NME apologise to Stormzy for using him as 'poster boy' for 'depression cover' without permission

NME magazine have been forced to grovel to grime rapper Stormzy after he lashed out at them for using his image for a story on depression without his consent.

The London rapper, who has spoken openly about his battle with depression, criticised the magazine for making him a ‘poster boy’ and exploiting the topic to ‘shift copies’.

The front page of the publication features a large image of Stormzy with the headline: ‘Depression: it’s time to talk’ above a smaller paragraph which adds: ‘Wise words from Stormzy, Gaga, Bastille and more.’


After seeing the copy, Stormzy launched into a series of tweets claiming the NME didn’t seek his permission to place him on the cover.

‘You lot are a bunch of real life f****** p*********. Proper d********. We’ve had a good relationship before this, why do you think it is kool [sic] to use my me [sic] as a poster boy for such a sensitive issue without permission?’ he wrote, and later deleted.

‘You lot have been begging me to be on your cover and you go and do it in the biggest p********, sly way possible. Bunch of f****** paigons.’

Responding to Stormzy through the NME’s official Twitter account, editor Mike Williams said: ‘Hi Stormzy, Editor Mike here. I’m sorry that you didn’t know your image would be our cover. Our intentions were only positive.

‘We were inspired by your words and wanted to use them as a springboard to talk about depression and how it shouldn’t be taboo.

‘We spoke to CALM and YoungMinds in order to make sure the advice we were giving people was on message with how they advise and we spoke to other people with a profile to gather their stories and advice too.’

He added: ‘We used your image as we felt it would resonate most with our readers, and I can only apologise again that you didn’t know. Our only intention was to raise awareness of an issue that we’ve been inspired to talk about following your comments.

‘I’m really sorry this has happened. We’re a free magazine and were not trying to shift copies, just talk about something important.’

Last month, Stormzy spoke to Channel 4 News about depression, telling them he wanted to help others.

He said: ‘For a long time I used to think, soldiers don’t go through that.

‘Strong people in life, the bravest, the most courageous people, they don’t go through that. They just get on with it… and that’s not the case.’


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