Vixen Chat: Estelle on ‘Make Her Say,’ Turn Offs and L-O-V-E


What’s the most important element of a song?

A good beat; a good bass line. I’ve been in sessions before and people would be like “take the baseline out, and I’m like “Why?” I have my fall out moments. My father used to be a session drummer for a lot of UK reggae acts, so that’s where that comes from. My mother’s from Africa, so it’s like an inherited thing. On Sunday evenings, Soca and Reggae were always playing. I want to incorporate that in my records. With these pop records, people like to turn off the bass, but I can’t live on treble alone.


What kind of reaction do you want to see from viewers with the “Make Her Say” video?

I just want them to be open and understand where I’m going with it. I don’t want them to take it for sensationalism. I do want them to have a reaction to it, but I want them to really understand where I’m going with it. I could’ve done all black, all latex, in some fierce outfit—which is exactly what I was going to do. I decided to do something that was real and lifestyle. I wanted it to be something that everyone relates to. Everyone has been through a breakup, everyone’s had to get their shit back, and sex is always awkward the first time. This was about embracing yourself, however you feel.


Do you consider yourself a feminist? 

Feminism is such a subjective term. Everyone has their own definition of feminism. I believe in being a woman and everything about a woman. I believe in all rights, I believe in equality and I believe in standing up for yourself. Be who you are meant to be. Feminism can mean something completely different to a lady in Dubai wrapped in a hijab versus to a lady in Afghanistan wrapped in a hijab because it’s two different cultures. I say just do what you have to do in the space that you have and if you feel the urge to change it, then change it…Shout out to Gloria Steinem and the women who had to do certain things for women to be where we are now.