In four years Stormzy has risen from one of the most promising musicians of his generation to a spokesperson for a generation. Rise Up is the story of how he got there. It’s a story about faith and the ideas worth fighting for. It’s about knowing where you’re from, and where you’re going. It’s about following your dreams without compromising who you are.

Featuring never-before-seen photographs, lyrics and contributions from those closest to him, Rise Up is the #Merky story, and the record of a journey unlike any other.

Stormzy says: ‘When I was in school I fell in love with literature and looking back it’s safe to say that this was the start of a life-long journey with words, poetry and writing. I read books religiously and often wrote poems which were undeniably setting me up for a career as a songwriter and a rapper. We’ve created #Merky Books for many reasons, the first simply for it to be a reference point for talented young writers to say “I can be an author” and for that to be a feasible and realistic achievement and not something in the distance. We hope this imprint will instil belief and ambition in young writers, making publishing seem less prohibitive and making the dream of being a published author a reality. We want #Merky Books to be a source of confidence and I look forward to publishing writers from all different walks of life, especially those who may have never had the opportunity to get into the industry so early.’

In addition, Rise Up and #Merky Books launches with a world premiere event, featuring Stormzy in conversation with Akala, and special guests Malorie Blackman, Benjamin Zephaniah, Chelsea Kwakye, Ọrẹ Ogunbiyi and Jude Yawson, at the Barbican on 7 November. It will include performances by Caleb Femi and Bridget Minamore in a spoken word showcase curated by Stormzy and Apples and Snakes. Group discounts for school and youth groups available.

Stormzy is a musician from Thornton Heath, south London. He won the BBC Music Award for ‘Artist of the Year’ in 2017, and received two Brit Awards for ‘Male Solo Artist’ and ‘Best Album’ in February 2018. His debut album, Gang Signs & Prayer, went straight in at number one in the UK album charts, the first ever grime album to do so. It was subsequently nominated for the prestigious Mercury Music Prize and also won the Ivor Novello ‘Album Award’ in May 2018. Stormzy lives in London.