Our Writers

Aster “Astu” Mengesha


Aster “Astu” Mengesha, the founder/editorial director of Stay Down, is an Ethiopian-American blogger and self-proclaimed social entrepreneur. She holds a BA in IR and a Master’s degree in Public Policy with a concentration in migration policies.  Along side her occasional blogging and hookah sessions she works in management consulting at a big four firm.

Aster launched SD, initially, to connect with urban entrepreneurs in her city and has since expanded to include entries on music, life, and current events. Her interests include: all things diaspora, hosting brunches, and listening to podcasts. While the posts are inconsistent the desire for real connections isn’t feel free to reach out.

Please note the Stay Down Blaze Up has rebranded and is now #StayDown.

Connect with Astu: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


Dequan Huggins 

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Dequan Huggins is 24 years old, and the music analyst of Stay Down Blaze Up. Dequan was born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia. He graduated from Old Dominion University after studying political science.

Dequan is an avid listener of various types of music. Known for having a good ear for music, he began writing reviews in 2011 in his spare time between his studies. When Dequan is not writing, most likely, he is debating current issues and topics in music, or DJing. Dequan aspires to bring his readers closer to artists through interviews and personal interactions. Through his interactions with artist, and his good take on music and culture, Dequan hopes to make Stay Down Blaze Up your number 1 option for everything music.

Connect with Quan: Facebook | Twitter 

Kendra Alleyne11053163_10206171781110003_2347549099063687068_n

Kendra Alleyne is 24 years old and is a contributor to Stay Down Blaze Up. Kendra was born and raised in Lynchburg, Virginia. She graduated from Liberty University in May of 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing a law degree at Campbell University in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Having a passion for media as it relates to law, Kendra hopes to help fulfill the vision of SDBUP by providing credible information to upcoming businessmen and women as they pursue their careers through interviews and stories.

In her spare time Kendra can be found taking pictures, reading the latest suspense novels or catching up on the news.

Connect with Kendra: Facebook | Instagram

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