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 dancehall-infused 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 no- bulls**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 cake-decorating. 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.
Buy: Her ‘Real Ting’ Mixtape is out now
Live: London Tape (April 6)
For Fans Of: Rihanna, Lil Kim