-This Is Life-
Written By: Jonathan Widran
Sometimes, the old adage is really true. The stars align a certain way and it’s up to us to use our innate talents to discover the call of destiny. Emerging now, with her unique half Panamanian, half Trinidadian heritage, Estrella Cristina’s musical course was set the minute her parents called her the Spanish word for “star.” “Imagine,” the Los Angeles based singer/songwriter says, “sitting at your window and looking up at the stars and thinking about what you wanted to be when you grew up. For me, it was always music.”
Well on her way to making her longtime dreams come true, Estrella shares her innermost heart with the world for the first time on her four song EP This is Life. Performing with the three guitars she has named Phoenix (acoustic), Crimson (electric) and Achilles (acoustic-electric), the multi-talented performer engages in exciting collaborations with bassist Frank Coglitore (also her first guitar teacher who has played with Taylor Dayne, Beth Hart and Marie Digby), drummer Craig Macintyre (Digby, Josh Groban, etc.), guitarist Lance Konnerth (Hilary Duff, Enrique Iglesias) and singer-songwriters Lane Lenhart and Greg Haptor. Coglitore produced the soaring, energetic pop-rocker “Brighter Than Sunshine,” while Haptor and Lenhart helmed the session for hip, edgy and grooving “Nonstop,” which Estrella penned with Lenhart. The two remaining tracks, including the title track and a refreshing take on The Cure’s hit song “In Between Days”, were produced by MTV accredited producer Jeffery David and his team.
This Is Life is already available on iTunes as a three track EP, but the hard copy CD will also feature “Brighter Than Sunshine.” “NonStop,” a hopeful song about finding Mr. Perfect (who will love you “nonstop”!), was featured on FUSE TV’s “Rad Girls” and Estrella’s music is currently streaming on several radio outlets besides iTunes radio: WQTQ 89.9 FM in Hartford, Connecticut, Nette Radio, Women of Substance Radio and KGRL.
A natural talent who began playing violin at age 6, trained operatically (voice) for a few years and auditioned for many musicals while growing up, the singer took a lot of fascinating and inspiring stylistic detours before choosing the singer/songwriter route. Born in Sacramento and growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico and Nebraska, she experienced a unique multi-cultural upbringing with parents who exposed her to their native music--Spanish and Latin sounds (through her mother) and the soca rhythms of Trinidad (via her father). Her palette was rounded out with the pop music her brothers loved to listen to, ranging from The Cure and O.M.D. to INXS.
After graduating from Cornell University in New York as a Textile and Apparel Design major, Estrella headed back to her home state to pursue her goals in the music industry. Acing a hard to get audition, she put her original plan to be a solo artist on hold to sign on as the fourth and final member of a Destiny’s Child-like RB girls group (VIP) that was under consideration by J Records. When that didn’t pan out after a series of showcases, she focused on developing her own pop/rock sound, starting with learning the guitar with Coglitore, who enabled her to start writing on her new instrument.
Her musical autobiography begins with “Brighter Than Sunshine,” a co-write with Coglitore in which she sings of coming to a city not knowing a soul, having no job or place to live, and feeling all alone. It’s about finding that special someone—or something in her case, i.e. music—that makes the journey a lot less lonely. The title track “This is Life” is about the struggle towards reaching that lofty aspiration and figuring out at some point that “the moment” when things work out isn’t a single occurrence at all, but a series of stops along the way.
Her most recently released single, "Believe (Anything Is Possible)" was featured on the Style Networks fashion makeover show "How Do I Look?".
Acoustic Sets: Estrella Cristina- Vocals and Guitar
Joe Mott- Guitar
Sets W/Band: Estrella Cristina- Vocals and Guitar
Joe Mott- Guitar
Bassist & Drummer
Debut EP- "This Is Life" Released on Itunes - March 2009
1-Brighter Than Sunshine*
3-In Between Days
4-This Is Life
*included on hardcopy only
"Believe (Anything Is Possible)-Single - Winter 2010
Tonight: Hear NoHo Rocks: Party night around Lankershim
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HEAR NOHO: If you have a calculator handy -- we're guessing you do on your phone, but we're hoping i...HEAR NOHO: If you have a calculator handy -- we're guessing you do on your phone, but we're hoping it is one of those push-button jobs on your wrist -- you figure out the math. Seven music acts, three venues, ten bucks. We're guess it is like a dollar-ish something-ish a show. Estrella Cristina, One High Five, and several others rock Lankershim starting at 8 p.m.
