Estelle California: My Name is Freedom
Singer and songwriter Estelle California pays homage to the state, where she calls home. According to Estelle, California is more than a place. It’s a landmark of peace and gleaming refuge.
“California was the first place I started my life with the few that lived here without prejudice. For me, that was something. When I moved to Oakland in 2013, I didn’t see prejudice at all. For the first time in my life, I felt good. I moved here to wash away all my layers of tension and imprinting. When I visited San Francisco, it was amazing. Everyone was together. I was shocked. I didn’t know that this happened in the world. People don’t judge anything. You can be anything you want, any shape you want, and you don’t have to look a certain way to fit in,” she says.
Estelle is from France, which is very close to Africa. So the cultures intersect. However, because of the extreme similarities between the two when you think about the natives that live there, Estelle identifies more with people of minority. This has a lot to do with her visits to South Africa before coming to America in 2013. Estelle learned while growing up that racism is a wide reaching epidemic that spreads like a murderous plague. It doesn’t know color, only perceived origin. It’s darkness waddles in daylight, arrogantly and disobediently—It doesn’t care who it consumes or who it affects. It leaves behind an empty carcass filled with raging hatred. Estelle understands this, which is the reason she uses her vocals to speak on the oblique narratives surrounding the impact of love, dignity and happiness.
Estelle’s song STAR, it’s a celebratory piece with spirited personality. Her harmonic composition addresses conformity and acceptance. At the opening of the track, she talks about knowing her name, and knowing who she is as a declaration of self-love and self-worth. “Nobody is going to make me forget,” she coos on the record.” Though Estelle has a beautiful but strong French accent, there is one thing for astounding sure, her lyrics are unambiguously bracing.
“Its produced by Nadra Michael Walden. It was an amazing project and I got very lucky to work with him. The song is about Freedom. We’re going to release the whole EP, My Name is Freedom, after Christmas. Right now, we are focusing on the single, and because I am a new artist, we are trying to put us out in the world first.”
Estelle discovered music when she was five years old. “I was always drawn to dancing and doing music my way. It was my world, with no words. The vibration of the music talked for me,” says Estelle.
They say that music is a healing component. That was definitely the case for Estelle. When she was younger, she suffered a traumatic experience that left her speechless for years. She didn’t respond to chatters around her, but she reacted to music and all the tranquil sounds that accompanied it. Estelle became a musical prodigy, who trained on the saxophone as well as the piano when she was about five years old. Inadvertently, she found another doorway to music, one that would release her dormant voice. “I did vocal training. I trained everywhere I could. During this time, I wasn’t free enough, strong enough and healed enough to do what I wanted to do, to get to the point, which brought me to where I am right now.”
Estelle creates music with a cultural driven band made up of all sorts of races. They embrace her as their soul sister just because she’s so dialed into the indifference's of the world, where your fight and your cause is her fight, too.
As for melodious inspiration, Estelle is inspired by singers who addressed commanding topics through their lyrics like Isaac Hayes, Marvin Gaye and Nina Simone.
While on the subject of impetus and powerful influence, the most empowering part of Estelle’s journey is her mounting freedom. “The past, your story, is holding you, imprisoning you, and programming you,” she says. “That’s why I had to take the journey to the U.S because it made me free of that entire story, free of my fear, free of my sickness, free of my brain and free of myself. In France, you believe what you think is more important. The truth is, it’s what you feel in your heart, and that is more important than what you think. We all have that thought. On this journey, I had to go through those things, and I think it’s the most empowering thing I’ve been through,” she remarked.
With limitless possibilities, and the aptitude to break barriers, Estelle proves that passion and persistence pays off.
If you'd like to know more about the international vocalist, please visit Estelle California here.