Thornton Heath grime star Stomzy hit out at music magazine NME for using his image on the front of the latest issue that focuses on depression.

The musician, who has previously opened up about his own battle with the mental health illness, accused the publication of exploiting the topic to “shift copies”.

He added they had ‘begged’ him to feature on the cover and said the magazine had used his image without his permission.

This week’s NME, which is out today (Friday, March 17), shows an image of the performer with the phrase, “Depression: It’s Time To Talk” above a smaller paragraph, which adds: “Wise words from Stormzy, Gaga, Bastille and more.”



In a number of tweets from his official account, Stormzy, whose real name is Michael Omari, accused the publication of using him as a “poster boy” for the topic.

He wrote: “@NME You lot are a bunch of real life f****** p****holes. Proper d***heads. We've had a good relationship before this, why do you think it is kool to use my me as a poster boy for such a sensitive issue without permission? You lot have been begging me to be on your cover and you go and do it in the biggest p****hole, sly way possible. Bunch of f****** paigons."

He added: "They've used me on their cover without my permission. Depression is a very very sensitive issue and it's something I've spoken about.

"It is a subject that isn't the easiest thing to speak about. And I've been careful in how I've dealt with it in the media. After I spoke on it I realised how widespread the issue is which made me think ok kool maybe that was the right thing to do at first."

"However using my face as a poster boy for it to sell your magazine is so foul and below the belt I will never respect you lot".

"I should at least have a say in whether my face is used for a campaign. I've no issue with sharing my story but, with my permission!"

He added: "I KNOW it will help others but just imagine a personal battle of yours being published on the front of a magazine without your permission."

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Mike Williams, the magazine’s editor, apologised to the artist on the NME’s official Twitter account.

He wrote: “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 used your image as we felt it would resonate most with our readers.

"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."

Mr Williams added the magazine had spoken to mental health support organisations Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and YoungMinds before publication.

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.”