Estee Gabay has released the first single off of her full length album that will debut early next year. ‘Blind’ is a song about ” the universe aligning to create a circumstance that feels destined. It’s about the circle of life, the aligning of the elements, the force that keeps everything moving. It’s about love and allowing yourself to submit completely to another being; about finding a soulmate.” We caught up with Estee to talk more about her release of ‘Blind’ and her up and coming album release.
When will your album be released?
EG: The Album will be released in early 2018. We are shooting for January but no later than February for sure. We will have at least one more single release with a video prior to the album release.
Have you released music before?
EG: It has been awhile since I released new music. I spent a lot of time writing this album and then a little over two years now recording it and letting it grow with me. My first release was an EP called Green in 2012, also produced by Wolfy (Zimmerman). At that time I was writing and performing as a solo acoustic artist. Very singer-songwriterish, and I hadn’t explored what kind of sounds I liked yet. That was my first venture into experimenting in the studio and you hear that I was trying to find my voice because the sound changes drastically from song to song. It was mostly very straightforward pop and I was very fortunate to have Wolfy’s guidance at the early stage. I learned a lot and it helped to inform my writing moving forward. Then in 2015 I released a song called “Down”. That was kind of a transitional release and it felt more natural to me than the acoustic-driven pop I was putting out before. I started using this children’s Casio keyboard to write my basic chord progression so I could move away from the guitar rhythms I had gotten comfortable with. The keyboard gave me a very simple foundations and rhythm-wise a very clean slate so I could experiment with syncopating my melodies. I finally started to feel like the songs sounded like me, which is something I had spent a lot of time struggling to pinpoint exactly.
You’ve worked with some well known people in the Charleston music scene and in the SC music industry as a whole on this song. Does that continue throughout the album and album art?
EG: When we came into the studio the first time to start work on the new album I had a bunch of songs and half-songs, ideas and melodies that had been with me for at least a year already but I had just written Blind a few days before and I was excited about it. There was a lot of energy flowing there and through this entire process. ‘Blind’ has been the track that has kind of grounded us and focused us in a certain direction. Then we got Bo in and he did a lot of the guitar you hear on the track. He was playing with me in my band for a few years so we just had that musical connection where I could sing him a riff or just give him a reference and he would be able to find it and play it. Then Corey came in and laid down the bass and some more atmospheric guitar stuff. Corey actually worked on a couple of the songs in the early stage of recording so you will hear him more. There is a quick feature by Ross Bogan (The Movement, White/Bogan Duo), some guitar work by James Frolio (Big Yen) and the background vocals on several of the tracks from Regina Ferguson. When you’re in the studio like that, where people are coming in and out all the time and dropping in to hang sometimes these collaborations feel like a gift from the heavens or the universe. You have all of these chance opportunities to have extremely talented musicians bless your work.
It’s a similar feeling with the art. Wolfy suggested I check Nikki’s work out and so I did and we had a meeting. After meeting with her I knew it was going to be perfect. She is very in touch with her spirituality and she just got what I was going for and found way to visually represent the concept of fate. Even the colors she chose. Those are the colors I see when I listen to the song. I couldn’t think of anyone better to interpret the songs on this album and put these into visual form. So there will me more cover art from her moving forward starting with the singles.
Will the rest of the album be produced/mixed by Zimmerman?
EG: The entire album is produced by Wolfy and about 3-4 of the songs are actually co-writes with him. He pushed me to re-work most of my lyrics and dig deeper. That was a theme early on and we were spending a lot time and hours every session with me just writing lyrics while he spent time mixing or laying down drums. I think that I was just scratching the surface before and I was afraid to say some of the things I was feeling and thinking and scared of and insecure about. He pushed me to peon that up and share that vulnerability and made me realize in the process what a privilege it is to write songs and to even have the opportunity to share your own experience. So eventually it changed me as a writer. We’re still finishing the album up and probably will be until the very last-minute. Lately we’ve been writing together and starting from scratch. We spend so much time going through different keyboards and finding sounds. In the beginning we were searching for that sound and now we just both kind of know when we hear it. I feel like with music and collaboration you have to spend time getting the energy right. Wolf and I spend the first hour of every session just catching up on life and talking about where we each are spiritually and emotionally. It’s palpable but revealing your truths is often a very nerve-wracking experience. You have to be able to settle into your vulnerability and it is liberating when you reach that level of comfort with someone. I know Wolf will never judge me. He will only push me to make the songs the best they can be and that’s the best collaborative and creative situation one could have. You can hear a distinction between the songs I came in with and the songs he and I wrote together. That collaboration has created kind of its own sound on the album.
What/who has been the biggest inspiration behind your up and coming album? Where do you want your music to go?
EG: Because I have been writing and recording this album for years now the scope of its subject matter is broad. There are songs about finding myself spiritually, songs about making sense of my place as just one person in the vastness of the multi-verse and songs about love. There are songs ab out finding my confidence and manifesting my dreams. There are songs about fighting through fear. I was in a very abusive relationship for several years and I was struggling with profound anxiety and panic attacks. I was hiding. There were a few years were I felt like I was just existing and just trying to make it to the next day. When I found the strength to pull myself out of that situation I went through a deep transformation. I started to delve deeper into my spirituality. Slowly my fears started to fall away from me and my anxiety started to hear. It taught me the importance of being authentic. I hope the coming album can help anyone who may be struggling with their own self love.
‘Blind’ can be streamed and purchased on most of the major platforms. Keep your eyes out for Estee’s video release for ‘Blind’ that will be released in a few weeks.