Estelle Has A Pretty Great Kanye Story

Photo: Everett Collection/REX USA.
Yesterday, Estelle released her fourth studio album, True Romance. It's an album borne of heartbreak, but it's surprisingly optimistic.  "I got sick of being sad," she told Refinery29 in an interview at the Empire State Building last Friday.  "This record came out of me needing to reassure myself I was over it. "Thank You," a song that earned her a 2013 Grammy nomination for Best R&B Performance, was keeping her in that sad space. "If you ask anyone, people really want to just identify with being sad. They want to have something to complain about, and I want to be happy. I want to just fix what's wrong and move on." The result is True Romance — and it's really freaking good.

For many fans Estelle became top-of-mind in 2009, when she won a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "American Boy," her joint track with Kanye. She told us a story about when Kanye had first arrived in London.
Photo: Courtesy of YouTube.
"He was fresh with London stuff, and we were laughing because every time in the past I said British stuff to him, he was like, 'That's not...what the hell is this trainer sneaker?' I was like, 'It's trainers and a jumper, alright? It's not sweaters and sneakers.' We'd go back and forth like that," she said. Finally, they were able to get on the same page about their differing vocabulary. "When we were writing and he was writing his rap, it was easier to relate on certain things."

And, it's not lost on Estelle that this is perfectly timed story to share, since Yeezy just debuted his collection with adidas. "I was like, okay, be clear. You have trainers, not sneakers," she said jokingly of the rapper's project.

Though she's perhaps most noted for her work with Kanye, Estelle's also totally game for working with other female artists. (She cited singing with Gladys Knight earlier this month as a pinch-me moment.) " I've done a record with Janelle Monae. I think I'm gonna have to do something with Solange at some point in life — just because she's my girl and she's awesome," she told us.  "There's so many that I admire and think are wonderful, especially from London. I think Jessie J is pretty awesome — she has a voice on her," Estelle said, though she's all about collaborating with anyone who has a great voice.

Isn't it nice when we see two female artists create together? I asked her. "Absolutely, yeah. Hell  yeah."

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