Stormzy on his debut album: “Respect me like you would Frank Ocean or Adele”

The grime star worked with a surprising producer for the LP.

South London grime artist Stormzy opened up about his debut album ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’, which is set for release on Friday (February 24).

Last year Stormzy opened up about what to expect from his hotly-anticipated debut album – claiming that it will represent him as an ‘aggy little shit with a bone to pick’.

Stormzy worked with Grammy-winning producer Fraser T Smith for the LP, who is known for his work with Adele. In a new interview with The Guardian, Stormzy revealed how the unlikely pairing came about.

Stormzy debut albumGetty

“What I do is not Fraser’s forte – as in, hard-hitting grime. But I wanted to marry my ambition with somebody who had that same ambition, someone who would make an album showing the world how incredibly beautiful a grime artist can sound, sonically and production-wise. How polished grime can be,” he said.

“And then also, I was intrigued by what we could make. I’m very vocal in the studio, I have a clear artistic vision, and I know Fraser has exactly the same. I thought, ‘This could be a total disaster or it could be the most incredible beautiful thing’,” he added.

Stormzy then explains how difficult the process was but ultimately reveals how proud he is of its creation “This album is good, this is incredible, this is heartfelt, this has been put together so well, so strategically, so neatly, so creatively – so respect me the same way you’re going to respect a Frank Ocean or an Adele.”

“I find it strange and uncomfortable to aim for anything less than the greatest,” he says. “That doesn’t even make sense for me, that. If I was going to be an engineer or I was going to be a baker or I was going to be a fireman, why would I not aim to eventually be the greatest at my job? I’ve never understood why I should just try and be the best rapper in London, or even the best rapper in the UK. I don’t want to be the best rapper in the UK. I want to be the best artist in the UK.”

Stormzy’s recently announced his upcoming UK and Ireland tour. You can see the full dates below.

Wed March 29 2017 – DUBLIN Olympia
Thu March 30 2017 – BELFAST Limelight
Sun April 02 2017 – LIVERPOOL O2 Academy Liverpool
Mon April 03 2017 – LEICESTER O2 Academy Leicester
Wed April 05 2017 – GLASGOW O2 Academy Glasgow
Thu April 06 2017 – NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE O2 Academy Newcastle
Fri April 07 2017 – MANCHESTER Academy
Sat April 08 2017 – LEEDS O2 Academy Leeds
Tue April 11 2017 – BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Wed April 12 2017 – NORWICH UEA
Thu April 27 2017 – BOURNEMOUTH O2 Academy Bournemouth
Fri April 28 2017 – BRISTOL O2 Academy Bristol
Sat April 29 2017 – NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Sun April 30 2017 – SHEFFIELD O2 Academy Sheffield
Tue May 02 2017 – LONDON O2 Academy Brixton
Wed May 03 2017 – LONDON O2 Academy Brixton