August 2, 2008
Estelle Excels in Her U.S. Debut
By Samuels, Adrienne P
British artist joins American music landscape The modern-day British invasion continues with Estelle, who brings her light- hearted vocals and reggae-soul beats to the American music scene. Born Estelle Swaray, the 28-year-old singer/songwriter/producer/ rapper first popped onto the U.S. charts end of last year with two fresh songs. One of her new tunes, "American Boy," is a catchy ditty that pays homage to urban guys, urban neighborhoods and their style.
EBONY talked with Estelle as she zipped through the German countryside, headed to her next concert.
* Why did you leave your old label? "There was potential with me but they didn't quite know what to do. I just said, 'Please let me go,' and they did... They charged. I had a buyout. Atlantic and John Legend, they took care of that. Thank God. I know that's really rare nowadays. But in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I just asked John, 'Dude, I have to leave this label, and I'm looking for another.'"
*Do you want to date an American boy? How'sthe dating life going? (She laughs.) "I'm looking for a boy. I'm so headstrong. Guys have often told me I'm more like a guy than a girl, and that apparently is my problem. I'm a handful, and it'll take a very strong man to handle me, to carry me or catch me."
* Who's the better rapper, you or Kanye? "Ha ha ha ha ha ha. I'd have to say me. He's a close second! Nah, I'm playing. He's one of the best right now. It's my rapper ego coming in right now. He's very good."
* Who's on your iPod? "Oh, lemme take a look. I listen to almost everything. Charlie Parker, Tina Turner, Slum Village, Andre 3000, Gnarls Barkley, Stevie Wonder, the Sylvers, Buju Banton. It goes across and continues."
* People compare you to Lauryn Hill. "I think if people listen to my album in 10 years, I'll be happy. I listen to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill like it's fresh, like it was recorded yesterday. Please put me in that pile all you want! I think she's a legend. I've been in the game 10 years myself. If people really listen to this album and relate to it, I'm happy. Thank you."
-Adrienne P. Samuels
Copyright Johnson Publishing Company Aug 2008
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