I first stumbled upon ESTA‘s music while trying to venture out of my usual genres of interest and into a different sound.
It all seemed to fall together in a beautiful and elegant way. I’d never really been into production before, but I had tried my hand (and both succeeded and failed) at making music. Stumbling into the world of vinyl, sampling and beats was an added plus. Imagine this: the ability to recycle and reuse music to create something entirely different. Some will argue at it’s capacity of being original or authentic, but at the end of the day, I’ve never been able to dispute the greatness of a great sample, a bumping beat and some sultry vocals.
In comes ESTA, a producer currently based out of Los Angeles, CA who recently got involved with the production and tastemaker house Soulection, which touts their ability to curate “the sound of tomorrow”, and to some extent, is definitely doing so. Known a good amount for his remixes, ESTA has been playing a game of releasing original tracks here and there and even dropped an EP titled Feathers three months ago. I’ve been relatively impatient, as has been his entire fanbase that has racked up the plays on some of his Soundcloud tracks to over a million listens. Because of so, I’ve spent time digging into his back catalogues, falling into releases such as REAL.LIVE.SHIT. which was put out on his Bandcamp about 5 years ago. The album remains, to this day, my soundtrack to sunny days driving around Lake Merritt in Oakland or skimming the bases of San Francisco high rises in the Financial District.
This is where ESTA lives — in a world between the old and the new. It’s the combination of Rugrat theme songs, flipping some of the most notable tracks and making them into something entirely new. He’s not alone, however, as a number of producers have long charted this road for years, but he is taking it to new levels. He reminds listeners of that feeling when you first heard a song you loved, that memories built around it, and opens up the room for you to make new ones. It’s the effect his production has. It’s the mixture of Temecula sunshine, the Los Angeles buzz, and his brief stint in the East Bay growing up. It’s all those things and so much more.
The Bay Bridged: I remember first listening to REAL.LIVE.SHIT. years ago and really falling for your production methods and tactics. I had listened to Eponym and Esta before that and some of your other collaborations, too. From being a part of 2NAI/IC3 to now being a well-known member of Soulection, how has the progression of your career been in the last four years for you?
Esta: Wow, you’ve been through it all with me (laughs). It has been a crazy last few years. It really is all a blessing. I never thought I’d ever accomplish even half the things I have and in that amount of time. I still cant believe it, actually. I just got to progress from here on out.
TBB: What do you think has been the biggest shift in you, personally and artistically, throughout that time period?
Esta: The biggest thing I would say is my comfortability in creating. Now that I’ve built my own following with my style I never have to feel the need to follow any trends or do what others are doing. I can just freely create and know that the people that really know me will enjoy it.
TBB: You recently went on tour with Jeff Bernat and were credited as a producer on In The Meantime with him, right? How was that process?
Esta: It was great, Jeff and I are roommates so it all seemed like we were just normally hanging out (laughs).
TBB: Who are some of your influences? What do you recommend any person looking to get into production listen to?
Esta: I have a long list of influencers but it would mainly be Kobe Bryant and J Dilla. For anyone looking into production you most definitely have to listen to Dilla. I still, to this day, learn something from him through listening to his music.
TBB: Everyone’s been waiting for your release (including myself). After hearing your remixes, your sporadic tracks, and seeing you tour around the world, what information can you give us about the (hopefully forthcoming) release that we don’t know?
Esta: Coming this year.
TBB: Who are some of your favorite producers out right now and why?
Esta: Of course my family at Soulection. Besides that I would say Sam Gellaitry, Teklun, Mxxwll, and Pomo. Im not drawn to many peoples music but what attracts me is character. These guys’ music all have that.
TBB: What is on the horizon for you? What should we be looking out for?
Esta: Launching some merch, the album, and more shows!