Estère Dalton is a beat maker, singer, songwriter and producer based in Wellington. With her MPC named Lola, she records beats and melodies and loops them into her self-described genre Electric Blue Witch-Hop. About to release her second album, Estère opens the doors to her home in Wellington where she writes and records her songs.
Story photographed by Yoan Jolly.
Who or what inspires you?
Things that have whole hearted creative conviction. I think that's why often children's art is amazing and honest. It's uninhibited and celebratory of itself.
What keeps you up at night?
My music. Making beats - writing melodies, songs, lyrics, collecting samples. Often bedtime's at 4am.
What makes you happy?
I love travelling the world, I think it gives a certain sense of joy and awe that is similar to what music can evoke. I also love creature comforts, being warm, cups of tea, my mum.
How do you fill your day?
The real question is how do I fill my night. The day is often a haze of this and that for me. Working here and there, spending time with people, but at night I start conversing with Lola (my MPC) and singing to my bedroom walls. Ideas get echoed back and forth between machines and instruments and that's when I feel most productive.
What is the best part of your day?
When I get to inhale my honey drenched porridge and coffee in the morning.
How do you express kindness everyday?
I express gratitude as much as I can and try to be delicate with other peoples feelings. I'm also a believer in open and honest communication, there's something very nurturing about speaking with no barriers - so I attempt to do all that daily.
What was the last kind thing someone did/said to you?
I literally just received a message from someone saying how they'd really enjoyed my last show. I don't know this person - and I find it extremely generous when people reach out like that. Also my flatmate just hung out my washing which was very kind.
What does sustainability mean to you?
It means not being harmful to anything else. Something that nature would happily want to see regenerate, reoccur.
How do you select which clothes to pack when you’re touring?
I go about 30% comfort 40% versatility and kind of improvise the rest.
What are the benefits of recording and producing your own music?
The benefits are the learning that happens in the process. I've learned a lot about myself and what type of music I want to make from producing and recording everything. It's art in itself - but it's also a work in progress.
Where do you like to write and record your music?
Generally somewhere where I feel there are no time restrictions or creative boundaries, but I think the opposite can be conducive too.
What song do you remember most from your childhood?
Paperback Writer by the Beatles is my earliest memory of a song. I must have been about 2 when I heard it. I didn't know what the lyrics meant but it was the sensation of the voice singing. It felt like it was eating the air or something. Also Black Pearl by Moana and The Moa Hunters struck a chord very early on.
What is something you are looking forward to?
I'm looking forward to releasing my next album later this year!
Watch Estère latest music video AMBITION here.