Louis Theroux Interviews Stormzy: The duo we never knew we needed

The latest show by Louis Theroux takes time to delve into the life of Stormzy, in the first of many interesting episodes.

Immy Brown
14th November 2022
Image credit: Twitter @TheShuz
Louis Theroux opens his new series with a bang, interviewing Grime artist Stormzy, providing viewers with a refreshing insight into the rapper’s personal life, as they discuss his break up, upbringing and faith.

The interview begins with Theroux drawing attention to Stormzy’s 2019 Times magazine cover, hailing him one of its “next generation leaders”. Despite Stormzy’s claim that this was one of the proudest moments in his career, he tells Theroux that it undoubtedly led to overwhelming pressure, effecting his mental health.

Born in Croydon, Stormzy was brought up by his mother after his father left and subsequently started another family. Where previously Stormzy’s lyrics hold so much anger and frustration towards his father, he tells Louis of the emotional journey he has been on recently, particularly due to reconnecting with his faith during lockdown. This shift towards forgiveness and hope is reflected in his upcoming work, as well as plans to reach out to his father to begin a process of healing.

Theroux’s calming presence and ability to make subtle jokes, allow viewers to see how this unlikely friendship could easily extend off screen

Throughout the episode, Theroux creates a space for the rapper to dive into moments of deep vulnerability, yet Theroux’s calming presence and ability to make subtle jokes, allow viewers to see how this unlikely friendship could easily extend off screen. 

Stormzy unpacks one of his most famous lyrics  “If you knew my story you’d be horrified”, from the song Crown (2019). He reveals he has lost many friends through gang related violence, telling Louis he would carry a blade simply to feel in control in a time in his life when he felt so without it. What made this interview so poignant for me, was the emotion with which Stormzy spoke. At no point did he seem detached from reality, but in fact he remains so grounded, not wanting to disrespect people by talking too much about this part of his life, acknowledging for many this spiral of violence and loss continues to be a reality.

Theroux has the ability of unlocking a unique vulnerability in this global star

One of the major publicity draws of this interview is hearing Stormzy address his breakup with DJ Maya Jama. He described the breakup as his “biggest catalyst for growth as a man”, accepting responsibility for his mistakes in the relationship, whilst emphasising his faithfulness throughout. Theroux has the ability of unlocking a unique vulnerability in this global star, leaving us with the image of Stormzy simply as a man whose family and faith is “the bedrock of everything he does”.

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