News Brief

Stormzy Calls NME "Proper Dickheads" For Using Him For Their Depression Cover Story

Stormzy accused NME magazine of exploiting his personal struggle with depression after his image was used on the cover of their latest issue.

Grime artist Stormzy, took to Twitter earlier today to call out NME magazine for using his image on the cover of their latest issue on depression in the music industry. The cover features a photograph of the artist along with a headline that reads: "Depression: It's Time to Talk."

The British-Ghanian MC, who recently opened up about his battle with depression, explained that he felt as though his personal struggle had been exploited by the magazine's use of his image. He criticized them for using his picture without permission. "You lot are a bunch of real life fucking pussyholes. Proper dickheads," said Stormzy.

"It is a subject that isn't the easiest thing to speak about. And I've been careful in how I've dealt with it in the media," he tweeted. "After I spoke on it I realised how widespread the issue is, which made me think 'ok kool maybe that was the right thing to do at first,' however using my face as a poster boy for it to sell your magazine is so foul and below the belt. I will never respect you lot, I should at least have a say in whether my face is used for a campaign. I've no issue with sharing my story but, with my permission!"

Mike Williams, editor-in-chief of NME magazine responded to Stormzy's comments via the publication's Twitter page.“I’m sorry that you didn’t know your image would be our cover. Our intentions were only positive,” he wrote. “We used your image as we felt it would resonate most with our readers, and I can only apologise again that you didn’t know," Williams pointed out that NME is a free magazine and claimed that their goal was to "talk about something important," rather than to sell copies.

"You're NOT a non-profit organisation. The more copies you dish out the more you charge for advertising. You will make money from this," said Stromzy in response.

Following the release of his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer, Stormzy sat down for an interview with the UK's Channel 4 News, in which he spoke about decision to open up about his depression on the album. "I had another complex of where I thought: okay, I went through this, but I don't even know if I want the world to know that I went through this," he said. He ultimately decided to share his story so that his fans who face similar challenges wouldn't feel alone. "If there's anyone out there going through it...for them to see that I went through it would help."


Amaarae Breaks Down Her Hits In OkayAfrica's New Video Series 'Decoded'

In Decoded, our favorite African artists dive deep into their music, lyrics and share notable behind-the-scenes moments.

We're launching Decoded, our brand new pop-up style video series featuring the latest, buzzing African artists' music and influences.

We kick things off with Ghanaian-American singer-songwriter-producer Amaarae who has been making waves with the release of her debut album, The Angel You Don't Know.

In our first-ever Decoded episode, Amaarae breaks down hit songs like "Trust Fund Baby", "Jumping Ship" with Kojey Radical as well as her Southern rap musical influences. She also mentions being inspired by an op-ed that she penned for OkayAfrica in 2019, and her mother's role in helping her coin the album title The Angel You Don't Know.

When all is said and done, Amaarae just wants to give other young women "an option not to have to be the archetypal female African artist, and give them an opportunity to expand all of their possibilities, explore all the different genres, and still be successful and get this money." Amen to that!

Check out our first episode of Decoded with Amaarae below.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox


Pregnant Tanzanian Girls Now Have Hope Of An Education

In the past, Tanzania's pregnant girls of school-going age were banned from accessing an education. However, things are about to change!