Writing a song takes a lot of work or just living life, according to young Ester Dean whose resume reads like a who’s who among chart toppers. With Katy Perry, Rihanna, Usher, Christina Aguilera, and Britney Spears under her belt, Ester Dean is recording her own projects and doing things for herself, her own way.
I really haven’t been writing that long. I look at it like this: we aren’t writers until we start getting paid for it. So for me, I only became a professional writer three years ago because that’s when people actually started paying me for it. You can be a lawyer all day but until you start getting paid for it, you aren’t really a professional lawyer. When I met Polow and started working with Interscope, it really started getting good. Cranking out good songs that people appreciated.
Performer vs. Songwriter
I was an artist first, but I wasn’t getting paid yet, so I wasn’t anything! When you’re an unknown artist, no one is going to write your songs if you aren’t signed, so I had to write my own. Then people were so into my songs, but I was like: I’m an artist! I love writing music. It’s really the thing that saved my life. Mentally, soul searching and figuring life out. It makes me feel safe. Financially, it’s obviously changed my life. And also I had to let go of fear. As an artist, there’s a lot of fear. You have to write a song, hope someone will like it when you sing it and when they sing it, and then the record label has to like and then the radio has to like it and then hope their fans like it and buy it!
On staying in the game
My mind space is that I’m a winner. Anything else is failure. You better believe in your core, you can do it with your eyes closed and without any help if you need to. The first way of defeat is saying you can even be defeated.
Her music style
The “I don’t give a F” style. Meaning everything I do is emotional-whether I’m happy or sad or angry or calm-it’s all just what I’m feeling. My song style is about feelings. I just write songs from emotion and people can relate. I have relatable songs. I’m a relatable singer.
My inspiration is life. The days I’m not writing are the days I need to go out and live life. Writers block is basically you not living each day. If you marry a man and you’ve never lived with him or anything exciting happen, never went anywhere with him, you have nothing –you guys have nothing to talk about. you can’t make love or be I n love because you haven’t lived life together. I can’t go out and write a song about love until I go out there and live love.
The artists she loves
Music inspires me through sound-of course growing up with my cousins playing the music they listen to-90s pop stuff. Beyonce, Destiny’s Child. But my inspiration to be an artist was being broke, my stomach growling and paying my rent. That’s what inspires you to get up and do something. I didn’t wanna be poor anymore.
It comes from being an individual. Everyone has their own individual style and then you have the followers. There are some people who’s style I like. Rihanna will put something on and I’ll say, “I gotta go get that,” but it’s gotta work on me too! What you walk out in is your individual style. But sometimes you have to just say: do not put that one me. I’m not wearing that. I just live my truth. I am who I am.
Who she listens to
I’m listening to Tony Robbins and Napoleon Hill. Why? Because they’re audio books and before I can make a dollar, I gotta make sure my mind is right. Anything self-help! And they really help me! I know what fear is, faith is, love is, my true identity, the meaning of self-sabotage. I am into getting right for me and whoever comes into my life.
Oversexed female artists
They’ve been doing this forever. Just because they’re showing a bit more skin, it doesn’t change it. Sex sells. And guess what…who cares? Get what you like! If you wanna watch something else, go watch something else! I watched a song called S&M and Rude Boy! I can’t say nothing about someone getting naked, because I get naked in my music and they take off their clothes. Women need to feel sexy and sometimes you need to see another women do it to know how you can do it! It’s the same as a scene in a movie or a scene in a commercial. Beer commercials with sweat on their bodies and whatnot. It’s the same thing.
Her favorite song she’s written
Firework by Katy Perry. It really speaks to who I am in a positive side and I’m so happy it got that kind of life to inspire other people. We needed something like that in the world.
What albums she’d grab in a fire
I’d just grab my iPod!! [Laughter] Actually I’d grab my deluxe edition of Rihanna’s Loud and my music box that has all my CDs that I was apart of in my life.
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