estelleNowadays, its difficult for artists to make the music they want to make and be able to feed their family.  Estelle is one of those few musicians who digs deep into her heart and soul to create a sound that’s genuine, and that you and I both want to hear.

Remaining true to herself, the West London native is back with her third full-length album, True Romance.  Juggling with the ideas of Passion, Courage, BS, and True Romance, Estelle has created a valuable piece of artwork that captures her pure talent and vocal abilities.  England’s “American Girl” is finally ready to share with fans the music that she has been working on for three full years.

The Grammy award winning singer-songwriter recently chatted with GirlThatsMySong to discuss everything from the concept of her LP to relating to artists like YG and Young Thug.

Get into our full exclusive interview with London’s songbird, Estelle below:

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GTMS: Your album is entitled “True Romance” (in stores February 17th) have you ever experienced “True Romance” before – whether emotionally, mentally or physically?

Estelle: The idea of True Romance that I am talking about is just being cool and comfortable in any relationship on your terms, whether it’s with yourself or another person.   We are always forced into different versions of events, or ideas.  I think most times if you tell somebody, “I been in Love,” it’s a version of events that they understand as what we have been told is love verses “oh no, this is what makes me happy, I am in love, this way.” I think that is kind of what it should be verses he gave me flowers and candy and he never cheats on me.  Yea … Ok.  There is definitely your own way of doing things — if you own and accept it, that’s fine.  So to answer your question, no not really, I am actually on that course now.

GTMS: What is the concept behind the album cover?

Estelle: The album cover was designed by a lady who created a show that I am actually on right now called “Steven Universe” (Rebecca Sugar).  I didn’t want to do a regular picture on the front cover; I wanted to do something that was kind of like an emblem/statement that represented what it was.  It is something that felt like the words’ “True Romance,” instead of it being a picture of me looking wistful with a great hairstyle.  I do curls every once in a while but that’s not really my MO (LOL).  Curls represent romance … probably.  But, I just didn’t want to do the norm.  I wanted something that represented the statement, the era, the energy of “True Romance.”  When I think of romance I think of crisp, I think of 17th century France, I think of beautiful, curls, crystals you know, that sort of stuff.  She designed that picture almost like a crystal for my head.  I just like the design.


GTMS: What producers and songwriters did you really bond with throughout the process of creating this album?

Estelle: I had been trying to do records for so long with Memphis Bleek, but both of our schedules were just ridiculous.  But I finally found myself in Atlanta and we just got in the studio for one night and recorded two records back to back, in the middle of the night.  Sandhu is a songwriter that I just love and is prolific to me.  He helped we write “Silly Girls.”  Then I worked with a producer called D.Smith.  He is a songwriter and he produced “Something Good,” he wrote “Make Her Say,” and it was just pure fun and like “let’s just make some good stuff”.  We just wanted to so what we wanted to do, and that’s what we did.

GTMS: Your last album, “All of Me,” was released in 2012, 3 years ago, what made you decide to put an album out now?  When did you realize that True Romance was finally complete?

Estelle: It takes almost two years for me to record an album; I want to get all the right records and all the good songs.  Immediately after all of me in 2012, I was on the road for 2 years.  So I was recording in that period.  It was not like I was going to sit down, take three months, and just work every day on this new album.  In addition I like to live and feel out what I am writing about.  So it takes two years to write it and get it all together.  In that 2 year period, you set your records up and you’re like “let’s pick.”  If we need to do anymore lets go from this point, and that takes about a year. Then you have to mix it, match it, and do all the artwork, in that period … in a year.  So that’s what takes three years.  It’s a process.  Then I am affectionate, so last year I was still recording bits and pieces and tweaking the records and doing stuff to it and I was like “just leave it now”!  So its a continuum … an ongoing process.  When I start running out of things to write about, that’s when I know it’s complete.  I was like “okay well this is it; I have nothing more to write about there.”  When the creative juice stops is when you should probably stop.  Otherwise it becomes a mess.  Last year summer is when I completed it.  I didn’t want to add anything else to it.

