If you’ve heard the hot new single from the “More Than a Game” soundtrack, then you’ve already peeped Ester Dean’s skills. But there is so much more. The “Drop It Low” singer/songwriter, sits down with Singersroom to offer us an intimate portrait of how she got into the music game, the emotional techniques she draws on to create her magic, and the impression she intends to leave on the game through the refreshing girl next door.

Singersroom: So introduce yourself to the world. How did you get started in this music game?

Ester Dean: Well I was already singing but, I thought I wanted to be a chef. I said I wanted to be a chef and my cousin was like no you’re going to be a singer and I was like well okay, I’ll be a singer and use the money to start a restaurant, you know? So, I already had a goal and as I started working toward that goal I realized how much I loved it (how much I love singing). It’s so easy and I would write songs for myself. When I got to Atlanta, that’s where things really popped off for me. I was down there working with Tricky Stewart and Jazze Pha, and you know Jazze Pha and Polow Da Don are like real good friends so that’s how it segued to Polow. When I got with Polow it was such a strong connection. We just kept on working… wherever he went I went…then he asked me to be an artist and I didn’t initially want to be an artist, because when I was an artist, there was a lot of put downs and a lot of people telling me my voice is too raspy; (that) I need to lose weight; I don’t have that look that they’re talking about and it was just real discouraging to me. I had never received so much negative feedback about anything. I was like wow! I thought it was about singing; I thought it was about talent. But Polow said “I want to take you as you are. I want to put you out as you are now. It’s you I want to introduce to the world.” I feel like Polow reintroduced me to the music industry, and I think it was the greatest thing ever.

Singersroom: Who is your all time favorite artist (singer) besides yourself and why?

Ester Dean: Okay, I have two. I have Beyonce’ because I don’t even understand how she does it. She’s so precise about everything; she makes me think “dag, how did this girl get so dope!” And the person that just gives me chills, for real, is Lady Gaga. She is incredible to me, because like whatever she decides to do… and I heard that’s just exactly who she is; the crazy clothes and everything that’s her… when I hear her songs, oh my God, I’m like Oh my Goodness, I don’t believe I ever felt like this. I am an actual fan…So yeah Beyonce and Lady Gaga.

Singersroom: What is your songwriting motivation/inspiration?

Ester Dean: I’m a very emotional writer. Emotion drives me. I’m not talking about just sad; like happiness…anything that makes my skin warm up…To be honest, I write a lot when I’m angry and when my feelings get hurt and I’m very emotional. One thing about me, my feelings get hurt a lot. And it’s like people say don’t wear your heart on your sleeve. I know nowhere else to put it; you know what I’m saying? When [people] say that, they don’t really tell you how not to; so I write very, very well through emotion. So that’s why I like to have a boyfriend or drama. I don’t like drama but it does spark. It sparks a feeling. When you’re emotional you feel something. It’s my life outlet. Some people watch sports and yell at the TV. I write songs.

Singersroom: What do you bring to the industry that allows you to stand out?

Ester Dean: I think that I’m just different from everybody else, not that I thought that I was going to bring something. I think that people would see me and think, “Oh she’s like me!” Like, I worked at Target and McDonald’s and wasn’t popular and all that stuff. It brings to the table a person that’s saying I am me. I got blemishes that I put make- up [over]…I’m comfortable with myself but, we’re not all comfortable with ourselves. If that were the case, we wouldn’t wear make- up, we wouldn’t do our hair. So it’s just saying that I don’t know what I am to you but I’m hoping and I pray that it’s something positive. I hope that it’s something that you can take away from me and say: “Gosh, she makes me feel like I can do anything.”

Singersroom: Who would you like to work with that you haven’t yet?

Ester Dean: I want to work with Plies. I love Plies! Like I just love his voice, so I’ve been begging Polow to get him over there and do a song with me, because I haven’t gotten to work with him. There are some other people, some bigger than life people but I just want to work with people…Like there’s this girl group called Unladylike. I guess they just came out. That’s what I’m bumping now; I just love that girl’s voice.

Singersroom: What is your favorite region of music?

Ester Dean: I like more southern, but then I like music that doesn’t have a region to it. Like it sounds like universal music. I love good feeling music. But I definitely love me some southern, I love me some Gucci Man.

Singersroom: What legacy would you like to leave, when it’s all said and done? When you retire what impact would you like to leave?

Ester Dean: You see how those people cry for Michael Jackson [when he performed] and those people in the prison that came together to that [Thriller] dance. To bring people together in a positive way…I’m not sure if this answers your question but I want to leave a stamp on this world that’s positive. Whatever it is, I just want to make sure it makes people want to do better in whatever they do. Individual lives do better, whether it’s simply loving their brother or sister better, or not talking back to their mommas. Something a little bit better and a little happier. I just want people to be better. —— By: Interview By Lauren Walker