Estelle has been hard at work on her new record for the past couple of years, and she's not the only one. With her upcoming album, True Romance, the British singer-songwriter has worked with everyone from Robin Thicke to Kanye West. "Robin Thicke, he’s a real band leader," the "American Boy" singer told Fuse. "Even on video sets he’s like, ‘Come on! Let’s Go! Alright!’ It was like that on set for the song we did, 'Rollercoaster,' and he’s like that on stage. I love that, I think he's awesome."
As for Kanye? Mr. West has dropped some serious knowledge on Estelle. "Kanye is like cousin Yeezy. I love him. I don’t care what anyone says! Kanye taught me one of the most valuable lessons in my career, and that’s quality control. We would go in the studio ... and to me, it was just amazing to sit down or be in there at any given time, and really not leave the studio until everything was amazing."
The singer also had the chance to work with Chris Brown and Will.i.am, both of whom she holds dear to her heart. "Chris Breezy! That boy is a crazy genius. He walks the fine line of crazy genius to me. He has so much inside him and he lives in the studio. When you're not seeing him partying, he lives in the studio. There's so much music for Chris, I can't wait to see what he comes [up] with next."
Will.i.am is a "crazy genius" by her standards as well. "I love that he travels and he’s been around the world and literally will go and live in another country for a few months and come back with a whole other energy," she added. "That’s integral to musicians. Sometimes we get lazy and you want to stop and stay where you are and live in the space. Will will go to Australia and come back with a whole new sound. I love it because he keeps doing it. He keeps evolving."
Like many musicians these days, Estelle asked an EDM professional for a helping hand. Enter David Guetta. "David Guetta is a brilliant mind. Just in the back, chilling, tinkering with things, and then all of the sudden you have this big record … he’s a sweetheart, a really nice spirit. He’s a guy that doesn’t do music for the sake of money. He does it because he enjoys it." She was even able to get Rick Ross on the album.
"Rick Ross is sweet; Rick Ross is another sweetheart!" she gushed. "A lot of the men I work with are really, really nice. He came in super cool, he spent his three or four hours, he did his shoot. We were stood on a ledge. We were really nervous because it was a big drop down and we made it look like we were walking on water. He was a sweetheart. I love Rick Ross." And the love just grows bigger with Cee Lo Green: "Cee Lo was brilliant. I learned so much, just physically being in the studio. He confirmed to me that I wasn’t crazy. You go into the studio with someone accomplished as that and everyone expects you to go through the loops and the hoops. What he said to me that stuck with me was, ‘You either feel it or you don’t, so we’re going to go through what you felt on this record and pick the best parts and make this record!' and that’s what we did."
Each collaboration on the record was a lesson. "Nas! My friends and I were calling him ‘Fine Ass Nas.’ That was an honor and everything. I had no clue what to expect from him. I know him from just rap, big fan of his. His energy was just easy. He taught me something about being calm and just being cool in the midst of everything."
Watch the full video interview above.