Grammy award-winning R’n’B singer Estelle launched her new album at XL Beach Club’s first birthday party last weekend and we tracked her down for a quick chat.
Welcome to Dubai! How are you enjoying it so far?
It’s exciting! I’ve got lots of fans out [here]. I’ve got my first record out and I’m excited to finally release it to the world. I’ve been to Abu Dhabi and I’ve been to a couple of the other emirates too. Dubai is the main one and I’ve never really been, so it’s exciting.
You launched your album at XL Beach Club in Dubai. Tell us about the new record.
The album is all about me [laughs] it’s called All of Me; it’s based on my life experiences. I’ve had the opportunity to take my time with it.
What have you been up to for the last four years since your big hit in 2008, American Boy?
I’ve spent every second performing. It’s [been] kind of frustrating. It’s hard to write an album when you’re not in one place – you’re writing on tour buses, you’re writing in airports.
Is it true you’ve been in talks with Simon Cowell to replace Kelly Rowland on The X Factor UK?
I heard that. I’ve not heard from him personally but, yeah, that would be fun as well. Kelly Rowland did a good job, so we’ll see.
Do you think shows like X Factor aid the music industry or give people an unfair advantage?
It is what it is, it’s about destiny. I can’t doubt them, I can’t put them all on a pedestal. Times changed, I’ve changed. Shows like that will never go out of fashion but with some people you think, “Why did you enter?!”
We’ve got loads of British singers coming here this month, such as Leona Lewis and Natasha Bedingfield. Is there any rivalry?
Natasha’s my girl, she’s my friend in real life, we live in the same place. I’m excited for her to be out here. I love [Leona], she’s got a brilliant voice and she’s a cool girl. It’s all about British girls – I support all of them.
We’ve noticed you haven’t been papped much recently…
Yeah. I do have parties, I do enjoy myself but I go out with my real friends and they definitely hide me. I’m able to dance in a club without other people chasing me or wanting to take pictures – they have my back.
You’ve worked with Chris Brown and Kanye West, both notorious bad boys. Do you have a thing for bad boys? I like guys who have the courage to be themselves.
Are you dating at the moment?
I sure am, having fun – loads of boys!
Who would you love to work with in the future?
Mary J Blige – I love her, she’s the reason I’m a singer. I remember when I was 12 or 13 singing Real Love in my bedroom and wishing I could be a singer one day, and now I am. We’ve been talking about [a collaboration].