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Stormzy reveals he turned down a collaboration with Jay-Z


Grime star Stormzy has revealed that he recently turned down the chance to work on a new song with iconic rapper Jay-Z.

Stormzy had been working with Jay-Z on Ed Sheeran’s song ‘Take Me Back to London which has featured on Sheeran’s No 6 Collaborations Project album. But the South London artist suggested, “this is not the song.”

Stormzy revealed on The Jonathan Ross show: “We were all in the studio writing; me, Ed Sheeran and Jay-Z.

“Before that I loved ‘Take Me Back To London’ because I thought it was just going to be me and Ed and then Ed was like, ‘Jay is getting on it.’

“It blew my mind. Jay-Z is my number one hero inspiration. We got into the studio and we were writing for this song and then he just stops the music and he said, ‘Tell me about London, I need some inspiration.’”

Stormzy then details, along with his manager, how growing up in South London had affected him, the environment he saw and the society he was bred in. What ensued was “this powerful, beautiful, greatest conversation of my entire life”. A conversation where the pair discussed “black culture, community, music, his journey, my journey”.

Stormzy explained: “At the end he’s smiling, we were probably talking for an hour and he goes, ‘So what do you think of the song?’… I had verbal diarrhoea. I was like, ‘I love this song but you being on the song changes everything.’

“’Take Me Back To London’ with me and Ed is one thing, but now that Jay-Z is on it… This is Jay-Z and Stormzy, what he means to culture, what I mean to culture… I said, ‘Is this the song?’ I didn’t think it was the song…”

Stormzy admitted Jay-Z was “super proud and super shocked and taken aback by the fact that this kid told him”.

The star then explained, “I felt proper bad because I was like, ‘You’re saying no to Jay-Z!’

“I was like, ‘If you didn’t ask me this, I would have just written my verse and we would have done it and I would have never questioned it but now that you’ve asked me, no.’”

“I was like, ‘I know how it goes, Mr Z. You are the most brilliant, busy man and I will probably never get this opportunity ever again but hand on my heart, I don’t think this is the right song for us.

“I don’t know why I’m saying this to you but this is not the song.’”