Born in India, raised in Dubai, now focusing her craft in Berlin, Esther Eden is up-and-coming on a global scale. Her pop music has layered textures and pure vocals with unique lyrics. Having shared the stage with big names like Jessie J and Adam Lambert, we get together with Esther to talk about musical style, her new single, and the future.
indieberlin: Tell us a little bit about your musical background.
Esther Eden: I got into singing a bit late though I had a singer for a mother and she exposed me to different kinds of genres. I, however, was not always into singing. I originally enjoyed dancing. Ed Sheeran inspired me to start singing as I listened to his album “+” when my dad gifted me my first guitar at age 13. Then something happened that changed my life forever. Jessie J visited my school and heard me sing my first original song – she invited me to sing at her concert that very evening. This instilled me a confidence and I now began believing in myself. Now I am self-taught at the guitar, piano and ukulele.
For me, it’s all about the story.
indieberlin: What is your new single, “Blue Case” about?
Esther Eden: This is the first time I wrote a song based on a stranger. I saw a guy walking ahead of me with a bright blue string instrument case. I wasn’t sure if it was a contrabass or cello case but later found out it was a cello case. Being a friendly person, I wanted to approach him and tell him I liked his case. However, wasn’t sure about doing that as he could think I was weird being a random stranger. He was far so I couldn’t see what his face looked like or how old he was but his case definitely caught my attention. We walked the same street for about 15 minutes and during that time I was completely fascinated and contradicted about approaching him. In the end, I did not say hello but had to write how I felt in this song.
I recorded the song with one of the youngest producers in my university, BIMM – Gabe Augustin, a 19year old producer who is half German and half American. One of the most talented producers I have worked with to date. He was able to understand my song and bring my vision to life. During my previous work, I would give the producer my track and references, and they usually would come up with different beats etc to form the song. But, this was the first time I was involved in the production since day 1. We started in his garage studio with the main piano riff that I wrote the song on. And then went to building the song from there. Gabe produced, mixed and mastered the track himself. Fabio Buemi helped with the mixing. Since the song was based on a string instrument, I asked talented Miina Viitala from Finland to play the violin for this track.
This track also showcases my vocals differently from what I have done before and I quite like this direction.
indieberlin: Tell us something about yourself that you always wanted to say but no one has ever asked you yet.
Esther Eden: It may be hard to imagine but I am really shy off-stage. I think people confuse personalities on stage with personalities otherwise. I feel like the stage gives me the freedom to be whoever I want to be, however, I also like to be true to myself.
indieberlin: How does the songwriting process work for you?
Esther Eden: For me, it’s all about the story. So most of my songs are based on situations I have experienced. Once I feel something deeply, I grab a paper and pen (yes, I’m old school that way), start improvising on the guitar simultaneously and viola, I have got a new song.
indieberlin: If you had to describe your music to a deaf person, what would you say?
Esther Eden: This is an interesting question. No one has asked me this before. I remember watching somewhere that anyone who has a hearing impairment can feel the vibrations of music. So I am sure they would feel the music anyway and the beats and bass of my music would make them want to groove, sway and jump.
indieberlin: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Esther Eden: My inspirations are from situations I experience in my life. I can’t write a song if you just tell me to write one. When I feel deeply about something, I need to write about it and express my feelings through music.
indieberlin: What was the nicest compliment you once got?
Esther Eden: It’s hard to choose! I guess but when a mother told me her 6-year-old daughter would cry every time she heard my story and song on the radio as she was so inspired that really made my day. Maybe the crying part isn’t too great haha but I love that I can inspire people with the platform I have.
indieberlin: How do you feel about covering a song?
Esther Eden: I honestly love it. That’s how I started singing actually. Once I learned to play the guitar, I uploaded my first cover of “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz on Youtube. After getting a good response, I continued to upload more covers. I enjoy being able to take a song and make it my own.
When I feel deeply about something, I need to write about it.
indieberlin: How do you think the audience in Berlin is different to the audience in the UAE?
Esther Eden: There is quite a difference coming from a Middle Eastern city like Dubai to a European City such as Berlin. The music scene in the UAE is still in its starting stages but has been growing steadily recently. And the people in the UAE really enjoy attending live music events as they aren’t too common. I have a lot of support from the UAE and I’m so grateful that I got to be involved in the growth of this vibrant music scene.
Whereas in Berlin, the scene is so developed already. There are so many musicians and buskers here that get a fair amount of support from the audience. Whenever I have performed I have found that the audience has been so receptive and interested to know more about my music. The support of your audience is so important for an artist to grow.
indieberlin: Do you prefer to play big festivals/stages or smaller club gigs?
Esther Eden: I enjoy both types of shows as they are both unique in their own way. This gives me the opportunity to be a bit diverse. For smaller shows, I can perform my set more acoustic and intimate whereas, for bigger shows, I can perform my set with a bigger band/sound so I can get people to jump and dance.