The Barden Bellas return to competition in Pitch Perfect 2, in theaters everywhere on Friday, May 15, 2015.
The movie starts off with the Bellas performing for a nationally televised audience with Michelle and Barack Obama in the crowd, during which a mishap from “Fat” Amy gets them banned from competition.
From there on, the girls are forced to band together in order to find their voice and regain their spot at the top of the a cappella world.
The movie stars Ester Dean, who stopped by the GlobalGrind office for a chat with contributor Latia Glover about her new music, being in Pitch Perfect 2, and more. Check out the Q&A below.
We are speaking with the lovely Miss Ester Dean. The movie comes out tomorrow;, what have these past few days been like for you?
Crazy! We’ve been everywhere. First L.A., then Atlanta and now New York. And that’s just in the past 3 days. This is the part they don’t tell you about. I’m tired, but I’m loving it.
Has anyone super cool or unexpected reached out to congratulate you on the movie yet?
A few people, but the movie hasn’t come out yet, so I’m waiting to see. A lot of my friends don’t even know I have a bigger part this time. So it’ll be dope to see who reaches out once they see I have more lines.
I know you and Chris Brown are pretty cool, has he hit you up?
Well, I’m based in L.A. and so is he, so I see Chris around. I actually saw him not too long ago at a club and the person I was on the phone with wouldn’t let me go (laughs). I was like, “Oh my God, please let me off this phone so I can talk to my boy” (laughs). But that’s family, Chris is like my brother; he always supports me.
Do you guys plan to get back in the studio together again, or do you have your eye on another artist you would like to collab with?
Yes (grin). So I actually just came off tour with Nicki Minaj and Trey Songz, which was amazing. I opened for them every night! It was so much pressure because I’m the first one out there; I kind of had to set the energy for the night. But they were both so super dope and supportive, like family. Every night I would perform this one song off my EP, Miss Ester Dean. And one day Trey was like, (nods head), “Oh yeah, I like that one, I got to get on that.” So he actually just sent over his verse for the track. So you guys will hear that soon.
Oh man, be prepared to do numbers; the ladies love some Trey.
(Laughs) Yes! He’s so awesome. He would pray with me before I went out on stage and everything. I wish everyone could see that side of artists. That entire tour experience was just amazing. It was my first time being on the road and I’m an independent artist, so it felt good to be a part of that.
How did the independent thing come about, because you were signed at one point, correct?
Yes, I just didn’t like the way the whole label thing worked. As a record label, when you have an artist like me, they weren’t sure of my demographic, especially when they want you to build your fan base on the Instagram, and the Twitter, and all that first. And you’re like, not everybody is really building fans. You can buy those fans, maybe not by the fan, but you can buy the look of a fan. So they’re [record labels] not taking that many chances. But with me being independent, I get to put out the music and see how the people respond to it and give more. You know what I’m saying, I paid for myself to go on tour with Nicki. Not paid Nicki, but for the tour bus, and the planes for 16 people. And hotels for 16 damn people [laughs]. Not only the hotels and the travel, but the budgets of them working. But a record company wouldn’t have done that for a new artist. They’re more like, “we’re not putting that much money out there, to see if you work.” But with this, I get to take a chance on myself. Now you get to see me out more because I don’t have anybody blocking me. Even if they don’t want to take a chance on you, they don’t want to see you out there working; that would mean they have to.
Congratulations on taking a chance on you, it seems to be working in your favor. The industry is treating you well and you now have the movie. How was it to be back on the set with the girls?
I’ve been waiting for them to call me for that. I’ve been waiting for them to call me for any other thing as well, I’ll take it. I just love being on the set. Not even just on the set with the girls because we love that, but we keep in contact anyway. But being on set with the “outcast.” The light people, the styling people, the makeup; it’s just a big little community every morning and every day for eight hours a day. Just getting to work with people and build friendships. In the music industry you see everybody but they’re moving constantly, so with that you get three months of just building a relationship, going out, having a drink.
Who’s the coolest chick in the cast? Who is your set BFF?
Me! (Laughs). Rebel (Wilson), Hana (Mae Lee), and Alexis (Knapp)! Hana and Rebel taught me a lot. And then it’s like Anna (Kendrick) had so much to read so you just kind of understand. I’m the kind of person who respects people. Cause I’m like, Anna got to carry a whole movie, while we maybe got like a line or a few, you know what I’m saying. So we knew, even if she didn’t want us to, we wanted to respect that she was over there learning. Because that’s a heavy load to carry. But me and Anna always text on the phone like, “what you doing b*tch?,” or she’ll send me cute stuff and I’ll send her cute stuff. But I always respect the fact that people are working. So me, Hana, Lexis and Rebel, we’ve always been close. We’ve been close since the beginning.
I don’t want to give too much of the movie away because it didn’t come out in theaters yet, but for the retreat scene, did you do your own stunts?
I did do my own stunts! Did I want to do my own stunts? No! So the time that I’m on the log, they’re laughing at me the whole time cause I was scared out of my f*cking mind. And it was only like so high, but I was like, “if I fall, nobody is here. It ain’t no cushion down there.” They had us at a campground, so they were like, “kids do this.” I was like, “so, kids get hurt every day too.” So they had us on this camp lake thing and it was like a rickety and rockety, and we were supposed to jump off the zip line thing. And I was like, “I can’t swim and I’m afraid of heights. What is my black a** doing up here.”
If you could add anybody in the world to the Bellas, who would it be?
Omg, you know what, I would add Ariana Grande. Wouldn’t she be dope? We would win; we would win all the time. It’s so weird because I would add Ariana Grande to the Bellas for the singing singing singing, then I would add Beyoncé for the choreography, you know to bring us some spunk. I would grab Rihanna for some sexiness, and if we needed a real super super dope rapper, I would add Nicki. So it’s just all about who we would need.
That sounds like a track to me.
I know! Let’s get those girls together. Put that in the atmosphere. They can send us the letter in the mail to say no later.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty