Estelle may have broken onto the music scene with a famous collaborator, with “American Boy” with a certain Mr. Kanye West, but the U.K.-born singer been making a name for herself as a solo artist too. Most recently, she released the album “True Romance,” but what might have grabbed more people’s attention was her appearance on Fox’s insanely popular “Empire,” as a singer who duets with middle son Jamal (Jussie Smollett) on her song, “Conqueror.” Next week, she heads to Boston to play at Pride, so we checked in with her about playing Pride festivals, and tried to get gossip about Season 2 of “Empire.”
Is this your first time playing a Pride festival?
I’ve played Pride festivals before, but this will be my first time playing in Boston, so I’m pretty excited.
Why do you think they invited you to be one of the Pride performers?
I have no idea why they asked me to do it. My gay fans are awesome and they support me, period. So I’m excited to do it.
Have you noticed any difference in Pride in the U.K. versus here?
It’s definitely the same. The fans are the fans are the fans. They’re naked, they’re naked, they’re naked. They’re dressed, they’re dressed, they’re dressed. And that’s it. The correlation across the board, when I’ve done Prides and gay events, is everyone wants to have fun. Everyone wants to come and sing along to their favorite songs and party, which I appreciate.
Have you gone to the parades before, or do you mostly stick to performing?
I always end up performing at parades and festivals. I’ve never been to one and not performed. The one I had the most fun at was Hollywood. I got to perform and I was given the key to the city, so that was wonderful.
Ooh, no key to the city this time, but I hope we live up to your expectations.
Headlinings fine. I’ll do that.
Does “Conqueror” feel different now that it’s become part of the “Empire” world?
No, I think it’s just taken off more. It’s almost like having a remix to a record, you know? We had it out on my first record, and we replayed it on “Empire” and it went in a whole other direction. It was great.
Are all the singers you know trying to get on the show now?
It’s cool. I will say that “Empire” is one of the only shows that is a legit vehicle for musicians in an age where there’s hardly anywhere for us to sing or hardly anywhere for us to sell, perform, do music anymore. The media shows are the media shows and that’s like the top five artist you’ve been hearing about. It’s like, what happens to everybody else? Where does everybody else go? There are hundreds of thousands of musicians out there. So it’s another avenue, and we’re grateful for it. I can understand wanting to be a part of it.
And are you a big fan of the show?
Yeah, I love the show. I watched my episode like everybody else, like “What is Boo Boo Kitty going to do today?” It’s got energy. You get so excited. It’s a great show. It’s got great writing, great presentation. Styling is on point. Everything works.
So will we see you on Season 2, or are you not sure yet?
Yeah, I think so. I was signing to Empire Records at the end of the last episode, or Delphine was signing, so I think I’ll be back.