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Her fans are awaiting her new music, but in the meantime, Esh mulls the state of the recording industry, a stint on television, and the potential trappings of fame and other forms of madness in this exclusive Sonic SLAP interview….

 

The American music market is known for being partitioned when it comes to genres. What is your view on this perspective?

 

Those partitions are becoming a thing of the past. I believe that the American music scene is quickly becoming the world music scene. Nowadays, there are so many artists coming to the United States from overseas and turning genres on their head. Just look at artists like Iggy Azalea or Ed Sheeran. Also, artists from different genres are beginning to collaborate more often, and exposing consumers to artists outside of their usual listening preferences.

You have already worked with some of the industry’s most respected names. Who else in the realm of music would you like to collaborate with in the future?

 
I don’t think there was a particular person who veered me to go down this path. Rock and Roll music is within me, I enjoy singing all genres of music, but when it comes to rock & roll, it mentally and physically takes me somewhere else. Seeing strong women deliver and not care like Tina Turner, Betty Davis and Grace Jones were just the icing on the cake.
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You hail from Chicago, arguably the most American city in terms of diversity and tone. What does Chicago offer musically as a city that others do not?

Chicago offers diversity and unity in their music scene. Artists there love creating and experimenting with different genres and sounds. The unique backgrounds of the people and our willingness to step outside of convention put us ahead of the game, and make us unique in so many ways.

Television has been a major launching pad for new artists for nearly the last two decades. How did your stint on American Idol prepare for this new musical era?

 
My time on American Idol helped prepare me for this new musical era by showing me that record executives don’t always get it right. Being true to yourself and resiliency are major factors in being successful in the music industry.
 

You have received rave reviews for your voice, yet now work in an industry where AutoTune and style over substance is the norm. What is your take on singers that rely heavily on the latest technology as opposed to true singers?

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To each their own. Being an artist is about expressing yourself. As long as a person is being true to who they are, I can’t knock the way that they choose to express themselves. Some people paint pictures and some draw pictures. Both are artists, they just choose different tools.
 

Who were your musical idols growing up and how have they influenced your sound?

I grew up in the church and gospel music dominated much of my childhood, so I honestly discovered my rock and roll idols pretty late. From my gospel upbringing Cece and Bebe Winans, Yolanda Adams and my grandmother’s gospel group influenced me the most.  From the power house vocals, to the directly in your face gospel approach, I took and ran with it as a child. When it came to rock and roll artists like TinaTurner, Patti LaBelle; I took everything I was taught vocally and turned it upside down and I loved it!
 
 

You have already worked with some of the industry’s most respected names. Who else in the realm of music would you like to collaborate with in the future?

 

I’d love to collaborate with Prince, Lenny Kravitz, Janelle Monae, Pharrell Williams and Skunk Anansie.
 

Working in other forms of media is now one of the most impactful forces in marketing new artists. How are your forays into television set to bring your music to a new set of listeners?

Audiences love the opportunity to connect with artists on a personal level, and television, along with social media, gives them an opportunity to do that. Television brings out the best and worst in people, but that’s what makes the connection to artists more impactful. Social media can make a person come off as perfect, photos can be retouched, but television allows flaws to be shown and emotion to be seen. Television, similar to music allows people to have a different perspective on my life, my struggles, and my revolution. They get to see that I’m human; I cry, I bleed, I have dreams just like you.

What future projects can fans expect from you in the coming year?

 
I’m currently working on my first solo project, followed by a tour this fall. Right now, I’m also running a Gofundme campaign to raise money for studio and rehearsal time. I’m super excited, because it has been three years since I’ve released any new music. The fans are excited about me getting back into the studio and getting new music into their hands. With this project I am giving fans the opportunity to take an active part in its creation. They can follow my journey in its creation using social media and handpick the songs that make it onto the finished product.
To donate fans can go to, GoFundMe.com/EshtheSinger


 

Triston
Triston is an American jetset performance artist, writer, event organizer, and activist based in Europe. As a freelance journalist, he has covered both the underground and mainstream aspects of the arts, culture, music, entertainment, travel, fashion and Fashion Week in several cities, including New York, London, Berlin, Istanbul, Sydney, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Tokyo to name a few. He has been published in The Huffington Post, Trespass (London), Adaras Magazine (Miami) as well as featured in publications such as the New York Times, Vogue Italia, Turkish Huriyet and other on-line and print magazines in the U.S. and internationally. He recently released his memoir on life in Europe, 'Heaux Confessionals'. As a solo performer and with his band $kandal Du$t, he has toured in some of the world's most renowned clubs, simultaneously maintaining an underground renaissance, blurring the lines of all that is traditional and leaving his indelible, and ultimately unforgettable impression. There is no divide.

Brace yourself.


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