Interview - Estella Dawn

Estella is New Zealand born, US based songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer. She writes and records her vocals and piano as well as co-producing all aspects of her music. Let's have a little chat with her about hem music.

- Hi Estella and welcome to this interview. Tell us about your latest release Vixen.
'Vixen' is really an anthem to feel comfortable in your own skin, regardless of your sexuality, your desires, your weight or your body shape. I wrote Vixen as a way to shed my own fears around my body and my sexuality. People sexualize me all the time, it’s my body so why can’t I do the same?

I've come to a place where I no longer want to refine myself into less than I am just to make other people feel more comfortable. As long as you aren't hurting anyone there’s no reason to be ashamed of who you want to be.

I think it’s important to feel empowered and confident in your skin, manifest good things for yourself, communicate what you need and want, to always maintain personal boundaries, have safe sex, it's your body and your happiness. Life is too short not to take what you want from it.

- How would you describe your sound?
It depends a little on the track, but I would say for the most part my music is quite lyrically and vocally driven. My songwriting style is upfront and honest but in a storyteller imagery based kind of way.

- What do you write about?
I think inspiration can come from anywhere but I tend to write about my own life experiences. Songwriting is a way for me to process the world around me and my place in it, plus it’s far cheaper than therapy!

- What do you listen to when you are home?
I love a bunch of different genres so my musical taste depends a lot on my mood at any given moment but I listen to a lot of Jazz, Indie, RnB and pop, I do like classic rock from time to time too!

- Your favorite live performance so far?
There's really been quite a few but when I was 14 some friends and I put together a burlesque performance to do at the school talent quest. The whole thing was an absolute train wreck… There were sound problems, outfit malfunctions and just general awkwardness. It is quite possibly the most embarrassing performance I have ever done and that’s why it’s also my favorite. I can’t help but laugh when I think about it.

- Tell us a funny story that happened in the studio or on stage.
When I was 16 I was a semifinalist on New Zealand's Got Talent, I arrived at the location at 8am, had 2 rehearsals, multiple outfit changes and my hairstyle changed twice. I went on stage to perform around 8pm, finished my song, felt relieved that it was finally done and then the producers told me that the piano hadn’t been plugged in… So the sound hadn't been recorded and I would have to do it all again. I had to wait until every other act had performed, I think it was around 10pm at this point, and then I got up and redid my performance all the while pretending it was my first time.

- Your favorite albums?
Jagged little pill - Alanis Morrisette
Without Fear - Dermot Kennedy
Grace - Jeff Buckley
Fearless - Taylor Swift

- A musician you would like to meet for a beer?
Adele, she just seems like she would be a lot of fun and we'd have a hilarious time.

- What would you ask for backstage if you were the most important band on earth?

A good cup of earl grey tea.

- What are your plans for the next future?
I was recently in the studio recording my first full length album, so I’m currently working on the post production for that, hoping to release it sometime at the beginning of next year and I’m also planning on going on tour next summer! In the interim I have a new single called Salt that will be out in a few months

Giovanni Gagliano

Passionate about music I wrote my first article for "Given To Rock" in 2012, reaching now 30K global followers. I am also a musician, gigging around London.

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