelmed with the turn out, with the reception from his fans and getting a chance to return and perform in his hometown. And it was clear that Croydon was swelling with pride just to have him back.
Gang Signs & Prayer is making phenomenal waves and it's hardly been out 24 hours. The album has already planted itself in the top spot of the iTunes album charts and the top selling track right now is Stormzy's remix of Ed Sheeran's 'Shape of You'. The man cannot put a foot wrong and it's easy to see why. Stormzy's lyrical talent, his passion and his charisma consistently shine through and this is just the beginning of what everyone anticipates will be a very long and successful career.
And so, with thanks to Red Bull and, of course, Stormzy for giving Boxpark and Croydon an incredible and unforgettable night. If you were there, you know.