[EXCLUSIVE] Emily Estefan Talks Musical Family, Debut Album, Labeling Her Music as R&B, More

Iconic Latin superstars Gloria and Emilio Estefan’s daughter Emily Estefan is considered to be the yin to her parents’ yang. She’s making it known that she has her own identity despite her parent’s reputation in music. She is a sophisticated artist who sings with so much soul, warmth, and fervor. The Miami Herald described her project as sounding like, “an artist’s fourth album rather than a first effort.” She’s also a superb instrumentalist in addition to songwriting and singing.

Estefan already released her debut album Take Whatever You Want on her own record label, Alien Shrimp Records, which landed on four Billboard charts. From listening to her album, she takes you on a musical journey that will blow you away. The record also highlights Estefan’s excellent musicianship when she decided to several genres such as jazz, funk, and neo-soul.

And Estefan’s creativity and hard work has paid off! She was Elvis Duran’s Artist of the Month in February, performed for a sold-out crowd at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music’s 33rd Annual Festival Miami, The Cutting Room, and Hotel Cafe. Estefan’s recent performance was on the Rachel Ray’s Annual SXSW Showcase.

The witty and comical 22-year-old songstress took time out of her busy schedule to speak with  Singersroom.com about music, her debut album, her fascination for music, and so much more.

Born into Music Royalty – My parents are incredible, they are supportive. After my mother’s accident in the 1990’s, it changed her life so much. She wasn’t sure if she was going to have another child after the crash.  But after she gave birth to me, it made her appreciate life and love. She wanted to bask every minute of my growing up because I was the daughter she thought she would never have after the crash.  I love my parents, and I look at their careers as learning experiences. I have to pay homage to them because music has always been a part of my life.  It wasn’t until I was about 18 when I realized I wanted a career in music. That’s when I decided to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music and start working on my first album in my dorm room.

Studying Music in College – Earning my college degree in music made me a better songwriter and singer. It was a huge sacrifice but worth it. I learned the mechanics of writing a song, my creative process before making a record. It increased my desire for knowledge in music. I learned I could create music that can be magical and meaningful. It just made me want to deepen my philosophy on life and music in an abstract way. So it was important for me to study so I can keep the creativity alive. I’m really thinking about getting my doctorate in music. Dr. Estefan has a nice ring to it (laughs).

Debut Album, Take Whatever You Want – This was an album I started working on while I was still in college. I came home from school, and I decided to take the next step in my musicianship. I didn’t have the mindset that it was a going to be recorded. It was just a collection of songs I was working on during different times. I was just working on my own individual sound. I was in to win it, laughing out loud. The next thing you know, there is 13 songs. I couldn’t believe it; it was just an organic experience.  I like to say this album as a letter to myself from myself. I called Take Whatever You Want because I want people to connect with me musically, enjoy the record, and take something out of it from the lyrics to the melody.

Classifying Emily’s Music as Rhythm and Blues – I don’t put a label on my music. It’s just whatever comes out of me within the moment. It’s whatever I think of the time.  I just like to create and record what’s real in my heart. I want my music to be a platform where people can listen to on any occasion.  But I think people would like to say it’s R&B because of the rhythmic sound. It can be viewed as jazz, R&B, pop, or rock. I had many influences over the years and I want to be versatile. I listen to a lot of genres; I started listening to bluegrass music lately from a friend.  I enjoy listening to a lot of jazz from Billie Holiday to Nina Simone. These ladies’ music has so much life and meaning. I love what Nina did musically. As an artist and pianist, she was truly a risktaker and broke so many barriers for so many artists.  I just wanted to create an album that you can listen to top to bottom. People want to listen to albums, not just songs.

Who is Emily Estefan – I am a young woman who recognizes creating and recording a music for people is a blessing. It just makes me want to explore the unknown and unseen as an artist. I just want to push myself and keep working hard. I know there’s going to be challenges and you’re going to make mistakes but I just want to be surrounded by good energy. I am a young with good intentions and just want my music to change people’s lives. I want people to take whatever I experienced in my life and can apply it to their life. My experiences can be a valuable lesson or a new perspective on certain subjects in life. They can discover new words or ideas along the way.  There’s no wrong answer so they can take whatever they want it from listening to my songs.

What Should We Expect from Emily Estefan – I am an artist who is passionate about music who will continue to use music as a way to express myself and be creative. I am also an artist who would love to have other emerging artists on my label who is also passionate as music. I would like to find artists who have the same vision.  But, the public can expect music, live shows, and appearances right now.

Purchase Take Whatever You Want on iTunes HERE.