Un­der The Radar

Ris­ing MC who wants to be “a mega, mega star”

NME - - CONTENTS -

“As a fe­male rap­per you have to be bossy”

Tough, Ta­lented and about to take over, Stephanie allen is your new favourite Moschino-clad, rain­bow-haired, tee­to­tal rap­per. “I don’t want to sound like any­one,” she states of her fiery brand of dance­hallinfused hip-hop, which ca­su­ally landed on an un­sus­pect­ing Bri­tish pub­lic last year via her in­tox­i­cat­ing, in-your-face mixtape ‘Real Ting’, which fea­tures the ir­re­press­ibly badass sin­gle ‘16 Shots’. “as a fe­male rap­per you have to be bossy with it,” she ex­plains of her nob­ulls**t, fe­males-first stance, which fol­lows in the feisty foot­steps of lil’ Kim and nicki Mi­naj. But she’s not just here to en­ter­tain; she’s here to in­spire: “I want peo­ple to hear me and feel like they can be bold as well.”

Cur­rently an es­sex girl, she was one of seven sib­lings born in Birm­ing­ham to Ja­maican par­ents. Raised in hol­land on a diet of MTV Base and the reg­gae her folks played around the house, she headed back to the uk in her teens and fol­lowed school with short-lived stints in hair­dress­ing and cakedec­o­rat­ing. one day she de­cided to ditch the bleach and ic­ing and take mu­sic se­ri­ously as a ca­reer op­tion. “That’s when I found my sound,” she ex­plains. “I was sing­ing R&B be­fore I was rap­ping and I never re­ally en­joyed it. But when I started rap­ping I was like, ‘This is sick, I’m ac­tu­ally alright at rap­ping!’”

Since then there’ve been col­lab­o­ra­tions with giggs, Wretch 32 and lethal B, and am­bi­tions for the fu­ture are high. When asked where she sees her­self in five years’ time, St­ef­flon don has no time for false mod­esty. “def­i­nitely a mega, mega star,” she grins. “Some­one who has the most gram­mys ever known to mankind.” Roll on 2022.

Leonie Cooper

Ri­hanna LIL’ Kim When she was nine, St­ef­flon Don recorded her first rap fea­ture with a Dutch artist who was mates with her dad. “It sounded like ‘Hard Knock Life’ by Jay Z,” she says.

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