Artist Profile: Estelle


Since signing with John Legend’s HomeSchool label in May 2007, it’s been a fast rise for Brit sensation Estelle. With its undeniable depiction of the swagger of, well, American boys, we saw her single “American Boy” blaze up the charts this past summer. Vervegirl’s Sharlotte Lawrence caught up with the stylish singer/rapper/producer in Toronto before her concert with The Roots. 

HOW DID YOU GET INTO THE MUSIC INDUSTRY?
I got in about 10 years ago, in London’s underground scene. I had my own label I got up and basically just made it happen. [I met] John Legend and Kanye West [around that time]. I [eventually] got my own deal in London and Europe and created the first album. For the second album, John wanted to be involved. He said “I want to sign you because they don’t know what to do with you over there.” And here I am now.

WHO ARE YOUR MUSICAL INFLUENCES AND WHY?
Two of the biggest ones are Ella Fitzgerald and Mary J. Blige. Ella Fitzgerald: because you’re not supposed to sing like that. She’s amazing, flawless. Mary J. Blige: because I’ve been a fan since I was 12. She’s Mary— she sings and you’re like, “I’m 12 and I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I feel you.”

WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR FASHION INFLUENCES ?
You know who really does it and I think is great, despite what anyone says? Victoria Beckham. She’s bang on it. She’s flawless. Chick is skinny as hell, but she’s flawless. Naomi Campbell is another one I think is great. [As far as] designers, I love Jean Pierre Braganza. And I’m forever in love with Karl Lagerfeld —I bow at him, he’s the best. A guy called Ashish, he’s an Asian designer based in London. He’s wicked with sequins. His clothes are ridiculous. I think I’ve worn one or two Ashish dresses in my videos.

DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE.
My personal style is comfortable. A lot of people think too hard about how many layers they have on. It’s like, “I’m wearing a dress, and my boobs and legs are out, but it’s working.” It’s whether I feel comfortable at that point in time.

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