British-Ghanaian Grime Artist Stormzy delivers his third album “This Is What I Mean”

With two UK No. 1 albums to his name, Stormzy is well on his way to elevating his career with a third. His third album “ This is what I Mean ”  released through #Merky and 0207 Def Jam is his follow-up to his 2019 ” Heavy Is The Head.”  The 29-year-old brought together a group of artists, the best producers and writers in the world in a “free atmosphere” where Stormzy “prayed every morning” at a “Stormzy music camp” on Essex’s Osea Island, to create his third album which he had previously claimed would be “an intimate love letter to music and one that showcases intensely personal and lyrical themes which lay bare the vulnerabilities, regret, frailties, healing, joy and triumph in a manner and to an extent that reframes the notion of what rap artists traditionally might do and be.” Not surprisingly, the album is filled with interesting features such as Tems, Ayra Starr, Sampha, Amaarae, Black Sherif, Ms Banks, and India Arie.

On October 12, 2022, Stormzy shared the cover image and tracklist on his social media platforms to make the album announcement. He captioned the post: “This Is What I Mean. 25th November. Pre-order link in bio.” October 14, 2022, Stormzy released the first track “Hide & Seek” which was preceded by videos of him writing the song that he shared on social media.  “Firebabe,” the second single, was released on November 10, 2022.

This album is more mellow and mature compared to the artist’s previous albums, granting a more reflective temperament to the musician. Many have described it as his more gloomy and intimate project. He opens up on the breakdown of his recent high-profile relationship, his struggle with mental health, as well as the role of faith in his journey. The album contains 12 tracks; Fire + Water, This Is What I Mean, FireBabe, Please, Need You, Hide & Seek, My Presidents Are Black, Sampha’s Plea, Holy Spirit, Bad Blood, I Got My Smile Back, and Give It To The Water. Listen to the album here

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