Q: ‘Salt’ is such a great song! Can you tell us what inspired you to write it?
ESTELLA: I’ve always seen my internal darkness as wolves, I’m either part of the pack, or on the run from the parts of myself that scare me. But no matter which side I’m on, they’re always there. When the pack is descending and my mind starts spiraling it feels like all I can do is keep my head down and set one foot in front of the other, just getting through the day in hope of a better tomorrow.
“Salt” is about when you feel like you’ve hit your own personal rock bottom, when you’re frustrated with the world, with yourself, with everybody around you, when it’s hard to feel positive because it feels like life is throwing punch after punch at you and you don’t feel like you have the strength to take it.
We all have our own ways to cope, whether it’s having a cry sitting on the floor of your shower or screaming along to aggressive rock music in the car, buying too many house plants or finding comfort in somebody else’s company, drinking, smoking, eating, the list goes on. We’re all just doing our best.
Q: What is your songwriting process like?
ESTELLA: It varies a little for each song but ordinarily I sit down at the computer in my studio, open a Logic project with some sort of song concept in mind and then I flesh out the melody, the instrumental parts and the lyrics all at the same time. When I first started I would write a song on piano or guitar and then build the song from those basic bones but as I’ve gotten more confident and competent at producing I tend to do it all at once now.
Q: You are not only a singer/songwriter, but you’re also an instrumentalist and producer. If you could only pick one of those things to do for the rest of your life, which one would you pick and why?
ESTELLA: Songwriting for sure is my favorite part, which is writing, producing and creating the musical structure, that all goes hand in hand.
Q: What has been one of your favorite experiences in your music career so far?
ESTELLA: I feel very blessed to be doing what I love everyday, there have been many wonderful experiences along the way. The many connections I have made, large and small, I would say are what I hold most dear.
Q: You have a single ‘Buzzcut’ coming out March 11th! What does this song have in store for us?
ESTELLA: This one’s upbeat, a little spicy and super fun. It’s a little tongue in cheek, my reflection on ‘chameleon daters’, people who change their appearance, style, musical taste, and even eating habits to mirror each new romantic partner.
“I think as a women, we tend to do this more than men – I wanted to flip that narrative on its head with ”Buzz Cut”. This song is about holding your shape when embarking on a new relationship, an encouragement to ‘stay true to your own authentic flair. ‘To have someone be so enthralled with you that they would adjust themselves to better suit what they thought you wanted.
Q: You’re preparing to release an album this Spring! Can you tell us more about it?
ESTELLA: I approached recording this body of work quite differently than I have in the past. Ordinarily I work with a single co-producer and I create a large majority of the tracks/instruments myself and then we finish it.
This time I went into a studio more in the role of producer with a bunch of session musicians and we recorded most of the tracks live. I still gave them very thorough demos of the songs so we were not starting from scratch but having live musicians really helped give these songs a different feel. I am now working on fleshing out some of the parts and doing the final vocals. I am really excited to be releasing singles from the album starting with “Buzzcut”. I also am planning on getting out on the road to promote the album later in the year.
Interviewed by Kaitlyn Westerman