Estelle is taking it back to the essence on her third album All of Me. The British singer has enlisted Common for a track produced by No I.D. called “Victorious.” While the Chicago MC recently colored outside the lines with 2008’s electro-minded Universal Mind Control, Estelle is returning him to his roots.
“I feel like I brought him back to being Common Sense. I brought him back to what he was rapping about coming up,” she told Rap-Up.com. “And I think it’s a flashback for him too. I remember coming to New York with four days of clothes and really hustling. We all remember our hustle. We all remember what we’re here to do. That was the point of that record.”
Additionally, Estelle put in studio time with producer Jerry Wonda on the tracks “Wonderful Life,” “Like a Boyfriend,” and “Tears,” recalling the sessions as “organic.” “Jerry is like my family. It was way too easy. We get into the vibe and the spirit,” she continued. “The early versions of the records were me and him jamming in the studio. And that’s it. It was too easy. It was the easiest thing ever. It was so much love.”
While her last album Shine showed off her ability to nail a variety of genres, she’s keeping the diversity on All of Me and embracing her womanhood.
“I think Shine was about me becoming a woman, and this one was me saying I am a woman,” she explained. “You’re going to get all of me. You’re going to love it. It’s definitely a lot of hip-hop, a lot of R&B… It’s everything, but it just has a certain vibe and a certain feel that’s real focused, real intense, and real directional.”
Ahead of the album’s September release, Estelle is selecting from the 300 recordings in her archive and dropping a mixtape with Don Cannon in the coming weeks. Flirting with the titles Freak World and #AfterIAlmostMadeAMixtape, she’s including the reggae-tinged “Something Wrong” and a few live tracks to show off her talent.
“There’s a couple of live records I performed at the Essence Festival last year, so there will be a couple of live recordings on there too,” she said. “People will get a little feel of what they’re getting when I perform live.”
–Steven J. Horowitz