Stephanie Victoria Allen, known to close friends and family as “Steff”, is not your typical UK grime artist. She was born in Birmingham, UK to Jamaican parents, moved to the Netherlands when she was five, and returned to the UK at fourteen years old.
Steff’s parents were no strangers to music, her mother used to sing in choirs, while her dad dabbled in some music production. By the time she started rapping, she could speak English, Dutch, and Jamaican patois. Her cultural background is reflected in her music, where she often slips between languages seamlessly. Stefflon Don described her childhood as being relatively uninhibited, which is how she managed to have her first studio session at the age of nine. By the time she was a teenager, she was rapping with her brothers and sisters, and felt at home doing it.
When Stefflon Don finished high school, she was ready to pursue music full-time. She found herself depressed if she wasn’t in the studio and quite literally ate, slept, and bled music. Her first taste of success came in 2015 when she dropped her cover of Wretch 32’s “Six Words.” Her YouTube views began to grow exponentially and she received recognition not just from UK artists, but artists around the world. In 2016, she dropped her Real Ting Mixtape, which featured one of her most popular tracks to date “16 Shots.” This landed her a publishing deal with Sony in 2017. She signed her own label V-IV to Universal Music Group later that same year. Stefflon Don isn’t going anywhere, and she will always rep her culture while climbing the charts.