By: ALYSIA GRAY PAINTER
A Star Is Born
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In the City of Angles a New Star is Born, her name is Estrella Cristina, her nick name Sunshine and ...In the City of Angles a New Star is Born, her name is Estrella Cristina, her nick name Sunshine and if you ever get a chance to be around her you’ll see just how fitting that name is. Estrella which is spanish for Star has such an illuminating warmness to her personality, her impression tends to become an imprint in your mind the same way a star’s does sitting in the sky thousands of light years away, she definitely lightens your mood making everything a little more brighter the same way Sunshine does. Her songs are uplifting, listening to her set you can feel her rays of positivity as if sun rays showering you with ease. Estrella has a unique voice, very soothing, whether singing or simply talking to her you instantly feel a connection of trust and warmth, her alternative sound of music makes you want to move and become engaged. There’s no way you can experience her set without a part of your body moving either voluntarily or involuntarily, whether it is your feet or fingers tapping or your heart beating with excitement listening to some of her faster melodies or fluttering with adoration, looking upon such a beauty of a person and feeling the connection as she sings about love, life or goal oriented encouragement.
Estrella Cristina is a true artist who knows who she is, everything for her style of clothing to her song choices fit her masterfully and just like a star or sunny day, she’s breathtaking to veer upon. To describe her would be to use the adjectives, warm, unique, beautiful, and of course creative. To describe her music you’d use the words, uplifting, edgy, inspiring. That mixed with the sweetest personality you’ll ever encounter makes everything about Estrella believable. Mix everything together and you’ve got Sunshine Estrella…the Star that Brightens your world.
Estrella Cristina recently performed at the NOHO Music Festival giving her fans a treat of being Astrologers meaning they were able to follow a veer upon their favorite Star as well she give new fans a similar treat of becoming astronomers giving them the opportunity to discovering a new Star.
Estrella Cristina is currently working on her newest EP, her prior EP “This Is Life” is currently available on ITUNES. You can also find her playing all around the City of Angeles and she is definitely a spectacle worth experiencing. Below are links where you can find, connect and stay in touch with her.
New Music Spotlight January 2010 Edition
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Right from the very moment I heard Estrella Cristina's single "Brighter Than Sunshine" I became an i...Right from the very moment I heard Estrella Cristina's single "Brighter Than Sunshine" I became an instant fan. What makes this Indie Pop artist's music fun to listen to are those catching hooks, colorful lyrics, and strong female vocal performed by the artist. What fans will enjoy most about the Singer/Songwriter is her ability to express powerful big emotions through her music and lyrics. Check out this recent spotlight that our Webzine completed with the artist in this super chic interview.
Isaac: I just listened to one of your songs titled, "Brighter Than Sunshine". What was the inspiration for making this song and your new album?
Estrella Cristina: Well, "Brighter Than Sunshine" I actually wrote about my early time in Los Angeles. When I first moved here to pursue my dream, I had just graduated, didn't even have a job yet, didn't know anyone, and just had this dream. It was a pretty challenging time and what got me through it was just focusing on the music. The song is about that journey, of coming to a city not knowing a soul, not having a job or 'beginning' and feeling all alone. It's about finding that special someone-or something that makes the journey a lot less lonely.
My debut EP "This Is Life" is pretty much a summarized blueprint of all the things I've gone through since moving to Los Angeles to pursue my dreams. All the tracks on the EP are reflective of that journey. The title track for example is about that struggle in the journey of reaching your dreams and realizing that it's not about an endpoint or "the moment" but about all the little steps along the way. In other words, you're living in your "moment"; it's now you just have to recognize it.
Isaac: Who were your influences?
Estrella Cristina: Wow, sooo many! My musical taste is a bit of a Smörgåsbord…lol I'm influenced by all types of music. It just depends, some musicians inspire me because of their ability to tell a great story, some because of that power they have to make you remember where you where when you first heard their song, etc... My first musical influence was actually classical, as I started off classically trained so I would say that classical music is definitely an influence. It's moving without the need for words, which I find beautiful. I grew up hearing a lot of The Cure, Depeche Mode, OMD and U2 around the house as my brothers were always playing them :-).
