Otherwise known as Michael Omari, the 21-year-old Croydon-born unsigned artist and MC appeared on the music scene aged 11 when he won rap battles at his local youth club, Rap Academy.
He said of today’s announcement in a BBC interview: “Being in the top three is way more than I could ever ask for. I could never have imagined this…I just want to carry on topping what I’ve done…I think in 2015 I need to go even harder.”
Stormzy added: “I’m one of the proudest south Londoners…You can take a man out of south London, but you can’t take south London out of the man.”
He also thanked fans and followers on Twitter: “Thank you for all your kind words, very humbled and honoured to have come 3rd in the prestigious BBC Music Sound of 2015 list.”
The rapper originally dropped out of college, despite doing well in his GCSE’s, and later had to make the decision between being a project engineer on an oil refinery or a musician.
The self-dubbed “child of grime” now has a YouTube channel with more than 12,000 subscribers. He became the first unsigned rapper to make an appearance on BBC Two’s flagship music show, Later…With Jools Holland last year.
Stormzy also won a MOBO award for best grime act following the release of EP, The Dreamer’s Disease.
Top hits include: Not That Deep, which is about being stopped in the street due to the popularity of his YouTube videos and Storm Trooper ft. TE dness which discusses domestic abuse.
MistaJam, a presenter on BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra, said of the artist: “Lyrically on the top of his game and a real music man at heart; as he manages to be accessible without having to dumb down his content I believe Stormzy will help take Grime culture to a bigger audience without compromise.”
The BBC Music ‘Sound of’ list has been running annually since 2003 and provides the public with an insight into the future of music.
Acts are picked by a panel of impartial experts from the music industry who are “genuine and passionate music fans.”
This year, the pundits, who are not paid for their participation, include critics from The Guardian and Q magazine, music supervisors from TV shows such as Made in Chelsea as well as specialist DJs.
The winner of the number one place on the BBC Sound of 2015 list will be announced on Friday. Other artists featuring in the Top 5 are Atlantan rapper Raury and Island’s spoken word artist George the Poet.