RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW AMERICAN ARTIST ESTELLA DAWN
Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.
What made you decide to become an artist?
I can’t say there was ever an “a-ha I want to be an artist” moment, I’ve been writing songs, singing and playing piano and guitar since I was young.
There was obviously a conscious decision as I got older to focus on becoming a musician as a career choice however the progression to that has been pretty seamless – I’ve never wanted to do anything else. I have been very fortunate to have a team of people to work with and a family that believes in me.
Introduce us to you and your musical history?
I have played and written music most of my life, when I was young I was told that I used to bumble along singing made up songs all of the time. Over time that process has just become more refined. I started piano lessons when I was 9 and then picked up the guitar a few years later.
What’s one question you’re sick of being asked when interviewed?
Honestly, the one I get a little tired of is people asking me what inspired my musical endeavors, purely because I don’t have a cool origin story, it’s just something I’ve always done!
Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories?
I don’t! My mind is very much influenced by the wonder of science.
What useless party trick do you have?
I can take an amazing selfie.
What was the most fun you have had on stage?
I did a show when I was still in New Zealand opening for a big band at the Bowl Of Brooklands. There was about 18,000 people there and I had a live band. It was the best time.
What was the worst experience on stage?
When I was 15 I was a semifinalist on New Zealand’s Got Talent. I was doing one of my songs with a session band and in rehearsals, everything when really well. We had been at the venue for the whole day and it was crowded and hot. When it was my turn to perform, in front of a live audience, I sat at the piano and we played the song all the way through. Right after I finished I was told that the piano had not been recorded and that we had to do it again, but not right away!! I had to wait until the end of the night after all the other contestants and then I did it all again!!
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about?
I really love to bake. I find it very creative and relaxing.
If you had to describe your music to an alien how would you describe it?
I’m a songwriter/singer, producer, multi-instrumentalist who combines elements of pop, neo soul and rock.
What makes you stand out as a band/Artist?
Situational lyrics that people really seem to relate to. Also, I am completely involved in all aspects of my music. From writing to recording vocals and instruments as well as having complete say in the final mix. I’m also fully involved in the business side of my career.
Right now, what’s pissing you off the most? (Can’t say the virus )
The an excessive amount of alternative milks there are at the grocery store. (I’m lactose intolerant, I’m thankful to have options but goodness they’ve ‘milked’ just about everything)
What’s your favorite song to play and why?
I have a song called “Winners” that I haven’t released yet that I really enjoy playing live. It’s fun, a bit cheeky, and I like the concept behind it.
I hear you have a new single, what can you tell us about it?
“Salt” is about when you feel like you’ve hit your own personal rock bottom, when you’re frustrated with the world, with yourself, with everybody around you, when it’s hard to feel positive because it feels like life is throwing punch after punch at you and you don’t feel like you have the strength to take it.
We all have our own ways to cope, whether it’s having a cry sitting on the floor of your shower or screaming along to aggressive rock music in the car, buying too many house plants or finding comfort in somebody else’s company, drinking, smoking, eating, the list goes on. We’re all just doing our best.”
Talk me through the thought process of the single?
I’ve always seen my internal darkness as wolves, I’m either part of the pack, or on the run from the parts of myself that scare me. But no matter which side I’m on, they’re always there. When the pack is descending and my mind starts spiraling it feels like all I can do is keep my head down and set one foot in front of the other, just getting through the day in hope of a better tomorrow. That’s why there are references to wolves in the song.
What was the recording process like?
I created a large majority of the tracks/instruments myself and then I bounced ideas and changes back and forth within my team until I was happy with “Salt’s” final form..
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the single?
Every new song is an evolvement that I learn and grow through, I guess learning to work more efficiently and focusing on finishing each song while still allowing the time to birth new songs, is something I’m actively working on.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
It’s too close to its completion to say. When you’ve listened to a song hundreds of times in a row it’s hard to step back and reflect on it. It needs a little breathing room.
So right now, no, there’s nothing I would change, but I can’t say I will feel the same way in a few weeks/months!
What are your plans for the year ahead?
I am working on tracks for a forthcoming album that I started in October. I approached recording this body of work quite differently than I have in the past Ordinarily I work with a single co-producer and I create large majority of the tracks/instruments myself and then we finish it.
This time I went into a studio more in the role of producer with a bunch of session musicians and we recorded most of the tracks live. I still gave them very thorough demos of the songs so we were not starting from scratch but having live musicians really helped give these songs a different feel. I am now working on fleshing out some of the parts and doing the final vocals. I am really excited to be releasing singles from the album starting next month. I also am planning on getting out on the road to promote the album as well.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?