GTMS: Your album is categorized into 4 themes: Passion, Courage, True Romance, and the BS, which one of these themes do you personally relate to the most?

Estelle: Courage because it’s like an everyday thing.  Every day I think for woman, it’s hard sometimes to just get out of bed and start your day without having to deal with (if you have kids) you know children, and someone’s expectations of who you should be as a lady – whether it’s from the media, your parents, your family, your people or who you choose to hang out with.  It’s very hard to just be who you think you should be.  Or to even have a clue as to whom you should think you should be.  So courage is part of that for me, it’s like your defining moments – deciding that you’re going to be a great woman or that you’re going to be this kind of lady and be fine with it.   I’m not here to judge and say you should do this or that, just finding the courage every day to do that, live it and repeat until it doesn’t work for you anymore it takes a lot of courage.



GTMS: What makes Estelle a Conqueror?

Estelle:  My unfailing optimism.  My friends look at me and they say, whenever you get pushed in a corner you always manage to see the good in one part of it.  I might be like “Whelp, Forget that completely, but look, here is what we are going to do.”  I go towards the ones who love me.  I had a recent situation where I was like I don’t really like that.  I am always striving to prove myself in this space.  I don’t care about doing that anymore.  I care about going towards where I am loved or the person that loves me, so that’s what I’m going to do.  My friends are like “you always see the funny side of things.”  Otherwise there is nothing to look at but darkness and black is wonderful to wear but not in perspective.  There is always something great to look at in any situation.  It’s horrible and boring to live angry all the time.  Ugh.

GTMS: On your song, “Silly Girls,” you sing, “I knew that you were bad for me,” do you ever feel like you wasted your time being in a relationship that you knew wasn’t going to last to begin with?

Estelle:  Oh yea, absolutely!  There is one particular guy, when I was back in London, who I dated and it was very you know . . .my energy could never place what was wrong.  I question it and I found out that he had a girlfriend and all kinds of stuff.  I was like “I knew I should have followed my instincts on this one.”  It was definitely very “Being Mary Jane,” minus the kids.  I was like “wait, wait, wait a minute, why didn’t you tell me.”  It was hard because I was wrapped up in emotions and all up in it (the relationship).  I get and understand the story of “Being Mary Jane.”  People will judge and say whatever but it can happen to anyone.  I made a decision even though I knew it was bad, there was something not quite right with it you know.  I dealt with it and I got myself out of it and I handle myself better.  It is very real life for me.  I never write songs or talk about situations that I don’t know about.

GTMS: Are you currently looking for Love?

Estelle: Yea, not actively looking for it, but I’m speaking in the sense of me just having fun.  I’m not out here doing lists or putting ads out, I don’t have time for that.  I am genuinely really busy with work to do all of that right now, that’s like another Instagram page – if I go on eHarmony or monitor how many flirtatious texts I send a week –  that’s like another Instagram to maintain for me and I already maintain my own.  My Instagram is so much work already on top of everything else.  Also I am not actively out here in these streets. But, I am having fun while I am dating.

GTMS: What artists do you currently listen to now?

Estelle:  I like new artists; I love anything in Top 10.  I love it!  I listen to the radio, the Pop stations, and R&B stations, I love all that stuff.  But I kind of live in Marvin Gaye land.  My two favorite, I don’t want to say trap artist, but, I like Rich Homie Quan and YG.  Their grasp of melody is wonderful and ridiculous.  It makes me happy.  They make me happy.  It’s fun to me.  Some music is just for the melody and the fun of it and those are my two favorites out right now; then I go listen to my Marvin, my Pop, Country and R&B singers.  You know everything.  YG has a wonderful voice.  Young Thug, Rich Homie Quan, A$AP, and you know Kendrick and Schoolboy Q are wonderful to me.  I like all of that stuff.  It is fun, good music, and some of them are spitting some really good lyrics.  I am a words girl first.  If you are saying a bunch of BS I am really not listening to you.  My brain does not know how to process if you are talking rubbish.  Some of them may talk rubbish, but the melody is wonderful so I give them a pass LOL.


Interviewed By Dominique McLaughlin