GlobalGrind caught up with famed singer, songwriter, and actress Ester Dean to talk about her lengthy career as a songwriter, wanting to work with Drake, the “happy accident” that led to Nicki Minaj’s “Pills N Potions,” her single “Twerkin 4 Birkin,” and a lot more.
Ester is well-known for her hit back in 2009, “Drop It Low” featuring Chris Brown, and her role in the musical comedy Pitch Perfect. Not to mention her work on songs like Rihanna’s “Where Have You Been,” Chris Brown’s “Drop It Low,” and now Nicki Minaj’s single “Pills N Potions.” Though her work is heavily rooted in hip-hop and R&B, Dean’s work has transcended genres. She’s worked with country artists, rappers, and pop stars.
Dean credits her versatility as the secret weapon to her success, saying she couldn’t imagine being tied down to one genre.
“I call myself a schizophrenic writer. I have definitely got multi-personalities when I write. So I’ve been doing that for a long time….I’m an overall writer,” she said.
When asked about working with Nicki Minaj on “Pills N Potions,” Dean revealed the song fell into Nicki’s hands by mistake. Ester was working on a variety of hooks for the rapper and didn’t intend for her to pick that song.
“I sent her a couple of hooks because we had been working and that hook was a part of many hooks I didn’t know how to separate at the time. I didn’t know how to get it out of the email, so instead of taking it out, I just sent them all.”
Ester was caught off guard when Minaj called her, ready to get to work on that specific hook. Dean and her team worked tirelessly to get the file over to Nicki and her people so she could make the song what it is today.
“That song almost did not come out, but I’m happy it did,” Dean revealed.
When she’s not working on hooks for other people, Ester is hard at work creating her own music. She recently released her single “Twerkin’ 4 Birkin,” which was created after a T-shirt slogan she saw while vacationing.
“I saw this shirt in New Zealand that said, “Twerkin for a Birkin” and I was like, that is actually the dopest thing I’ve ever seen!”
As she headed home, she kept repeating the lyrics in her head to herself until the rest of the song followed. Initially, Dean planned to send the song to fellow musician Juicy J, but plans changed and she released it as a free single.
“I was like, here’s something that I wanted to put out. It’s kind of fun. It’s not to be taken serious. You’re just supposed to feel good. People don’t feel good anymore,” she said.
Though she’s already worked with just about everyone who’s anyone in the industry, Ester says she’s really hoping to get in the booth with Drake, Lil Wayne, R. Kelly and also hopes to reunite with Chris Brown once more. After working together to create their big hit “Drop It Low,” she says she and Chris have great writing chemistry and that he’s her favorite co-writer.
Aside from her many musical endeavors, Dean is famous for her role in Pitch Perfect. She and the rest of the cast are back and ready for more in the film’s sequel Pitch Perfect 2, which comes out in May 2015. The actress says you can expect a whole lot more lady lovin’ and comedy out of her character this time around.
“My character has grown so much. She has appreciated how much she loves the ladies, so she’s not afraid of it. Like, full on, ‘Hey honey. Fuck everybody. I love girls and they love me.'”
Dean says she was less present in the initial film due to her music schedule, so she decided to put writing on the back burner to focus on the film – and it paid off.
“This time I went into it a little more confident. I was there to win. You’ll get a little more funny out of me, I’m in more scenes, I have more speaking parts. There’s going to be lots of singing and dancing,” she shared.
She also plans to continue her acting career, delving into more roles on both film and TV.
“You can put a studio in the trailer. It’s just that easy, so TV and film is my dream, and songwriting is my day job. I am so excited that I actually figured that out.”
Check out Ester’s new single and be sure to save the date and check out Pitch Perfect 2 next year.
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