A guest judge at the ‘judges houses’ stage of the competition and a big fan of this year’s’ contestant, Rai-Elle Williams; MOBO Award Winner, Stormzy, performed his recent single, ‘Blinded by Your Grace Part 2’ live on tonight’s X Factor live shows, accompanied by Labrinth.
Speaking to Fader, Stormzy explained the story behind ‘Blinded by Your Grace Part 2’;
“I wanted to make a beautiful gospel song. But there’s a psychological thing that happens when I go into the booth [to sing]: when I’m listening back, I’m judging the song based on my vocal range. I said, “I’m not a **** singer, I’m not Frank Ocean.” So I told [producer Fraser T. Smith], I want to record this in the studio, just on the sofa, live on the mic. I was able to do it without judging myself. “Blinded” reminds me of that Kanye West song, “Only One,” which is one of my favorites. The world loves that song, and we’re not judging Kanye for not sounding like **** Usher. You can hear the sincerity of it, and it works. I needed to do that on my album. I was hellbent on getting all my emotions out in whatever way they needed to.”
The Independent wrote, following the release of Stormzy’s album, ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’;
Right from the artwork, it’s clear that Gang Signs & Prayer is going to explore a different side of Stormzy. The dark album art blatantly references the religious image of The Last Supper. If you follow Stormzy on social media, you’ll know he’s never been secretive about his Christian faith. And in the record, he confronts and celebrates his beliefs.
Introductory track “First Things First,” is an unapologetic starter that helps to set the tone of the album. As the first song, it covers many aspects of Stormzy’s character in a truly compelling way. Stormzy raps “We were doing road and doing church.” It’s a lyric that shows the complex nature of Stormzy, and a relatable double life for some black British young men. The importance of religion in black British communities can never be understated. Although Stormzy is churchgoing, he still finds himself seduced by a life of crime.
Whatever your thoughts are of Stormzy and his music; he has a massive following and great influence in popular culture. For him to produce tracks like ‘Blinded by Your Grace’ MUST and DOES have people talking about faith, God and Jesus – which can only be a positive thing. He shows that he is a real person with real struggles but that God is and has always been there. We know that Stormzy is of African origin and his mother took him to church every week (“It was just what you did”).
“Yeah I’m Abigail’s yout but I’m God’s son.”
During interviews and performances, he often points upwards to heaven and speaks of “mad blessings” that he has received.
Metro wrote that Stormzy has, “taken the British public to Church after performing ‘Blinded by Your Grace Part 2’ with a gorgeous Gospel choir on the hit ITV Show.”
God Bless you Stormzy!
Listen to Stormzy – ‘Blinded by Your Grace, Pt. 2’ here, with lyrics.