Rizzle Kicks star Jordan Stephens will dig into ‘fear and trauma’ in new book

Rizzle Kicks star Jordan Stephens is set to dig into “fear, tenderness and trauma” as part of a new book.

The 32-year-old hip hop musician and actor will make his non-fiction debut with Avoidance, Drugs, Heartbreak And Dogs, which will also touch on his experience with concentration condition attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Stephens has been open in the past about experiencing anxiety, as well as struggling with drink and drugs.

Invictus Games 2014 – Day Five
Rizzle Kicks on stage (Jonathan Brady/PA)

He has previously released the illustrated book The Missing Piece, with illustrator Beth Suzanna, which was nominated for a Waterstones Children’s Book Prize award.

Stephens said: “(This is the) hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m glad I have. I’ve written what I wished there was more of.

“The dream is for the words to outlive me. Thank you to my agents and Canongate for getting on board with the way I wanted to write and encouraging it.”

His new book asks if “love is claustrophobic and conflicting” and if we have been chasing “addictions to drugs, drink, sex and chaos”.

“Stephens found his teens and twenties a whirl of career success and nurturing friendships but also a brutal pattern of self-harm, hedonism, destructive coping mechanisms and heartbreak,” the publisher Canongate say.

The book promises to dig “into the fear, tenderness and trauma he carried in his body and mind, and the confusing assumptions of what a young man should be” before discovering what it means to be a man.

Rights were bought by Canongate editor-at-large Francis Bickmore from United Agents following a “heated auction”, the publisher said.

Mr Bickmore said: “Jordan writes with his heart on his sleeve and his sights set on the full unguarded truth.

“Written with electrifying style and unflinching candour, this is one man’s journey through the stereotypes of gender and the superpowers and super-perils of living with ADHD.

“This is a welcome addition to the canon of memoirs exploring how to stay sane in a maddening world. Fasten your seatbelts, Jordan pulls no punches.”

TV rights were sold to production company Watford & Essex, which was launched in 2020 by Emma Frost and Matthew Graham – who have been involved in projects such as period drama The White Queen and time travelling show Life On Mars, respectively.

Stephens is one of half of duo Rizzle Kicks along with Harley “Sylvester” Alexander-Sule.

They had a number one song Heart Skips A Beat, also featuring Olly Murs, along with hits When I Was A Youngster, Mama Do The Hump and Down With The Trumpets.

Stephens also co-founded the I Am Whole mental health movement, which led to a Channel 4 special involving musicians Kojey Radical, Arlo Parks and Che Lingo and held a Roundhouse event for the campaign which saw performances from Ed Sheeran.

Avoidance, Drugs, Heartbreak And Dogs will be published in August.