Music

Stormzy launches bid for Christmas No.1 with Shut Up freestyle after Anthony Joshua boost

EYES ON THE PRIZE: Stormzy

EYES ON THE PRIZE: Stormzy

MOBO AWARD-winning rapper Stormzy hopes to rain on Simon Cowell’s parade – and make history in the process – after announcing his bid for Christmas No.1 with his freestyle, Shut Up.

The track, released by the south London star earlier this year, received a significant boost this weekend after he performed it when accompanying British heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua to the ring ahead of his bout with Dillian Whyte at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday (Dec 12).

“It was never a part of the plan [to go for Christmas No.1]. I just performed and it was sick,” the 24-year-old told The Voice after Saturday’s ring walk.

And it would seem the thousands tuned in to watch 26-year-old Joshua clinch the British heavyweight title from 27-year-old Dillian Whyte agreed and subsequently started downloading in numbers.

“My bredrin hit me up and was like, ‘Yo, have you seen the iTunes charts?’, Stormzy, real name Michael Omari, explained. “I looked on the iTunes charts and we were 41 and I was like, ‘Rah, that’s jokes!’ I found it funny.

“I find it proper funny because I know how these [music] corporations are and I know how panicky they get about chart positions, so I know how frustrating it must be for them. I was like, ‘Imagine it got in the Top 40.’

TEAM UK: Stormzy with boxer Anthony Joshua backstage at London's O2 Arena on Saturday (Dec 12)

TEAM UK: Stormzy with boxer Anthony Joshua backstage at London’s O2 Arena on Saturday (Dec 12)

“Then it crept up a little bit more and it went to 34 and I was like, ‘Do you know what, yeah? Let’s just try a ting!’”

But the wordsmith, who won the inaugural Best Grime Act category at last year’s MOBO Awards and picked up the gong again at this year’s ceremony and also collected the Best Male award in the process, is no stranger to making chart history.

In September, the fourth and final instalment of his WickedSkengMan freestyle series entered the chart at No.18 becoming the highest-charting freestyle.

On making history again, Stormzy said he wanted to do it “one more time before the year’s out”.

“Doing it once is a bit dead, you want to do it twice,” he laughed. “How annoying is that for Simon Cowell?”

The music mogul is known to dominate the No.1 position at Christmas with the release of the single from the winner of his X Factor show.

In 2009, rock band Rage Against The Machine launched a campaign to get their 1992 song Killing in the Name to Christmas No.1 because they were “Fed up of Simon Cowell’s latest karaoke act being Christmas No 1?”

“I saw Rage Against The Machine do it years ago and I remember watching it and thinking, this is so jarring,” Stormzy laughed.

“It’s the end of the year so let’s give everyone something to rebel against’ Let’s get Shut Up to No.1,” he added.

Shut Up is currently No.10 on the iTunes chart.

WORDS: The Voice

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