During their conversation, McCartney made use of a nearby piano to give the grime MC some songwriting advice. Speaking to The Sunday Times, Stormzy explained how the impromptu lesson came about.
“I was just so compelled, in the presence of someone that great, to get advice — anything for my career an OG like him can give me,” he said. “But I know the stigma that comes with being a rapper, so I introduced myself as a songwriter: ‘Can you teach me something?’”
He continued: “He went to the piano, and I just thought, ‘Shut up, listen.’ What he taught me was incredible. He said, ‘Use these three chords, and make any song.’ I was, like, ‘Flipping heck!'”
McCartney previously told the publication about their meeting, describing Stormzy as someone who was “looking to advance his music.” “As a rapper, I thought he’d have words down, but there was a piano, so I showed him basic stuff – how you get middle C, make a chord, a triad and, just by moving that, get D minor, E minor, F, G, A minor, and how that’s enough for anyone,” he said.
Earlier this month, Stormzy announced the first independent title to be released on his new imprint with Penguin, #Merky Books.
Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi’s Taking Up Space, described as a “guide for manifesto and change”, tackles issues of access, university life and discrimination within the classroom.
Meanwhile, the award-winning star will release his own autobiography, Rise Up, on the imprint on November 1. The book will include previously unseen photos, annotated lyrics, contributions from friends and collaborators, and more.