Stormzy’s debut album Gang Signs & Prayer smashed through chart records in February 2017 when it became the very first grime album to reach number one in the UK charts.
After a hectic summer of headlining shows and completing his world tour, Stormzy’s next project was unveiled to us yesterday during an intimate screening at the YouTube Space in London. The South London artist continues to show loyalty to his roots and the life he came from. “Young youts like myself, that grow up in the hood, we often don’t know that we are actually the masters of our own destiny”, he says towards the end of the film. Speaking before the screening, he told the assembled crowd, “There are so many things that steer us in the wrong direction, however, we decide what happens in our own lives, and like my album, I endeavoured for this film to portray just that.”
GSAP the movie is based on the themes of the 24-year-old’s album and includes artistic shots of live performances from some of the album’s biggest tracks. The short movie, shot in both Spain and Peckham, was directed by music video director and documentary filmmaker Rollo Jackson, who previously worked with the grime superstar during an Adidas project in Japan.
Hosting one viewing for his loyal fans, and a further viewing for his friends, family and fellow artists like Krept and Konan, Wretch 32 and Avelino, it’s safe to say all who attended were touched by the emotional story being told and a look back at the incredible journey Stormzy has overcome. Speaking after the screening, he expressed how he wanted to “push the boundaries” with this project, parallel to how he feels he did with GSAP the album “both artistically and musically”.
The short film itself cuts between narrative elements that follow Thomas, a boy growing up in inner-city London who is torn between pressure from his peers to live the road lifestyle and his inner conscience, and Stormzy himself performing songs from the album, including ‘Return of The Rucksack’, ‘Bad Boys’ and ‘100 Bags.’ Watch Gang Signs & Prayer below.