Photo Credit: Elliot Kennedy
Stefflon Don is a Jamaican-British musician that is gaining fame from her various hit songs and for her personality. The up-and-coming British rapper has already succeeded where others haven’t. Stefflon Don broke into the American market by merging her Caribbean and hip-hop background with the UK grime she grew up with. Due to this, Stefflon can connect with listeners in hip-hop, dancehall, R&B, grime, and house music. Don is unapologetic in her culture and womanhood.
Don was born on December 14, 1991 as Stephanie Allen in Birmingham, England. When she was five, her family moved to the Netherlands. Stephanie had a love for music since she was young. She wrote music and even recorded a song with a rapper called Unique. Stephanie had her first taste of the studio when she was only nine-years-old, and throughout much of her teenage years she rapped with her other seven siblings. At 14, Stephanie returned to England to study at St. Thomas More. When Stephanie was 18, she started blending singing and rapping together. She spent several years perfecting her skill before attempting to release music.
In 2015, Stefflon released a cover of Wretch 32’s “Six Words” and Section Boy’s “Lock Arff.” Quickly afterward, many artists from the UK were interested in working with her. This included Angel’s “Hop On,” Lethal B’s “Wobble Remix,” and Sneakbo’s “Work Remix.” Later that year, Don made her first feature in American music with Jeremih’s “London” and Lil Yachty’s “Better.” The following year, many others in the music industry took note of Stefflon and her growing fan base and she eventually signed a publishing deal with Sony. On December 16, 2016, Stefflon Don released her first mixtape, Real Ting.
In 2017, Don signed to 54 London, which was a subgroup of Universal Music Group. She then branched off to form her own label, V-IV London. Don was featured on Jax Jones’ “Instruction” along with Demi Lovato. The song pushed Don closer to being noticed by bigger acts and helped her to gain more fans. In August 2017, Don released her single “Hurtin’ Me” featuring rapper French Montana. The track gained Stefflon much notoriety and in January of 2018, the Hurtin’ Me EP was released.
In March of 2018, Stefflon made an appearance in Halsey’s “Alone” featuring Big Sean. This became the first time the artist was on Billboard Top 100. Don also made it into the XXL Freshman Class. This became a highlight for her, proving she could blend in both American and British music scenes. Stefflon Don released her second mixtape, Secure on August 17, 2018. The mixtape features appearances from Sizzla, DJ Khaled, Sean Paul, and more. Singles like “Senseless” and “Pretty Girl” became the leads that made it to various music charts. Listeners can hear the multitude of layers and sounds that are wrapped in Don. Stefflon isn’t afraid of her feminine sexuality. In fact, she seems to embody it. In much of her music, listeners can hear the outspoken cadence of female empowerment. Stefflon Don wants her female listeners to really feel good about themselves.
Stefflon Don has grown her fan base exponentially by releasing videos on YouTube and connecting on other social media platforms. Don has shown that she isn’t afraid of going after what she wants. Listeners can tell that she is a dynamic artist due to the number of successful song collaborations in her catalog. With her impressive tracks and collaborations, listeners will be hearing about Stefflon Don for a while.