It is just 9 weeks into 2015, and British singer-songwriter Estelle is already establishing a significant presence in both the music sphere and the world of television. The 35-year-old London native released her fourth studio album True Romance in February, and she will guest star on the hit series Empire tonight.
Estelle’s cameo on the Fox program includes the Grammy winner performing a duet of her single “Conqueror” with cast member Jussie Smollett (Jamal Lyon). The special version of the song is also part of the upcoming Empire soundtrack, and the original tune can also be found on True Romance.
AllHipHop.com connected with Estelle to recruit the R&B songstress for the “My Five Firsts” series. The platinum performer shares her experience of visiting the U.S. for the first time, initially meeting her “American Boy” collaborator Kanye West, and discovering classic LPs from two of her musical inspirations.
First Time Traveling To America
I was 18 years old and had $2,000 to cover flights, hotel and "spending money" aka footlocker pocket-money. Cue MetroCard, Subway for dinner and just exploring New York. Pure Fun!
First Time Performing At A Large Festival
I was 19 performing with a rapper from the U.K. called Blak Twang. I was featured on his performance. We had a ball. The crowd knew the song. They cheered, they loved.
First Time Meeting Kanye West
I was 22. I had started my own label. I was signed to myself and working on a deal with a major label - V2 records. He was eating, I was getting takeout. He came outside, and I asked him if he could introduce me to John Legend whose voice I had heard on mixtapes… He said sure and the rest is history.
First Time Hearing Mary J. Blige's My Life and Erykah Badu's Baduizm
I was about 13 or 14. I saw the video for “You Remind Me” first. I remember thinking, “Who is this blonde black lady? Why is she on the bed?” Then I saw the “Real Love” video, and I had a conniption of “OMG, OMG.” I gotta learn the dance routine now which my cousins and I all did.
Baduizm - I just fell in love with Erykah's voice and audacity. She was bent on talking about the right way to be without forgetting that she was from the hood too, so I could relate. Also, she had real live bass on her songs. The music seemed to move.
First Time Experiencing True Romance
Haven't yet… I will keep you posted!
[ALSO READ: My Five Firsts: Luke James]
Purchase Estelle’s True Romance on iTunes.
The Original Soundtrack FromSeason 1 Of Empire is scheduled for release March 10. Pre-order on iTunes.
Listen to the True Romance sampler below.