Stormzy reveals Maya Jama break-up made him grow up: ‘It showed me that I was a boy’

Stormzy has opened up on the lessons he learned after splitting from Maya Jama  (Dave Benett)
Stormzy has opened up on the lessons he learned after splitting from Maya Jama (Dave Benett)

Stormzy has spoken about his split from ex-girlfriend Maya Jama – and revealed that their break-up made him grow up.

The rapper, 29, dated the television presenter for four years before they split in 2019, although the Big For Your Boots hitmaker admitted he “made a mistake”.

The Croydon-born singer told GQ the split showed him that he “was a boy” and had much to learn.

“I’d never experienced a break-up and the feelings that come with a break-up,” he said.

“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 rapper, 29, is being honoured at the GQ Men of the Year celebration in association with Boss on Wednesday (Jenny Brough)
The rapper, 29, is being honoured at the GQ Men of the Year celebration in association with Boss on Wednesday (Jenny Brough)

Stormzy went on to explain how he defines success.

“My version of success now requires a man: not just more music and more money,” he said.

“Now it means taking care of my family, having children, having a wife, even understanding marriage and raising kids, and that requires a man.”

His comments came before he is honoured at the 25th annual GQ Men of the Year ceremony in association with Boss on Wednesday.

Stormzy recently opened up about the devastating end of his relationship with Jama on Louis Theroux’s new BBC One interview series.

Stormzy - In pictures

Rapper Stormzy made a political statement appearing on stage in a union jack stab vest (Richard Isaac/Rex Features)
Rapper Stormzy made a political statement appearing on stage in a union jack stab vest (Richard Isaac/Rex Features)
Stormzy performs on stage during the MTV Europe Music Awards 2022 (Getty Images for MTV)
Stormzy performs on stage during the MTV Europe Music Awards 2022 (Getty Images for MTV)
Stormzy attending the European premiere of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PA Wire)
Stormzy attending the European premiere of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PA Wire)
Stormzy celebrating England’s victory over Germany in the Euro 2020 round of 16 match at BOXPARK Croydon in south Londo (PA)
Stormzy celebrating England’s victory over Germany in the Euro 2020 round of 16 match at BOXPARK Croydon in south Londo (PA)
Stormzy at the Black Lives Matter protest rally in Parliament Square, London (PA)
Stormzy at the Black Lives Matter protest rally in Parliament Square, London (PA)
Stormzy poses in the winners room with the awards for Best Male, Best Grime and Best Album at the MOBO Awards at First Direct Arena Leeds in 2017 (Getty Images)
Stormzy poses in the winners room with the awards for Best Male, Best Grime and Best Album at the MOBO Awards at First Direct Arena Leeds in 2017 (Getty Images)
Ed Sheeran and Stormzy perform on stage at The Brit Awards 2017 (Getty Images)
Ed Sheeran and Stormzy perform on stage at The Brit Awards 2017 (Getty Images)
Stromzy on the cover of GQ (Louie Banks/GQ)
Stromzy on the cover of GQ (Louie Banks/GQ)
Stormzy, winner of the Solo Artist of the Year award, and Adwoa Aboah attend the the GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2019 (Dave Benett)
Stormzy, winner of the Solo Artist of the Year award, and Adwoa Aboah attend the the GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2019 (Dave Benett)
Stormzy: Stormzy performs at The BRIT Awards 2018 held at The O2 Arena (Getty Images)
Stormzy: Stormzy performs at The BRIT Awards 2018 held at The O2 Arena (Getty Images)

“My break-up, that was probably the biggest catalyst for growth as a man,” he said. “It was like, ‘OK, you made a mistake and you lose someone you loved, someone you cared for, someone who is special to you’.

“Away from someone passing away, that’s the biggest loss you can have.”

The pair split amid allegations that he had been unfaithful, though at the time an insider said Jama wanted to “focus on her TV and radio career”.

Although he didn’t explain the reasons for the split, Stormzy said he regretted how he had behaved.

“There were other things in terms of mistakes I’d made. I didn’t do what a man should do to fully appreciate, love and care for his woman.”

The December/ January issue of British GQ is available on newsstands and via digital downloads on Tuesday, November 29.