One Saturday in February 2011 Stella Mwangi (24) went from being an unknown talent to a household name in her home country Norway. After a landslide win in the Norwegian selection to the Eurovision Song Contest, Stella has topped the sales and radio charts fencing off the likes of Lady GaGa and Bruno Mars.
Stella's song Haba Haba marked the commercial breakthrough for the young woman who has been around for some years as a talent to look out for. She had persistently toured and played some of Norway’s biggest festivals when she decided to submit Haba Haba for the Norwegian selection. She was surprised to find out that she was one of the 21 national entries, where she evidently won the third semi final and later won it all.
Her interest in music and hip hop in particular has been with her since her childhood, and as a teenager she had the privilege of being the support act for artists as diverse as Talib Kweli, Busta Rhymes, Flo-Rida, Rick Ross and Angelique Kidjo. In 2005 she performed with the group The Rise in front of Nelson Mandela. Several of her songs have featured in American films and TV series.
The story behind her entry Haba Haba was a vital part of her victory. Like Alexander Rybak’s Fairytale, it was based upon actual events. Having had success in the country where she was born, Kenya, Stella once complained to her grandmother that things did not move fast enough. Grandma dryly told her off by saying Haba haba, Hujaza Kibaba, which is Swahili and means that it’s the little steps in life that’s going to make you happy.
The rest is history and Stella has since featured on all major TV shows and in national magazines. Busy in the studio she is trying to create the same vibe as Haba Haba on her sophomore album. Her first album Living For Music (2008) consisted of Stella rapping, now it’s more focus on singing.
Stella is proud and honored to represent Norway in the ESC 2011 in Düsseldorf.