Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 July 2019

Banksy has revealed his latest artwork: the stab vest worn by Stormzy at Glastonbury

The secretive artist put his weight behind Britain's most dynamic grime artist

Stormzy performs on the Pyramid Stage on day three of the Glastonbury Festival. The grime artist features on one of the tracks in Ed Sheeran's new album. EPA/NEIL HALL
Stormzy performs on the Pyramid Stage on day three of the Glastonbury Festival. The grime artist features on one of the tracks in Ed Sheeran's new album. EPA/NEIL HALL

The grime superstar known as Stormzy (full name Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Junior) made history on Friday when he became the first black solo artist to headline Glastonbury.

In a towering performance, the rapper, who was named best Grime Act at the 2014 and 2015 MOBO Awards, also became the second youngest performer to headline the festival (he is 25; David Bowie was 24 when he performed in 1971) when he took to the legendary Pyramid stage .

Clad in a stab vest, Stormzy tore through politics, racism and Britain’s ever-growing knife crime problem in an electrifying performance. His vest was emblazoned with a Union Jack, daubed on in white paint. The reclusive street artist Banksy later confirmed that he had created the vest especially for the performance. “I made a customised stab-proof vest and thought - who could possibly wear this? Stormzy at Glastonbury,” he wrote on his official Instagram account.

At one point during his set, Stormzy helped hammer home the effect of casual racism when he invited a black ballet dancer to join him on stage – after all, it was only this year that dancers have been able to get ballet shoes in a flesh tone other than Caucasian.

However, despite a powerful performance that drew the support of fellow artists Adele and Drake, Stormzy was not the only one who earned applause. Joining him onstage was British sign language interpreter, Tara Asher, whose job it was to ensure that deaf festival goers could understand the lyrics.

As one of only four interpreters in the UK who specialise in grime, Asher practised each song for one full day, to keep apace with Stormzy during his rapid-fire delivery.

Updated: June 30, 2019 07:32 PM

SHARE

SHARE