Estelle has come along way since the 1980’s; culminating a string of hits, being out spoken about some of her rivals and leaving Britannia behind in search of her American Boy. Not only is she a champion of the underground, but is fast becoming a general of the mainstream; her single American Boy topping the chart for a staggering four weeks at the no.1 spot.

BHH managed to catch up with Estelle at Hugo Urban Rules – Manchester to find out how life has changed for the urban songstress.

Are you happy with what you have done so far?

EstelleEstelle: It’s been a lot of hard work. It’s been a lot of heartache and joy, so I’m glad that people don’t think that I’m crazy.

What made you release Substitute For Love as a second single?

Estelle: I wanted to go with that first, before ‘American Boy’, but they said no just break the door first.

There has been constant talk about your image; can you set the story straight?

Estelle: They made so much stuff up about me since I had this no.1 single – I’m bracing myself for the next one! Everyone thinks that the label said change your image, but I’ve wanted braces from when I was about 20 but I was too broke to get them!

How does this make you feel?

Estelle: It’s insulting, because I’m kind of like… if you know what kind of artist I am… why would you throw that out there?

You always make reference to being real; do you think that your realness is sometimes misinterpreted for rudeness?

EstelleEstelle: They take it for arrogance… [Laugh] …It makes me laugh! It’s like I’m Estelle, I’m always gonna be Estelle. I’m the same person who you see on the street that will say hi if you say hi to her, who is the same person you’re interviewing, who is the same person you read about in the magazines. I’m not going to change myself just because I have entered the pop arena… I’m 28 years old, I’m not a ******* kid. I believe in the music; and it’s my belief and the belief of a couple of other people and the fans who have got me to this point – so I don’t care anymore; they have to have something to talk about.

Do you think people still under estimate you even though you have proved yourself to be a talented writer?

Estelle: Yeah! but as I said before I don’t care about what those people think.

What is the gutsiest thing that you have ever had to do in order to command attention?

EstelleEstelle: It wasn’t gutsy; it was more a common sense move. It was… I think during the period of the label dealings… I had management, I had everyone around… but I was the one who was on the phone to my lawyers finding out what was going on. Me, being persistent was the gutsiest thing that I have ever done… I could have given up, a lot of artists I know gave up but I refused to give up… I felt that I had good music that people wanted to hear, I wanted to do this and there was an option there – I didn’t care what people said, it was coming out!
How do you feel about being compared to Lauren Hill?

Estelle: Well what can I say? Lauren’s an idol and I’m a star.

How helpful / valuable do you think an event such as Hugo Boss Urban Rules is for up and coming artists?

Estelle: I think it’s great! It’s one of the only venues / formats left for artist to do their thing and people who are in the industry want to come and see it. Your not going into it as a talent show… your going into it as – ‘people want to see something’, it makes them [the artist] step their game up.

By: Jemma Capleton

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