Stormzy has spoken about the “sense of duty” he felt towards the community who have helped him achieve success when he headlined Glastonbury.
The grime star delivered a powerful performance as the Friday night headliner at this year’s festival, which saw him wearing a stab vest embellished with a Union flag, designed by Banksy.
The Vossi Bop singer, 26, told British GQ about his Pyramid Stage performance, saying: “I was stood arm in arm with so many people up there, I’ve always had a sense of duty in my career.
“As much as I might be the artist up there, I’ve risen from a community. I’ve been championed by the public and by my people.
“Every time I’m on stage like that it’s because of so many different people.
“Often in British culture, there has only been one or two or three black people in the spotlight at one time. But nah, that’s over now.
“There are so many of us that the world should hear. So when I did that, I was just thinking that I need to let people know that it’s not just myself. It’s not just Stormzy.”
In August he announced that he would be covering the university costs of two more Cambridge students this year, after launching the Stormzy Scholarship in 2018.
He will pay the tuition fees of two black students as part of the scholarship, which is aimed at helping students from minority backgrounds further their education and study at the University of Cambridge.
The singer, who was recently named the Haig Club Solo Artist of the Year at the GQ Men of the Year awards, told the magazine: “These Cambridge students who are getting A* A* A*, I’ve always admired that. I’ve admired academic brilliance.
“Any time I meet someone who goes to Cambridge and it’s a young black man or woman, I say ‘Bruv, that’s gangster!’
“People think rappers, footballers and actors are sick but I think uni students are just as sick. So I thought it would be nice to do something that celebrated black academic brilliance.”
The Croydon-born grime star, real name Michael Omari, is expected to release a second album this year.
He told GQ: “This is phase two. You know when people say that some rappers have filler songs or filler lyrics? There won’t be any of that. When I sit in the car with the mandem and listen back to it, all of it has a purpose.”
Stormzy is one of a handful of notable people to appear on special edition covers of GQ for the month of October – others include David Beckham and teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg.
The full interview is in the October issue of British GQ, available via digital download and from newsstands from Friday September 6