April 08, 2016

Stormzy's first Paris headline


Grime MC Stormzy often talks about how surprised he gets when he realises that crowds from countries that dont speak english as a first language can and will yell his bars back at him. Last night at the Bellevilloise was no different. It was his first ever headline gig in Paris, yet there was an impressive turnout (in fact I'm 99% sure it was soldout) and I found myself wondering where my french peers ... knew him from.

I asked a couple of people, shortly before the beginning of his set, and the answers ranged from "stumbling randomly on his tracks on youtube/soundcloud and falling in love" to "hearing it at a party and NEEDING to find out who this guy was." I personally found out about Stormzy last year during a Sylvere DJ set and I'm so thankful because I've been obsessed with his tracks ever since. Although Grime has been around for a while now, I reckon it is reaching a new range of listeners thanks to this dude, whose fanbase is growing worldwide on the daily. Stormzy's fans are also very supportive and, apparently, ready to follow him around Europe, based on the large number of Londoners present in the audience!

[View full gallery here]

What's amazing about his music is that the writing gets deep, meaningful, angry even, but also most songs are just good-mood tunes and you can sing along to the melody (thinking about the smiles I could see on everyone's faces during "Shut Up"). Nonetheless, it WILL make you jump, fistpump, and mosh. It's also refreshing to meet an artist who is so genuine and I can honestly say that after last night I'm even more of a fan, which I didn't think could be possible. 

At some point during his set he said he had a surprise guest... I have to say for a second I reaaally thought it would be his protégé AJ Tracey (who's playing at the same venue for the Grime O'clock event on April 20th! Make sure you get tickets honestly, like I'm not trying to promo or anything he's just genius. Anyways). The guest turned out to be Little Simz, aka one of the coolest, cutest, most exciting rap acts out of the UK these days! He brought her out to perform "Dead Body" and her appearance was so intense! I'm not sure this girl even breathes between bars.

By the end of the gig, Stormzy himself admitted we'd worn him out with all of our energy. He was kind of breathless, and so were we. His last song, the single "Know Me From", was an epic moment of moshing and insanity. After meeting him and Little Simz outside, we left, sweating, smiling, and hoping that more Grime gigs will be happening in Paris in the near future.

Photos: Damien Paillard 
B&W Photos: Lou Cocody-Valentino

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