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Estelle’s time to Shine

British rapper AND songstress Estelle has been enjoying some good company lately.

British rapper AND songstress Estelle has been enjoying some good company lately.

With her major label debut, Shine, out this month, and producers including will.i.am and Wyclef Jean providing the beats, Estelle remains focused on churning out good music.

“The time it takes to make an album is very important. I use every day to the fullest to make the music I want to make,” she says.

With a solid indie track record behind her, the London native caught the attention of John Legend, who took her under his wing and eventually signed her to his Homeschool imprint. A chance meeting at an L.A. restaurant sealed her fate with the singer.

“I walked up to Kanye (West) who was there chillin’, and said ‘I love your work, but where’s John?’” she jokingly reminisces.

In the studio, Legend encouraged the rapper to equally showcase her singing abilities.

“He asked me, ‘Where was this voice hiding?’” This package of talents is sure to draw instant comparisons to chanteuse Lauryn Hill, and Estelle is perfectly fine with it.

“She is a legend. I love her. But the comparisons are skewed because we come from different points of view.”

Estelle’s vantage point was from a small London flat with eight siblings and parents from Senegal and Grenada. Her exposure to African music at home and hip hop and reggae in the streets allowed her the comfort to perform across genres effortlessly.

“This is me, this is always gonna be me.”