From time to time, there are certain musicians that are bound to push and elevate things to new heights and the French-born producer Esther is one of those artists. Through a blend of bass music, dark ambiances and powerful kick drums, she brings a fresh approach to electronic music making and it’s not afraid to experiment and innovate. Whether producing, DJing or organizing events she innovates a saturated and sometimes stale music scene.
Her sets blend Bass Music such as Drum n Bass and Trap with atmospheric vibes found in four to floor styles such as Techno and House. The world started to take notice and she did mixes for Friction Magazine and Rinse FM together with Deena Abdelwahed. So without further due we proudly introduce Esther today on Hip Crave.
HipCrave: Hello Esther, thank you for doing this interview with us, why don’t you introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi Hip Crave! Thank you for receiving me. I’m a 29 years old girl living in the south of France, in Toulouse. I have been producing music for the last 2 years, and I also do Dj sets in clubs. I also created a young label called DOUM Records in August 2018 with a really great team, we are focusing on organizing events.
And since the beginning of this year I’m also developing a professional production and mix studio with 2 associates (Yoann Lê and Clément Libes)
HipCrave: What made you choose the name Esther?
Esther was the name of my grandmother, she died before I was born, It’s also my second name. It means “star” in hebrew, so I decided to use it because It’s kind of a nod at my family’s history.
Recently I was playing the same night as “Manu Malin”, someone I adored long before making music, and he told me my name was dope!
Hip Crave: What inspired you to make music, who are your biggest influences?
When I was 6, my father had this strange idea of buying a piano, I was more focused on playing football with my friends at that time. But suddenly there was this huge brown piano in the living room and my father was playing Classical and Blues stuff on it.
He explained to me that my grandmother made him learn piano when he was young in Algeria, and that he wanted me to do the same.
So I went for it, at first I thought it was boring!
But someday I remember watching a tv show where they talked about Jean Michel Jarre. I thought it was amazing, synthesizers, repetitive music, something more hypnotic. Later I started going to electronic music events, to feel the bass in your body, it started to grow in me and I wanted to do my own stuff.
After seeing Gesaffelstein live, I went to a music store and I bought my first synth ever. A Minimoog Voyager, it was completely impulsive and stupid as I didn’t even know the basics of synthesis. I didn’t have a soundcard, nor monitoring speakers… So I was plugin the damn thing directly to an mp3 station, this still makes me laugh when I think about it.
Then the process was beginning, I started to learn Djing, I was digging music freneticaly.
My first love was with Industrial Techno, then I discovered Ambient, Electronica, Ghetto House, Gqom etc… I wanted to listen to all of it, my friend Deena Abdelwahed played a great role in my discover of bass music.
Hip Crave: Your music seems to be very sound design oriented, do you design all the elements of your track? And which DAW(Digital Audio Workstation) do you produce music on?
+ Hip Crave: How would you describe your music production workflow? How do you start a track?
Obviously! But I prefer to say that rhythms are more central to my productions. I always start with rhythms, I chose different percussive sounds, I draw some patterns and that’s only after that that I go on my synths to find textures and stuff. Then I open some plugins and try to shape the sounds into something more personal.
Effects are also fundamental, they can make a beat sound different, often by accident!
I’m keeping this “naive” approach when creating music, I like when things happen when they were not predicted.
Hip Crave: Which music production tools you couldn’t live without?
Today I might say the Ableton’s drum rack, I used some drum machines but I never felt the freedom that I have with a simple drum rack. There are so many ways to modulate and shape your sounds that I also might say the “Decapitator” by Soundtoys, that thing is wild!
Hip Crave: You just released “Movement For The Death Of The Kitten”, tell us what inspired you to make this EP?
It was the necessity to do something good with bad energies, and transforming all that in a hybrid sonority. To move into action, to say goodbye to anxiety. It shows in this EP because it’s developed like a book.
Hip Crave: Your new music video “Are Tears Good For The Skin” is out today, how did you get the idea for the video? Tell us a bit about how you came up with the track and which emotions were you trying to convey?
I wanted an outro track, more emotional than the rest of the EP. I remember doing that bass line on the Moog and thinking:
“Ok, this is so simple but it kinda talks to me, it’s melancolic yet it gives me the envy of creating”.
I’m working with Matthias Orgeu and Thomas Turbain from Toulouse, they are named “Alosthead” and we exchanged a lot about the idea of doing videos for the EP.
It all started around an idea I had about losing the person we love, to suddenly be “unloved”. It’s also a fundamental concept of the EP itself. One night, Matthias told me that he wanted to tell a story but only filming macro, it was a really good way of having a different point of view, a more organic version of human’s relations.
So this is a story about a relationship that creates and destroys itself, without their images the EP would be incomplete.
Hip Crave: What part of the music making process do you like the most? Which part you like the least?
I prefer the beginning, no doubt. The excitation of the white page, infinite possibilities. The more the production goes further the more I get angry easily! Yoann Lê plays a massive role in that production step, he also mixes my track with Clément Libes.
Hip Crave: Besides music, you are also a photographer, which artform have you started first and what else inspires you to be creative?
I did some photography as a total amateur, I found it an accessible way to express ourselves. There’s a similarity in my approach on both music and photo, try and get something like it’s all existing already, the only constraint is to find it.
Hip Crave: So what is next for Esther, are you already working on new stuff?
I’m working on a new EP, and some remixes too, I have several tracks on the way of getting finalized. I want to make my live set grow, as much on the gear than on the format. I also continue to develop my djing abilities, finding new sounds and developing the hybridization of my sets.
And I also get back on stage in August for the festival Electrobotik!
HipCrave: Lastly I would like to thank you for your time, I wish you the best in future endeavours and will leave space below for any final thoughts. Au Revoir!
Thank you to you for these beautiful questions and yes to finish I would say that we must go to the end of our desires, do not be afraid to fail, and work work work with beautiful people.