Stella Mwangi. Image courtesy of the artist.

Stella Mwangi: Hip-Hop Saved My Life as an African Growing Up in Norway

The Kenyan-Norwegian rapper speaks about the Hollywood hustle, the potential of East African music and what she's dropping next.

If it seems like Stella Mwangi is everywhere these days, that's understandable. It's nearly impossible to see all the rings she's throwing her hat into: her songs are getting featured in Hollywood and across commercials, films and movie trailers.

There's a reason why it's possible to stay on such a grind, to make it work after more than a decade in the rap game, and that's an underlying theme with much of what the Kenyan-Norwegian artist, who also goes by STL, does. She's charged with an incomprehensible current that would have burned out other artists. Even as I caught up with her, she was hours away from taking a flight to the filming of a reality cooking competitions in Norway.

So what is on deck for Stella Mwangi? As it turns out, seemingly everything.

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20 More Days. Image via Facebook.

6 Kenyan Rock Bands You Need In Your Life

Featuring Rish, Crystal Axis, Simply Tomas, Dove Slimme, 20 More Days and Murfy's fLaw.

You know what the best aspect of the Nairobi's musical identity is? It can't be boxed into some artistic corner; no one can point to any singular sound and define it as the definitive style of the 'Green City.' Such is the case with the Nairobi rock scene, one that has an utterly devoted following; no filler or bullshit. Nairobi rock has long had its own little niche, carving out an identity in a city that has a particular soft spot for such unique voices. That's Nairobi rock in a nutshell, enough with the superlatives; this is no frills rock music: take it or leave it. Without further adieu, here are the 6 Kenyan rock acts that you will rapidly develop an obsessive addiction to.

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Emmanuel Jal & Nyaruach Take Afrobeat to South Sudan in Their Album 'Naath'

Emmanuel Jal collaborated with his sister Nyaruach, who's currently living in the Kakuma refugee camp, for this new full-length.

There's a lot you can say about Emmanuel Jal, his story is one of almost unparalleled narrative. Jal was a child soldier in South Sudan-turned-refugee, he later became a rapper and has now turned into an internationally-recognized spokesman for human rights. At his core, however, Emmanuel Jal (38) is still just a man making music; a ball of some strange creative energy that has to find release.

His latest album, Naath, released back in June 20 to coincide with World Refugee Day, is something slightly outside the box for him. This is a family affair, made with contributions for his sister Nyaruach, who currently resides in the Kakuma refugee camp in Turkana county, Kenya. OkayAfrica caught up with both Emmanuel Jal and his sister Nyaruach to talk about the Naath album, their first collaborative full-length record, the core of music and why creativity is vital to everyone.

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