Stormzy opened up about his heart-breaking split with Maya Jama, revealing the breakup caused him to go on a journey of self-discovery that took him from a boy to a man.
The South London rapper began dating the U.K. TV presenter in 2016. Despite fans dubbing the celeb pair “couple goals,” they split four years later in 2019.
During a new interview for British GQ‘s GQ Men of the Year special issue, cover star Stormzy admitted the experience changed him.
“I’d never experienced a breakup and the feelings that come with a breakup,” Stormzy explained of his split with Maya Jama. “And I never wanted to ever be in a position again where I felt what I was feeling. Because it showed me that I was a boy. And I do not want to go any further as a boy. I’ve seen how that manifests in other people. And I don’t want to be like that.”
The “Disappointed” hitmaker realized he needed to make drastic changes to avoid making the same mistakes again.
“So what is the necessary work I have to do to make sure I’m not in this position again?” Stormzy questioned. “That means growth, accountability, changing my character, changing my routines, my habits, my tradition, my values, my morals. Because how I feel right now and how I’ve made someone else feel and how I’ve devastated a world that I was living in – I just never want to be in this position again. So what do I need to do?”
Stormzy understood that his own success was holding him back from making changes. However, a trip to Jamaica with Adele, followed by a family visit to Ghana, and a boy’s “a spiritual and health retreat” in Dubai, helped him achieve some grounding. In addition, he famously ditched social media, which also helped him on his path to growth.
That growth is evident in his comeback music. His first single in four years, “Mel Made Me Do It,” is an ode to Black British cultural excellence. Stormzy followed up with “Firebabe,” the second single, taken from his forthcoming album, This Is What I Mean. The song is a clear departure from his Grime roots and sees the rapper flex his singing skills. Watch the video below.
Meanwhile, Stormzy and Maya Jama are on good terms, despite the split and were recently spotted sharing a hug. The pair ran into each other earlier this month while attending Kendrick Lamar’s concert at London’s O2 Arena.