Who would of thought three years ago Ester Dean had been living on Section 8 housing vouchers. One of the most sought after songwriters in the industry had a turning point after watching the inspirational 2006 documentary “The Secret,” which its creator Rhonda Byrne later turned into a best-selling book. The personal empowerment message of the film, “everything is possible, nothing is impossible”.
The Muskogee, Okla., native was singing on demos and writing songs in Atlanta when she was introduced to Polow Da Don. He asked her to write a hook for Young Jeezy and the rest was history. He ended up signing her to his Zone 4/Interscope label in 2009. She also inked a publishing deal with producer Christopher “Tricky” Stewart’s RedZone Publishing. Now signed to Universal Music Publishing Group, Dean is working on upcoming projects from Mary J. Blige to Nicole Scherzinger.
Ester talked to Billboard about working on her debut album and the status of it. “People think I flopped because I haven’t put out more songs. I had to take time out for soul-searching. Now I’m able to give my all. I have a bigger purpose to come out with an album than because of a song. And I still want full-force Polow Da Don because it’s his vision. I just caught up with it. He’s a pusher for black music to be heard. And I think that’s what he likes about my voice: He can feel the emotion and passion in it and wants to show that.”
Dean also shared her thoughts about the current state of R&B. “People need to stop putting a limit on what it is and what it isn’t. It’s what you put into it. However, people keep putting limitations on themselves and creating this reality that soul music is dead. That’s only in their reality. It’s not true. To me, Adele is R&B. Bruno Mars Is R&B. It’s just good songwriting and songs. That is going to last. That’s what I’ve got to work on my damn self what’s going to last.”