Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Stormzy opens up about rekindled romance with Maya Jama: ‘We were just living la vida loca’

The ‘Love Island’ presenter and British rapper were together for four years before they split in 2019. In August, it was revealed the pair are back together

Ellie Muir
Thursday 16 November 2023 16:22 GMT
Comments
Maya Jama becomes new face of Rimmel London makeup

Stormzy has said that a “lapse of judgement” led to him and his girlfriend Maya Jama getting caught by the paparazzi on their not-so-secret holiday in August.

The Love Island presenter, 29, and British rapper, 30, dated for four years before they split up in 2019. But in August, it was revealed that the pair had rekindled their relationship when they were spotted holidaying together in Hydra, Greece.

In a new interview with British Vogue, Stormzy said that when he and Jama reunited, they initially aimed to keep the relationship private.

“We were so public the first time round,” he told writer and author Afua Hirsch in the interview.

“Somewhere down the line my spirit started resisting… So I’m not gonna speak on it,” he insisted.

However, weeks later – after he and Jama had been spotted by the paparazzi and Jama had even posted a video of the British rapper on her Instagram Stories – Hirsch quizzed him again.

“We were just living la vida loca,” Stormzy said of the Greek holiday snaps. “Lapse of judgement for an hour!”

In August, fans of the pair put their investigative skills to work when they noticed that the background in each of their holiday pictures had a striking similarity and that they were in fact holidaying together in the same villa in Greece.

On 7 October, Jama officially confirmed their relationship on Instagram, filming Stormzy – full name Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Jr – as he welcomed her home from a long work trip to Fiji. Jama had been in the country filming the new Love Island spinoff called Love Island Games, which she presents.

Stormzy greeting Maya after she returns home from filming ‘Love Island Games’ (Instagram via @mayajama)

In the clip, Stormzy is seen excitedly holding up two handmade signs, one that reads “Maya Jama #1 fan” and another that appears to show a hand-drawn portrait of Jama wearing a red dress in her recent campaign for Dolce and Gabanna that was released in September.

Stormzy holds the signs in the air by the door to his car, waving them at Jama as she approaches him. From behind the camera, Jama exclaims: “You are so cute! Thanks! Put it down now… I’m shy.”

The former couple first met at the Red Bull Culture Clash festival in October 2014 and began dating the following January. Both were just beginning their careers – Jama as a TV and radio presenter, Stormzy as a rapper with his hit freestyle “Shut Up. While neither star commented directly on the reason for their 2019 split, both of them have commented how “young” they were at the start of their romance the first time around.

Maya Jama and Stormzy photographed in 2017 (Getty Images)

“We were so young when we met, just beginning our careers,” Jama told The Sunday Times in January. “I was starting at MTV. He’d not even released a single at that point. We were just little babies.”

Jama said that, at the time when Stormzy’s career was rapidly growing, she worked hard to be known as more than “Stormzy’s girlfriend”.

“I’m not naive to the fact that when you are a woman in the industry, most of the things that people want to talk about are your relationships,” she said. “It’s different for men. I’d seen that happen to other people.”

“I don’t think either of us knew it was going to be such a big thing,” she added. “We were just: we’re young and in love and we’re going to go for it and work really hard. We’re just together. We never really did red carpets. We didn’t do any of that stuff.”

However, now the power couple can celebrate a certain level of parity in their relationship: they have both been British Vogue cover stars.

Maya Jama says she and Stormzy can hang their British Vogue covers on the wall together (@mayajama via Instagram)

Reacting to Stormzy’s social media post in which he announced the news that he is the first solo man to grace the cover of the magazine in its 137-year history, Jama alluded to her starring moment on the cover of British Vogue for its 2023 issue.

“Now we can hang both our covers on the wall,” she wrote.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in