In a new interview, Stormzy admitted that the pressures of fame had him so ‘overwhelmed’ that he ‘cried’ and felt ‘super depressed’.

As he returned to music after a two-year break, Stormzy admitted that part of the reason why he had to step away was the pressure of the position he had found himself in.

Speaking to BBC2 in a new series, the rapper opened up about how the expectations of fame had been negatively affecting him back in 2020, shortly before he deleted social media, stepped away from the limelight, and started declining interviews from the media. The rapper admitted that at one point, ‘I just had this feeling of being overwhelmed, of thinking I can’t handle this.’ 

The consequent pressure led him to isolate himself from his friends and family: “I’d often just crash out and get super depressed or super withdrawn and reclusive and just disappear. I’d just stay at home and smoke a lot of weed.” 

The rapper also revealed that as fame and accolades came to him, so did the pressure to outperform and become the ‘greatest artist’ – but he didn’t know how to balance all of it and his family. 

“There was a period afterwards when I was not in the best mind space and it was a bit overbearing. I was trying to figure out how to be the greatest artist. I was in a relationship, I am also a family man, a son, a provider, trying to lead in my community, and I was making an album.” he admitted. “I felt overwhelmed, which was new to me. I would break down, it was super heavy.”

The rapper also revealed that his erstwhile mind-space was part of the reason why he left social media. He felt like he needed to think for himself without worrying about what others said. 

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“If fucking Tommy from Plymouth wakes up and says ‘Stormzy you’re a shit’, that’s bearable. But it was becoming super destructive. I thought, ‘I can’t be coming on this place and consuming everyone else’s fucking reality. I can’t hear my thoughts.’” Stormzy said. 

“When I came off social media, I felt like I could hear God speak, I could hear myself, I had clarity.” he added. 

Elsewhere in the interview, the rapper also expressed regret about the way his relationship with DJ Maya Jama ended. Admitting that he ‘didn’t do what a man should do to fully appreciate, love and care for his woman’, Stormzy credited the couple’s split as his ‘biggest catalyst for growth as a man.’ 

For more on this topic, follow the Hip Hop Observer.

Watch more of Stormzy’s chat with Louis Theroux:

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