20 Jan Stormzy continues to pave the way with #MERKY and Atlantic Records deal
Stormzy has made a major move with the announcement of his own record label – #MERKY Records.
#MERKY Records will partner with Atlantic Records UK, with the MOBO winner releasing details via his Instagram on Friday 19 January, describing the event as the “beginning of a new chapter”.
He continued with with: “Looking forward to delivering more music, more bodies of work and to start developing and working on new talent on the #MERKY roster. Let’s work.”
#MERKY Records is another demonstration of the infrastructure Stormzy is bringing to the UK urban music scene. His chart-topping debut album, Gang Signs and Prayer, shifted a shade under 70,000 copies in its first week and his since achieved Gold-certification, clearing well over 100,000 units en route to becoming the first grime album to go number one. At the time, it became the most-streamed album in UK chart history.
‘Big For Your Boots’ has since gone platinum, while ‘Blinded By Your Grace Pt 2 (feat. MNEK)’ provided his third top-10 hit, alongside the legendary freestyle that was ‘Shut Up’.
That freestyle, which also featured Michael Dapaah and members of Section Boyz in the video, has since racked up over 70 million views and charted at #8 back in 2016, unheard of for a grime track, let alone a freestyle. Its incredible success was one of the first demonstrations of a grime artist putting a video out on his own YouTube channel, ‘StormzyTV’, and that video taking off without many prior subscribers, as opposed to releasing it on a big channel like VEVO, Link Up TV, GRM Daily or SBTV.
There are benefits to both using established platforms and doing things independently, but Stormzy showed that it is possible to do it without major support, provided you’re willing to go out and create that buzz on your own.
He is also due to announce the line-up for the second edition of his #MERKYFestival in Ibiza, having brought out a stellar cast last year that included J Hus, Mist, MoStack, Jaykae and Kenny Allstar. The festival took place at the popular Ibiza Rocks, with this year’s version looking equally unmissable.
J Hus and Dave are among those to join Stormzy as BRIT Award nominees in 2018, another rare feat, but also one that pushes the UK urban music scenes boundaries and provides much-needed infrastructure to help it reach new levels.
Max Lousada, CEO of Warner Music UK, the parent company to Atlantic Records, described Stormzy and #MERKY as being a ‘cultural force’, alluding to the impact #MERKY records is likely to have in the near future.