“Star” is the new single from the Oakland-based French chanteuse, Estelle California. The track is a Jazz-fueled declaration of self-affirmation. When Estelle sings, “my name is Star, and always has been,” it could be taken literally. ‘Estelle’ loosely translates to ‘Star.’ But there is a deeper meaning here.
This is an artist on a mission. Through her music, Estelle hopes to inspire and deliver a message of racial equality and self empowerment. On “Star,” she is not only speaking for herself. The singer wants us to recognize the light within us all. She says, “As my songs empowered me, I hope they will inspire those who feel oppressed to realize their true strengths, to find their voices and have faith in a better tomorrow.”
The singer worked with legendary producer and drummer Narada Michael Walden on the song. The result is a beautiful organic recording using natural reverb and live performance. The sound reminds me a bit of Qunincy Jones’ Jazz ensemble recordings.
Estelle’s voice has a classic sound. It is one part Nina Simone and one part Nico. She has skill and technique that come only from years of training. However, there is also a sincerity to her style that cannot be taught.
Born in France, she started playing the piano when she was 5 years old and went on to study saxophone. Later, she became an dancer and was formally trained in opera. In 2013, Estelle moved to Oakland, CA, where she felt drawn to the diverse and respectful community. Her love for the state of California and its people led her to change her artist name.
Listen to “Star,” and follow the links below to connect with the artist.