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21.03.2018 – Stéphane Herzog

Stress, who is 41 years old, is to Swiss rap what Stephan Eicher is to Swiss rock music – he’s just as well-known and identifiable. His seventh album is being released this year. The youthful Stress, who was born on the shores of the Baltic Sea, draws inspiration for the energy of hip hop from rock and not black groove. “I am rock-oriented. I grew up on housing estates in Estonia. There wasn’t much crime because the State were the criminals. We had to queue for toilet paper and bread, and – as there was no alcohol – people drank cologne. What about Lausanne? “It was a safe haven for me,” revealed the rapper in a report on the “La Première” programme broadcast in November 2017.

Stress talks about Switzerland and money with great eloquence and cheeky humour. He was criticised after he made a advert for Coca-Cola. He defended his decision by poking fun at a country that does not like stars. “You’ve sold lots of records? That’s an issue! You worked for Coca-Cola? That’s terrible! When I was 15 years old, drinking a Coca-Cola was the best thing ever,” he explained.

Stress, who has moved to Zurich, is a strong advocate of a multicultural Switzerland. He has voiced this sentiment by aiming some hostile words at the Swiss People’s Party over the years. “There are lots of people with populist opinions in German-speaking Switzerland,” he bemoaned, rebuking fellow rappers. “Some of them do the “juutz”. You can’t do the natural yodel mate! We’re from the urban music scene which is culturally diverse.” A businessman with a social conscience? This could be the oxymoron that best sums up this restless soul.