In June 2020 I was honoured to be asked by the Sandford St Martin Trust to say a few words to introduce Stormzy – the winner of their Trustees award 2020.
They decided Stormzy should receive this award not because he believes in God, but because of how this faith has informed his efforts to foster a public conversation and to build a sense of community that has united thousands of fans across cultural, class, generational, and religious boundaries.”
The winners were all announced during a special digital awards programme on 11 June.
In his acceptance speech,Stormzy said: “Every award I’ve ever collected, whatever achievement I’ve ever had, I’ve always been vocal about the fact that it’s not possible without God. He’s the reason why I’m here today. He’s the reason that I’m able to have a career . . . (but) a lot of the time I get non-believers saying, ‘Don’t thank God, this wasn’t God. This was all you,’ and I know this wasn’t all me. This was God.”
Here is what I said about Stormzy…..
Once in a generation comes along a cultural game changer.
This is a man from a humble background in Croydon, south London, who openly and proudly speaks about and raps about his faith and God.
He gives a voice to the voiceless and manages to headline Glastonbury!
This is a man who calls out injustices everywhere,from racist nightclubs, to bad politicians.
He is a man who champions and personally supports young black students at university.
A man who has created a book-publishing imprint for new black authors and shown that to be pro black, doesn’t mean you’re anti white.
He hasn’t just influenced young music lovers, but also slightly older music journalists like me!
This is a man who through his music, his activism and his honesty, brings people together and inspires them. The hundreds of young people from diverse communities across the UK that I work with daily at the Media Trust are hugely motivated by Stormzy!
This is a loyal man who has built a team around him of friends who he supports into positions of power to grow alongside him and always recognizes and salutes his team who play a huge part in his success.
He is a man who at any given opportunity celebrates and elevates all those around him.
Stormzy spoke to me exclusively on Channel 4 News about music and his own mental health…. and inspired so many others thereafter to speak up too.
This is a young man I’ve worked with and watched grow to huge success over the years, a man with strong moral value and integrity who holds others as well as himself accountable.
He’s a man who has changed what it means to be an all round music star, a man who is commutative and fearless when needs be, yet vulnerable and humble.
This is a man who unites communities and music lovers everywhere, from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and thousands of young and school-aged fans across cultural, class and religious boundaries.
I couldn’t be prouder that our home boy Stormzy, is the winner of this year’s Sandford St Martin Trustees’ Award! Congratulations!
STORMZY- WE are blinded by YOUR grace!
You can watch it here – the Stormzy section starts at 56 minutes in, enjoy!