After his highly acclaimed music video and track, ‘Mel Made Me Do It’, Stormzy is back and better than ever as he releases the first single from his upcoming album This Is What I Mean. Entitled ‘Hide & Seek’, this latest track from Stormzy is just the first in what will be a series of singles leading up to his album release in November of this year.
With his last album, Heavy Is The Head receiving mostly positive reviews, Stormzy is off to a good start with ‘Hide & Seek’. A melodic and soulful track with the bass and bounce of afro-beat, the song sees Stormzy explore themes surrounding love and the tribulations that come with it.
The track, as well as boasting deep and introspective rap lyrics from Stormzy, also features singing from marvellous, up-and-coming vocalists such as Ayanna, ‘KU LO SA’ singer Oxlade and Teni. Stormzy is always true to his British-Ghanaian heritage and keeps his ear on the coast of West Africa.
Produced by PGRSHN and P2J, ‘Hide & Seek’ itself features very little instrumentation and is minimalistic in its production, allowing room for thought and reflection as was intended by the rapper. A difference from the slightly more experimental and bass-heavy, ‘Mel Made Me Do It’. One thing they both have in common is an appreciation for space and reflection. Michaela Cole’s epic monologue on ‘Mel Made Me Do It’ provides space, and this track, through its sparse arrangement, also provides spaciousness all too well.
This first single from the new album also comes with visuals. The four-minute video, available to watch on Stormzy’s official YouTube channel, was directed by Meji Alabi and tells the story of a young relationship that morphs from a state of purity into something far more toxic. We see the ups as well as the downs, and see how the couple go full circle, with the track title referencing how they need to hide to heal but still come back to seek each other.
Much of the energy that went into this upcoming came from the rapper’s time at his Stormzy music camp. The camp is where the rapper goes to retreat and find peace. An extremely remote location, it is located on an island near the Essex estuary that’s only accessible via a causeway for four hours a day during low tide.
Speaking on the camp and the creative process of creating this album the rapper stated: “When you hear about music camps they always sound intense and sombre. People saying, ‘We need to make an album, We need to make some hit records.’ But this felt beautifully free. We’re all musicians, but we weren’t always doing music. Some days we played football or walked around taking pictures. And the bi-product of that was very beautiful music. Because when you marry that ethos with world-class musicians and the best producers, writers and artists in the world, and we’re in one space, that’s a recipe for something that no one can really imagine. You can’t even calculate what that’s going to come up with. And it came up with a big chunk of this album.”
Having invited a plethora of different artists to the island during and after the lockdown, This Is What I Mean is set to be a legendary album. The album is set for global release on November 25th and is available to preorder now.
You can watch the visuals for the album’s lead single in the video below.