Stormzy on Alec Boateng at the A&R Awards: Read the artist’s heartfelt speech in full


reported earlier today, the event had some very special moments, as well as a typically glittering string of nominees and winners.

The finale of the evening will live long in the memory of the more than 500 VIP guests who attended.

Alec Boateng was awarded the Sir George Martin Award, which recognizes a contemporary A&R figure who has not only achieved success in the major league industry, but has also earned the trust, respect and sympathy of the creative music community.

Boateng, the co-chair of 0207 Def Jam, has definitely adapted to this bill, a fact that was firmly established overnight by a certain Michael Omari, aka Stormzy.

Stormzy has placed her trust in Boateng for years when it comes to creative decision advice.

Exactly how much faith was acutely described by Stormzy in his welcoming speech to Boateng on stage.

Here is the speech in full.

I could start introducing this person with a list of all his stats and achievements and multi-platinum plaques and all the other stuff in the industry.

Or I could rattle off the names of all the amazing artists he helped develop and lead to success.

Or I could highlight his journey as a young DJ putting mixtapes together with MCs he knew from his area to become the president of a legendary, culture-defining record label.

It kept me focused on the most important parts of being an artist. From him I learned that my greatest power is to marry my truth with my music.

It allowed me to be the true version of myself.

And it helped me to be the best version of myself.

It gave me the freedom to create, explore, go beyond, try, fail and express myself.

He challenged me to be better than I was because he knew who I could be.

He challenged me to be brave and taught me to care about my art.

He saw potential and purpose in me that not many people could see.

There is no one who has taught me more about life and music, and there is no way I will become the man you see standing in front of you today without his guidance.

It’s so much more than my A&R and mine [label] President. He is my guide, my protector, my mentor and my brother.

There are times when I’m out for a walk at 6am, I listen to demos and call him all excited to tell him about an idea for some improvisation I have, and I can tell that he just woke up and that he is tired but he will answer me however with a lot of encouragement and attention.

We talk about music and ideas and art and life, and more ideas, and more music, every single day. He gives me his undivided time, care, love and effort.

He has dedicated his life to making artists like me and many, many others become the best versions of themselves that they can be. Whatever it is. At any cost.

This man is a legend and this speech doesn’t even give you full understanding of how he best served culture and was in the full service of music and art.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you could all stand up and give a big round of applause to this year’s Sir George Martin Award winner, Alec Boateng.Music business around the world


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