Mwangi Interviews Rap Sensation, STL aka Stella Mwangi

STL’s Music

The Interview

icon for podpress  Mwangi from the Displaced African interviews Stella Mwangi aka STL [32:37m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Things covered in the interview:

1) Her first few years in Norway

2) How did she learn Kikuyu and Kiswahili though she went to Norway when she was 4 years old

3) Who IS Stella Mwangi (STL) ?

4) What were her high school years like?

5) How she got started with music at the age of 8 years old.

6) Her relationship with boys and girls in her high school years

7) How she got her stage name?

8) How she did at school?

9) Did she go to Uni straight after school? What did her parents think?

10) How did people relate to her post high school?

11) How she moved on to music fulltime?

12) First time she was ever on stage

13) Did she have any bad experiences as a singer?

14) How she got to open for international rap stars such as Paul Wall and Busta Rhymes.

15) How she became a star in her native country of Kenya?

16) How she created “Take it back” and met Michelle?

17) How did Kenyans react to her and her music?

18) How she got accepted by Kenyan radio stations?

19) How she won “Most Promising Artist” in the Kisima Awards?

20) The one live show she did in Kenya

21) How her full time music career works?

22) How do people treat her now?

23) Words of advice to anyone immigrating to Norway now

Websites mentioned

1) STL’s Myspace Page

2) Opinions on Melbourne from Children


  • By whome, July 12, 2008 @ 8:59 am

    I feel her on that vibe of, “when you’re abroad – i.e:europe – you really know that you’re black. In africa its like it never even comes up. When you spend a whole day without seeing another black soul and notice everyone looking at you – staring. Its quite hard not to know you’re black. Ent ever heard of her before, but now that I got the heads up, she better be ware coz she’s earned a stalker.

  • By whome, July 12, 2008 @ 9:11 am

    ps. I love the way she still ngoaz (mispronounces words). Despite being bred in Norway. its so hot….

  • By -JIM-, July 12, 2008 @ 1:10 pm

    I thought tDA (Mwangi )and Stella are brothers and sisters until I Listened to the podcast. I don’t know anything about her but I can say she is quite talented. If she read stuff on this blogs, I wish her all the best

    TDA..,Why interview people when they are still high? I assume she had a joint before the interview. On the positive side, her voice sound sexy.

    Btwn, How old is this young lady? I will be stationed in Germany next year, and I hear a bullet train can make it to Norway in 4 hours. I would like to date her.


  • By Mwangi, July 12, 2008 @ 5:01 pm

    @whome and Jim: Lol, you have become stalkers so early. I see the appeal though, she is quite a beautiful self confident girl who is a go getter. Now to answer the messages individually

  • By Mwangi, July 12, 2008 @ 5:03 pm

    @whome: Yeah, I think that is worth an article in and of itself, you don’t realize you are anything other than a human being until you reach a country where you have to exist with people of other nationalities. All of sudden you become aware that there is this race called black/ African descent that has its own history, culture, struggles, prejudices, friends and enemies.
    Lol ! I think you’ll have to form a cue behind Jim to stalk her.

  • By Mwangi, July 12, 2008 @ 5:05 pm

    @whome: You can take the African out of Africa but you can’t take the proclivity to pronounce words like your grandmother out of you. Try saying the word “intricately”, that thing is my David…..and Goliath.

  • By Mwangi, July 12, 2008 @ 5:07 pm

    @Jim: STL is quite talented indeed. She was high because she had just come out of the studio and was still feeding off of that energy. How cool is that? That she is on a high like that every time she leaves work five years later. My hope is that all Africans will get to a place where they are like that every day. I absolutely love her energy, very cool.

    Well you know her Myspace address, so say hello to her and should you eventually date her, send her greetings and thanks from Mwangi from the Displaced African.

  • By whome, July 12, 2008 @ 11:51 pm

    @Jimmy – I think we’ll have to have a dance off for Stl stalking rights.
    @tDA – By the by any chance of some follow up qnz.
    Stl was talking all about how she kept asking and going for what she wanted.
    She must have come across heaps of rejection. How did she deal with it?
    Fear of rejection holds me back in every aspect of my life. Career ambitions, relationships, personal development, spiritual. You name it. Think it’s becoming my life-long task. Conquering that fear.

  • By Mwangi, July 13, 2008 @ 1:59 am

    @whome: As far as I can tell, STL returned to Kenya, got rejected by radio stations, went down for a while, woke up the next day and kept going. I think when what you want is much more compelling and so exciting and so out of reach yet possible that it kinda scares you too, you get strength to push through rejections which seem so small in comparison to the dream you have. If that doesn’t answer the question sufficiently, I can send her an email and ask her specifically how she did it.

  • By rags, July 13, 2008 @ 10:30 am

    I really enjoyed the podcast. Your sound editor rocks.

    I loved your swaliz tho i wished that you had asked more on your field of expertise (how to make it in norway) but that said you did your best and you did a dope jobo.

    How did you get these coolo people on your show? p/s have you gotten to stare at people for 3 mins, and sema NO! like tim semaz in his Q&A sections?

  • By Mwangi, July 13, 2008 @ 4:53 pm

    @rags: I will pass the message on to the sound editor. I do feel kinda guilty that I didn’t ask more questions about the immigrant experience BUT I thought that a lot of the stuff she had to say was so universally applicable and there was so much useful information e.g. how to make sure your children preserve their native tongue in a foreign country that I allowed it to flow.

    STL, I found her myspace page and I just sent her an email and asked her. David Kobia, I read his blog and sent him a message one day. Derrick Ashong who is the next guy stopped by my site after I wrote about him and I asked him for an interview which he accepted. Same thing applies for Kirk Nugent, yup, Mr. Pursue your Passion. It has amazed me how many folks respond well when you just ask.

    As for the comfort exercises, I decided I wouldn’t do them, because I am already very comfortable with going on the 4 hour work week journey and I don’t mind to be pulled out of my shell. To be more specific, I am quite used to telling people no, and there was a period of time where I always looked folks in the eye but now I have retreated back to how I was back in Kenya where we don’t look each other in the eye much.

  • By alex, July 13, 2008 @ 11:23 pm

    i like your article i am very proud of you. keep it up .

  • By Mwangi, July 13, 2008 @ 11:39 pm

    @alex: Glad you liked it. Hope you got something out of it. I intend on keeping it up ;)

  • By Mzeiya, July 14, 2008 @ 10:26 pm

    Good stuff there!!

  • By Mwangi, July 14, 2008 @ 10:38 pm

    @Mzeiya: Glad you liked it. How cool is her outlook on life and on her dream to become an international rap star.

  • By kelitu, July 15, 2008 @ 10:17 am

    The music is different.

    Hopefully, she has a back-up plan to the rap career coz you can’t put all your eggs in one basket, gotta have many irons in the fire.

    Good luck

  • By Mwangi, July 15, 2008 @ 6:23 pm

    @kelitu: I think her focus is entirely on her music career and as someone who is doing “the eggs in one basket” thing myself, I actually like her approach and I encourage it.
    I think we should commit ourselves fully, as she has, to doing one thing and doing it well, when we live in welfare societies that are Western ones as opposed to spreading our attention, focus and power thin over many endevours.
    And so far, Stella has not only gotten by but she has done remarkably well, so I hope she keeps her feet firmly in the music thing……………

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