Stormzy admitted he became “depressed and withdrawn” while making his debut album, which he described as a “super heavy” experience.
The rapper opened up to Louis Theroux about issues such as his childhood, his love life, his faith and the strained relationship with his father.
The couple met during the first episode of the documentary maker’s new BBC Two series, Louis Theroux Interviews, which aired on Tuesday.
Speaking about producing his debut studio album Gang Signs and Prayer, released in 2017, the 29-year-old said he had been “difficult to deal with” balancing both his personal and professional life.
“I got into music when I was 19 or 20 and I become a man, I grow up,” he said.
“I’m continuing my journey as a man and also trying to figure out how to be the greatest artist.
“(I’m) also in a relationship…and I’m also a family man, a son, a provider and also trying to provide and lead in my community, my people.
“It was very overwhelming and difficult to deal with all these things while I was making an album.
“I would often break down, or get super depressed or super withdrawn or super reclusive and disappear.
“I was just staying home and smoking a lot of weed. It was just an overwhelming feeling of ‘I really can’t handle this’ which was also a new feeling for me because I was still a kid. very capable.
“I would break down, it was super heavy.”
Stormzy revealed that growing up he was stabbed twice and admitted he didn’t fully consider the ramifications of losing multiple friends to violence at a young age.
“(These) things are easy to discuss from the suburbs, from my couch…but it’s still people’s lives and realities,” he told Theroux.
The pair then discussed 2019, which saw Stormzy garnering critical acclaim for her second album Heavy Is The Head and her landmark performance at the Glastonbury Festival.
He also addressed his split from newly announced Love Island host Maya Jama, saying he made “mistakes” during the relationship.
He described breakups as the “greatest catalyst for growth” as well as “the greatest loss a man can suffer”.
Stormzy spoke of the anger he felt towards his father, who left his mother and started a new family before approaching her for favors following his success, but said he now takes a perspective more forgiving,
“I know he’s sorry. I will talk to him,” he said.
As the series continues, Theroux is also expected to bond with other big names in the entertainment industry, including Dame Judi Dench, Rita Ora and Bear Grylls.
The episode with Stormzy comes ahead of the release of the rapper’s new album, This Is What I Mean, slated for November 25.
It comes three years after Heavy Is The Head and follows the release of hit single Mel Made Me Do It last month.
This song was accompanied by a cameo-filled 10-minute music video that featured Theroux, among other famous faces.
Stormzy described recording her new album as “healthy fun” and said there was no “partying with girls and booze”.