How Love Island host Maya Jama and Stormzy recoupled: Inside their relationship history

How Love Island host Maya Jama and Stormzy recoupled: Inside their relationship history

As fans eagerly await the new season of Love Island on Monday night, one of the most captivating love stories connected to the show is that of host Maya Jama and her boyfriend Stormzy.

However, their story didn’t begin on the ITV2 show; in fact, their initial meeting was far from the reality TV spotlight. Yet, their rekindled romance blossomed several months after Maya took on the role of host last January. After a four-year separation and two seasons of Love Island under Maya’s belt, the couple finally confirmed their reunion in October, following months of speculation.

Despite the ups and downs, Maya and Stormzy have managed to find their way back to each other, having spoke about one another in interviews and reminiscing about their early-twenties relationship throughout their time apart.

Here's how Maya and Stormzy became each other’s type on paper again.

How they met

The couple met at the Red Bull Culture Clash Festival in October 2014. At the time, they were relatively unknown—Stormzy had yet to release a single, and Maya was just starting her first MTV presenting gig, The Wrap Up.

“You know, if I’m really honest, I knew I fancied him from the start. But I didn’t want anything yet, because you know, you’re trying to do the whole friend situation at first,” she admitted in a joint 2018 US Vogue interview.

“And then I’d do, like, obvious hints that I fancied him and then take it back because I didn’t know if he definitely liked me. It was a childish phase. Then one day we just kissed and that was that!”

A year after they met, they made their relationship official. That same year, Stormzy's freestyle Shut Up catapulted him to fame, eventually reaching No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart. Simultaneously, Maya's career in broadcasting took off as she hosted shows for BBC Radio 1, appeared as a guest on Keith Lemon’s Celebrity Juice and began fronting beauty campaigns, notably with Aussie Shampoo.

Maya and Stormzy posing for photos at 2017’s Elle Style Awards (Dave Benett)
Maya and Stormzy posing for photos at 2017’s Elle Style Awards (Dave Benett)

Reflecting on that time, she shared during a 2020 appearance on Shopping With Keith Lemon: "We just had a normal relationship. We met when we were like 20 before anyone cared about us.

“So, then it was just a normal relationship. Basically, I always said it was like a normal relationship, but people wanted to look at it more and talk about it more."

In the years that followed, Stormzy’s career continued to thrive, and he dedicated several songs to Maya, including Birthday Girl (2016) and Big For Your Boots (2017), both featuring her in their music videos. Then in 2017, the Croydon rapper expressed his deep affection for her in an interview with The Mirror, stating, “I’m still so young but I want to propose, it’s going to happen and I will do it right. She is so sick, she is the best.”

So when news broke in 2019 that the pair had split, five years after first meeting, fans were left devastated.

Calling it quits

Just days after Stormzy attended her 25th birthday party at an east London bar, Maya deleted all their Instagram posts together and a representative for the star confirmed with media outlets that: “Maya has moved out of their home in south west London. The decision isn't one she has come to lightly, but ultimately the relationship has come to an end. She wants to focus on her TV and radio career for now.”

After their break up, the South London artist released his sophomore album Heavy Is The Head, which seemingly included references to his break up with Maya on the track Lessons, which led to rumours that he had cheated.

Quickly dispelling that narrative at the beginning of 2020, Stormzy shared during an appearance on HOT 97: “If there was a box of what a good woman is, she ticks every one, she’s amazing. But I didn’t cheat on her. I actually didn’t cheat. Don’t get it twisted, I’m still definitely an a***hole. 100%, that’s a fact. I’m an a***hole. But I thought now was a good time to say that I didn’t cheat on my ex.”

The couple pictured in 2017 (Dave Benett)
The couple pictured in 2017 (Dave Benett)

The Vossi Bop rapper also made it no secret that he has wanted to rekindle their relationship in the same interview, when asked if he still loved his ex Maya, he replied: “Yeah, definitely, with all my heart.”

Then in the same year, he also told radio host Charlamagne Tha God: “I’ve never loved anyone how I’ve loved her… I would love to be the man who she needs, I would love to do all the things that make this work. I want to marry her, I want to have her children.”

Time apart

During their four-year separation, Maya moved on, even getting engaged to NBA star Ben Simmons in December 2021 after seven months of dating. However, they parted ways in August 2022, citing their demanding work schedules as the reason. She was even linked to actor Leonardo DiCaprio but denied the reports on her social media, telling fans last April: “move on”.

Aside from her personal life during those years, the TV star launched her own skincare line MIJ, collaborated with Pretty Little Thing and JD Sports, and landed the coveted Love Island presenter role in 2022, fronting her first series last January.

Meanwhile, Stormzy focused on his music following his headline Glastonbury set and released his Brit Awards nominated This Is What I Mean in 2022. However, three whole years after their break up, he was still releasing music that may not have directly referenced Maya, but supposedly was inspired by her.

His second single, Firebabe, which is about the power of that first initial spark when you meet someone you like, featured telling lyrics: "She was standin’ in her dress, And she was lookin’ like an angel, Her eyes took away my breath.”

That same year, Stormzy was still talking about their breakup, saying it was “probably the biggest catalyst” for his growth as a person. Appearing on an episode of Louis Theroux Interviews... in October 2022, he shared: “It was like, OK, you made a mistake and you lose someone you loved, someone you cared for, someone who is special to you. That’s probably the biggest loss a man can have, isn’t it? Away from someone passing away, that’s the biggest loss you can have.”

Stormzy opened up about his split from Maya to Louis Theroux in 2022 (BBC/Mindhouse)
Stormzy opened up about his split from Maya to Louis Theroux in 2022 (BBC/Mindhouse)

He also revealed he “didn’t do what a man should do to fully appreciate love, and care for his woman.”

It wasn’t only the MOBO winner who opened up about their split during their time apart but Maya who said that neither she nor Stormzy fully understood the significance of their relationship to fans.

Reflecting on their time together, she told British Vogue in August 2023: “None of us really knew the level of importance it held to a certain group of people, us being together. We were both super ambitious. We were both from similar upbringings and we were both just little grafters that have made something good of ourselves. It was lovely when it was lovely, and then you move.”

Despite alluding that she moved on, it seemed that there was still a spark between them.


Speculation about the pair rekindling their romance began swirling after they were spotted at his headline gig at All Points East festival in East London during the August bank holiday. A week later, eagle-eyed fans 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 Hydra, Greece. Shortly after, paparazzi snapped photos of the two holding hands on their not-so-secret holiday.

The couple then finally confirmed their relationship last October following months of reports when Jama posted an adorable Instagram story of Stormzy picking her up from the airport after she wrapped up filming the Love Island spin-off, Love Island Games.

The couple confirmed they had got back together last October (Instagram/Maya Jama)
The couple confirmed they had got back together last October (Instagram/Maya Jama)

In the post, the musician sweetly held a banner that read "Maya Jama #1 Fan" alongside a picture of her with red hair from her Dolce & Gabbana campaign. From behind the camera, she could be heard saying: “You are so cute! Thanks! Put it down now… I’m shy.”

The following month, they marked their first public appearance together attending British Vogue's Forces for Change party. Despite their tumultuous past, Maya and Stormzy have effortlessly regained their status as London’s power couple.