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Stormzy’s ‘Hide & Seek’ Unveils Truths about his Love Life

It gives a new meaning to true love and evergreen music…
Stormzy's Hide & Seek

If there is anything the year 2022 has blessed us with, it is world-class music. It has undoubtedly been a good music year thus far, with reoccurring top-charting singles and number-one albums. A peculiar aspect is the inclusion of Nigerian music artists in almost every music conversation, as it translates into the influx of Nigerian talents to the global music scene. The latest addition is Stormzy’s Hide & Seekthe first release of the UK rapper’s forthcoming album; This is what I mean.

Propelled by soft chords and subtle percussion, the lyrics describe the woman character as a beloved lover in the following words, “Oh girl, you’re shining, You know you’re my Diamond.” It gradually progresses into a perfect love song that paints the image of two lovers and the influence they have on each other’s souls despite their flaws and eventual split.

How the lyrics in ‘Hide & Seek’ fit into the arrangement would make you want to seek the inspiration behind this eclectic record and where Stormzy has been hiding this beautiful part of his towering talent. It is as if he is telling the story of a personal experience—One that graciously melts the heart on the first listen. Stormzy has never been one to shy away from his vulnerability. It is glaring in his first two albums and completes his well-rounded and compelling music talent. However, the presentation of ‘Hide & Seek’ suggests a more self-aware headspace that stirs far away from his recently released Mel Made Me Do It but is very welcoming. 

Stormzy's Hide & Seek

The soft, melodic tune that underlies this embracing record is Produced by PRGRSHN, P2J, and Owen Cutts. Filtering the instrumental from the lyrics, you could almost say there could not be a better production. It is sonically appealing to the ears. ‘Hide & Seek’ is one of Stormzy’s calmer, more inward-facing, reflecting melodies, propelled by a gently swaying Afro-R&B instrumental with sensational guest vocals from Oxlade, vocalists Ayanna and Teni and contributing songwriting from Tems. 

Hide & Seek is a song that will speak to anyone who understands the experience of being in a relationship, and the lyrics are much more than just lost love or rekindling old flames. There’s more to it. In what seems to be a story about his previous relationship, Stormzy seeks to remind his lover that she’s his diamond, his precious one. They’ve had rough patches and both suffered heartbreaks, but as much as he has tried to run away from the truth, he has finally accepted the fact that to grow and love her the way she ought to be loved, he needs to heal first.

Speaking about the album process, the UK rapper candidly shares his experience about intentionally seeking and finding God in his art. In the video, Stormzy says, Artists are proper vessels through which art comes alive, and he wants God to lead the album. In a press statement issued by the rapper, he says, “When you hear about music camps, they always sound intense and somber, 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 making 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 will come up with, And it came up with a big chunk of this album.”

After a hiatus from social media for the past three years, Hide & Seek is the perfect pre-release promotional lead single to usher in Stormzy’s third studio album scheduled for release on the 25th of November, 2022. 

The music video, directed by Meji Alabi, features well-known British actress Saffron Hocking and depicts the resultant breakdown of a formerly healthy romantic relationship between two characters as Stormzy reminisces in an apartment they once shared. 

Hide & Seek sits in the middle of This Is What I Mean album, written and recorded during the pandemic on Osea Island, off the coast of Essex. Stormzy invited a yet-unknown roster of producers, musicians, and other collaborators to the island to work on the follow-up to his 2019 album Heavy Is The Head.

In a profound leap from his critically acclaimed previous #1 albums, Gang Signs & Prayer and Heavy Is The Head, ‘Hide & Seek’ is more than just music for the pop charts, but a love letter personified. A song that emphasizes personal and lyrical themes such as “Heartbreak’s such a dark place, but we stay in it, and “Rather than tearing it down, we’ll rearrange it.”

Altogether, Hide & Seek is an unignorable reminder of how bold and creative Stormzy is. ‘This Is What I Mean’ will be an enthralling album to anticipate.

Arshavin Ephraim
Arshavin Ephraim
Host of #RealTalk show on Twitter. I am passionate about talent and creativity. Arshavin is a writer who doubles as a mental health advocate and part-time relationship counselor.

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