Stormzy recently revealed that he stopped JAY-Z from appearing on “Take Me Back To London,” his collaborative hit with Ed Sheeran. Speaking on the Jonathan Ross Show, Stormzy explained that while JAY-Z is his “number one hero inspiration” and the idea of a potential collab “blew [his] mind,” he had to turn it down.
“We got into the studio and we were writing for this song,” Stormzy said, adding that JAY-Z then asked him to, “tell me about London, I need some inspiration.” Stormzy and his manager then broke down everything for the Brooklyn rapper, “from black culture, community, music, his journey, my journey.”
Stormzy continued: “I was like, ‘I love this song, but you being on the song changes everything. You are the most brilliant, busy man and I will probably never get this opportunity ever again but hand on my heart, I don’t think this is the right song for us.’”
Understandably, Stormzy initially regretted the decision, but ultimately accepts that it was for the best. What’s more, JAY-Z was understanding: “We spoke and he made me feel [proud of what I did].”
Watch highlights from Stormzy’s interview below.
Isabelle is an Australian writer based in Berlin.