Wellington City Libraries

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Our Wellington Music collection is currently unavailable on our catalogue due to the Central Library closure. We're working on options for making it available again and as soon as it is, we'll update this site.

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Estère is a girl with an MPC she likes to call Lola. She produces her songs with Lola, mostly at home in her pyjamas. Estère plays/records a mixture of bass, synth, drums, vocal harmonies, keyboard, whistles, kazoo, desk tapping and anything else that might take her fancy then layers her production with pulsating rhythms and evocative melodies that adhere to the genre of Electric Blue Witch Hop.

Estère with the song ‘Cruel Charlie’ from RNZs ‘Introducing’…

Since obtaining Lola in March 2012, Estère has played a large variety of live performances in cities and festivals through-out New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and Europe. These include Jeonju International Sori Festival, Ulsan World Music Festival, Aarhus International Music Festival and Melbourne Let Them Eat Cake. Estère has also opened for a variety of international artists, including Erykah Badu, Morcheeba, Baths, Ikonika and KT Tunstall. In 2014 Estère released her debut self produced album via bandcamp.

Fresh Talent: Estere – NZ Musician, 2013 (Vol:17, No:6)

In 2013 Estère also embarked on the Red Bull Prodigy collaborative project with Washington D.C/ New York Producer Oddisee, which saw them spend two weeks together in a studio writing music. They subsequently released three songs: ‘Flashlight’, ‘Curtains Down’ and ‘Noon’.

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Cover of the Tiny Ruins song ‘Me At the Museum, You in the Winter Gardens’…

She is also part of the collective YoungGiftedandBroke & is a member of the Wellington supergroup ‘Brockaflowersaurus-Rex & The Blueberry Biscuits’ AKA Brockaflower

Estere at Roundhead Studios…

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Estère and her MPC Lola share insights into their debut album with RNZs Emma Smith from ‘Music 101’…

EstereCrop60[Transcript] “I am a child of culture clash,” explains Wellingtonian Estere Dalton. “My dad is originally from Cameroon in Africa, but he got a lot of his upbringing in France. My mum is from New Zealand. I grew up with her, but I have gone over to France a few times to see him and my family there. It’s really interesting seeing the different approaches on life and conflicting ideas people can have on things. But at the same time, it has made me who I am.” At 20 years of age, Estere is a competent singer, beatmaker and multi-instrumentalist. “I can play my own loops at home, but I couldn’t play piano at a gig,” she admits. Currently juggling anthropology and philosophy studies at university with singing in emerging Wellington nine-piece ‘Brockerflowersaurus Rex and The Blueberry Biscuits’, Estere unveiled two solo songs in August – ‘Cruel Charlie’ and ‘Culture Clash’ both released to rapid local acclaim. Recorded in her bedroom using Logic Audio on her laptop, Estere created the bulk of the songs with her new friend Lola, an MPC IOOO Sampling Production station. “l’ve been wanting to make friends with something like Lola for a long time,” she chuckles. “I thought it was really cool, the idea of being able to make music yourself, and control the dynamic, different elements, instruments, etc.” Mining a soul-tinged modern beat music sound, both ‘Cruel Charlie’ (a song about an imaginary ex—boyfriend) and ‘Culture Clash’ (Estere’s personal exploration of her cultural identity) hinge on loose limbed shuffling drum rhythms, experimental approaches to melody, warm rolling bass and scorching vocal performances. An easy and reductionist view would be to compare her to the likes of Erykah Badu. Considering Badu, a personal musical heroine (alongside other heroes such as Paul Simon, Grace Jones, Nina Simone, David Bowie and Little Dragon), Estere isn’t too put out by that kind of analogy. She does, however, make it clear that her influences lie closer to home, acknowledging Electric Wire Hustle’s Mara TK, Sheba Williams, Imon Starr and Deva Mahal. While musing on an initial response which has seen her music hit playlists and charts on student radio stations across the country, Estere is thankful, but measured. “I was really surprised and complimented that people seem to like the songs. It’s a nice motivator. I’m like ‘OK, sweet. I’ll keep the music coming.”

RNZs Melody Thomas visits the place Estere makes her music – her bedroom – to find out more about her creative process…

A series of music video postcards set to music from home, with New Zealand based artists contributing unreleased tracks to the project. In 2015 The Renegade Peach Project ventured on a 3 month journey that began in Cambodia and wrapped in San Francisco. As we roamed, we captured hints of the streets, people, wildlife, food, and spirit of each locale before uniting our visuals with the submitted tracks. Each artist was asked to provide a time of day for us to film, and a keyword or colour to help us capture the essence of their track. Estère’s key word for the track was “Flicker” and her selected colours were maroon and gold.

‘New Species’ Remix EP, 2015
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Anatomy of a Song – Estere’s Culture Clash
RDU’s Spanky Moore takes a look at ‘Culture Clash’..

Estere talks to RNZs Kathryn Ryan about being a woman in the very male dominated world of beat-boxing, and breaking barriers as she goes…

On Foreign Soil: Estère In Africa – NZ Musician Magazine, June/July, 2016.

Tour Diary: Estère in Africa

Photo gallery

Cover/text sourced from Bandcamp & Facebook. ‘Who’s Next’ sourced from Rip It Up, No. 349, Oct-Nov 2012. Used with permission.

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