Stella Mwangi (Norway) 1st Press Conference01 May 2011 at 16:39 CEST
The link to the song is her grandparents, she explains during the opening press conference of the Norwegian entry. "Every time I visit them I notice that they are always smiling and full of life," says the artist, who's been writing and performing music since the age of eight. Accordingly, Haba Haba is a joyful song, I always have to dance when I hear it. I hope to affect the people with it", says bouncy Stella.
She chose to sing the chorus in Swahili because her grandparents don't speak English that well. The idea for the song was born when she was visiting them and complained that her career was taking too long to develop. Her grandparents dryly responded "haba haba, hujuza kibaba," which means "little by little, every step you take, you're one step closer to your goal," explains Stella.
However impatient Stella may be, she's already clocked up some impressive feats: one of her songs is on the soundtrack of the America Pie film franchise, another was used in the CSI: NY television series. The title track from her 2008 debut album "Living for Music" was played in the 14th "America's Next Top Model" season.
Asked if she feels any pressure after Alexander Rybak's Fairytale won the contest last year, Stella shrugs, smiles and denies that: "I'm just happy for the opportunity to be here, to show myself at this event, which is so big." The Norwegian entry's Music Producer Javed Kurd certainly is impressed with her. "I've worked in the Eurovision Song Contest since 1997 and I have the pleasure to say that this is the best first rehearsal that I've ever experienced."