Sunday, April 13, 2008


"Let me be different. Let me be that person your not use to hearing...I got to the point, between the last album and this album, where I stopped apologizing for being the person that I am. I feel I owe it to the people to be 100% honest in my lyrics. I'm just satisfied with who I am, and who I'm turning out to be." -- Estelle

Armed with soulful ballads, a dose of British charm and the humility of a star on the rise, Atlantic/Homeschool Records new artist Estelle welcomed Detroiters into her heart and Detroiters welcomed her into theirs, giving us a taste or just a “touch” of her slow and easy like molasses voice with a twang. When I first heard the hit single “American Boy” ft. Kanye West off her soon to be released album, “Shine”, my neck twitched, tilting side to side, feet tapping subconsciously while my conscious mind contemplated, “Hmm, do I really like this song?” It didn’t take me long to overcome and bury my small kernel of doubt. This is the “American” girl and first artist endorsed by and signed to John Legend’s record label Homeschool Records after all. The more Hot 102.7FM boasted about her talents and her upcoming performance and introduction to Detroit on Friday, April 11, 2008, the more she intrigued me. Though Estelle released self-created “18th day” under V2 Records in London, her second album promises to be a sensually tasty treat laced with funk, soul and reggae from artist and producer collaborations such as Kanye West, Swizz Beatz, Wyclef Jean,, Mark Ronson and Cee-lo & Jack Splash.

"Her sound is a unique blend of hip hop, pop, reggae and soul,”
explains Legend. “She has a special voice, unlike any other voice out there in mainstream music, and she can really write. She writes hip lyrics with unforgettable melodies. I recognized that in her when I first worked with her in 2004." He continues, "I'm excited and honored to have Estelle as the first artist on my label, Homeschool Records. I believe the world is going to fall in love with her album, as I already have. Estelle is an amazing talent, and she's going to do big things."

Detroit’s movers and shakers, some I knew and surprisingly many I didn’t recognize packed into the second floor of Grand Central Lounge (Harmonie Park, Downtown Detroit), waiting patiently while sipping on array of drinks from the custom bar (including specialty promotional drinks courtesy of Absolut), buzzing with anticipation.

“How much longer before she performs?” I asked Estelle’s DJ and my personal friend from London, DJ Smashrelly (though the promoter that evening was a personal friend as mine as well, DJ Smashrelly placed me and my boyfriend on his guestlist to come down to hear her perform and to finally meet him in person after all these years.) I couldn’t wait to rock out to “American Boy” but something told me that she didn’t need Kanye to carry her music and the rest of the songs from her arsenal would stir in me the same hyped feeling. And I was pleasantly blessed with "Wait A Minute (Just A Touch)", produced by Swizz Beatz, another surefire hit.

Sue me for thinking that Grand Central would have faster food service and that my boyfriend’s salmon would actually be fully cooked. So we unfortunately only caught a song or two toward the end of her performance but the vibe in the room was unanimous, Estelle was a hit! Her stage presence and improvisational style combined with the synergy of her backup singers and her band (featuring DJ Smashrelly) provided the crowd with an passionate live performance reminiscent of her influences Ella Fitzgerald as well as Mary J. Blige and has been compared to Lauryn Hill.

If this is what a genuine original mix of music sounds like, Estelle is that unique infusion your not use to hearing ---- the type of artist that has all but disappeared from mainstream music today. Look for her album to drop on Friday, April 29th.

Estelle ft.Kanye West - "American Boy"


Estelle - Shine

1 comment:

A Tru Gentleman said...

I've heard a lot good things about this artist. It's time for something new in music. She may just be the artist that can breathe life into today's monotonous music industry. I wish her the best.