Stormzy and Spotify welcomed fans to join him aboard #Merky Airways...

Yesterday saw Stormzy celebrate his 25th birthday, and decided to throw his biggest bash yet by inviting a plane full of family, friends and fans to join him at a luxury villa in Menorca for a pool party packed with performances and games.

The ambitious endeavour was fuelled by Spotify Premium who used their data to identify the South Londoner’s biggest fans and then invited them to board #Merky Airways for a return flight with Stormzy and a whole cast of UK heavyweights.

Clash were invited to board the flight, and have returned with the following five points to report…

1. Stormzy isn’t afraid to have fun
While many artists like to maintain their cool at all times, Stormzy isn’t afraid to look like he’s having fun. From the moment #Merky Airways took flight Big Mike - in heart shaped sunglasses and a #Merky visor - was cracking jokes over the plane’s PA system and interacting with friends, family and fans alike.

In an industry that often takes itself too seriously, it’s an important reminder that there’s nothing wrong with loosening up and having fun.

2. The #Merky team are dedicated to detail
From #Merky Airways’ factor 50 suncream, to a safety video starring Stormzy himself, everything throughout the day was meticulously branded by Stormzy’s team. These additions added to the fan experience, and brought the concept of #Merky Airways to life.

We just wonder what it was like for unwitting holidaymakers turning up at Stanstead and discover the surreal scene: a queue of the UK’s biggest rappers standing around waiting for their #Merky Airways flight to board…

3. Plenty of big names showed up to celebrate
#Merky Aiways’ first flight wasn’t short of notable passengers - Lethal Bizzle soundtracked the flight with his Bluetooth speaker - and as a result the party included some impromptu performances from some slightly waved UK heavyweights.

DJ Manny Norte expertly coaxed the performances out of those in attendance with his song selections. Highlights included Stormzy’s performing ‘Cold’, Krept & Konan with ‘Wo Wo Wo’, Avelino’s ‘So Fine’, Big Shaq’s ‘Man’s Not Hot’ and Not3s’ performance of ‘Addison Lee’ with the help of Maya Jama.

Instagram comedian Shiggy - the creator of the current viral dance challenge that has assisted Drake’s ‘In My Feelings’ in its dominance of the US Billboard chart - also showed up and performed #DOTHESHIGGY in person. Other attendees included AJ Tracey, Ramz, Ms Banks, JayKae and Yungen.

4. Stormzy doesn’t have fans, he has supporters
“I see everybody here as my family,” Stormzy declared as he cut into a giant cake recreation of the villa, complete with a mini Stormzy sunbathing by the pool. “I don’t call you lot fans, I see you as supporters. You lot deserve to share this, you put me in this position through listening to my music and coming to my shows. The supporters that are in the building, you lot are family just as much as my real family.”

With 3.3 million listeners currently on Spotify, he’s got one hell of a family around him. Stormzy remains humble and is warming and appreciative with his fans, making time for everyone throughout the already busy day.

5. Spotify are proving a big commitment to UK music
The concept of taking a chartered flight to an island to throw a birthday party in a private villa sounds like something that we’d quickly associate with a US superstar over one of our homegrown heroes. So it’s good to see Spotify Premium showing a continued commitment to British music by funding events like this.

It also demonstrates how they’re able to use their unique data to build fan experiences, connecting music streaming habits with the real world. Stormzy’s birthday bash feels like a statement of what’s to come from the streaming giant, as well as inspiring other UK acts to keep thinking bigger.

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Words: Grant Brydon

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