I also like Nick Drake, Rachael Yamagata, Amel Larrieux and Sarah McLachlan. They are all such great storytellers who emit so much emotion through their music and that's something I try to do with my music as well. Hmm, who else?, Alanis Morissette, No Doubt, Sixpence None the Richer, Coldplay, Butterfly Boucher, Nikka Costa, Michelle Branch, Vanessa Carlton, I could go on and on and on!
Isaac: What do you consider to have been the highlight(s) and lowpoint(s) of your career to date?
Estrella Cristina: Hmm…I would say the highlight so far was my debut EP being released this past year. There was so much that had gone into building up to that finished project. It felt amazing to finally get to release my music for listeners. It was a real feeling of accomplishment like "wow everything has led up to this moment". It felt amazing! It was a bit of a journey trying finding my "sound", and there where times along the way when I wondered if I was going the right direction and if I'd ever get to a point where I would think my music was ready for people to hear. Then when I actually got to that point, it was both feelings of relief and amazement.
In so far as lowpoint(s), I can't really pick a moment. Here's the thing in general I try to just take every experience as it comes and do the best I can with it. Once you look at it that way you realize that even the lowpoint(s) aren't really lowpoint(s), they're just learning experiences that in their own way bring you closer to your goals. Sure, there are disappointments along the way, but I've realized that none of those things break you they just make you stronger.
Isaac: Brief history about your background plus the style of music you play.
Estrella Cristina: Ok, I'll do my best not to make this too long! Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away :-) I was born…lol…I'm of Latin-Caribbean background, my mom is Panamanian and my dad is Trinidadian. I always like to joke that my parents where giving me a bit of a head start with my name since it's Spanish for star. I was born in Sacramento but grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico and Nebraska.
I knew since I was little that what I wanted to do was music. Pretty much ever since I can remember I was always writing and listening to music. It's always just been a part of me silently accompanying me along on all my adventures. I started with the violin at around the age of 6. I played for several years and then started voice lessons training operatically. I enjoyed that for a bit having lots of recitals, doing musicals etc. I knew that eventually I wanted to do more pop/rock music but figured that if I could master my voice operatically I could sing anything.
After graduating from Cornell University in New York, I decided to move back to California to pursue my goals in the music industry. I had planned on being a solo artist from the beginning but ended up landing a hard to get audition, and signed on as the fourth and final member of a Destiny's Child-like R&B girls group that was under consideration by J Records. So I put my original plan on hold for a bit. When that didn't pan out after a series of showcases, I decided to go and focus on developing my own pop/rock sound, and started with learning the guitar with Frank Coglitore (a bassist whose played with Taylor Dayne, Beth Hart, Marie Digby,etc..) with whom I penned "Brighter Than Sunshine". I've been really fortunate to get to work with some amazing musicians along the way. That song in a way was the beginning of me finding my own "sound".
Isaac: How easy is it to gets gigs for you as an artist? What is the live music scene like in your area?
Estrella Cristina: I'd say that can sometimes prove to be challenging. I'm fortunate to have the help of a booking agent who can get me shows at certain venues throughout Los Angeles which makes things much easier. But from prior experience I can say that getting gigs in Los Angeles can prove a bit difficult when you are going about it alone. I think in New York it is a bit easier in terms of getting gigs, LA can prove to be a bit tricky. The live music scene in LA is good, diverse artists, accessible, and a variety of venues, always something to hear. Living in a major city definitely has its perks!
Isaac: What do you think of the state of Pop music at the moment? Do you listen to radio much at all? Has the Internet helped music grow or hindered it in your opinion?
Estrella Cristina: Well my feelings are mixed. There are times when I hear a really great Pop song and think "wow, this is the perfect song" and then there are those times where I'll hear something on the radio, sampled and doctored up in the studio and wonder where is the artistry and how in the world it's getting played when there are so many great underground artists who never see the light of day? I listen to the radio every once in a while as I do need to know what is going on and what is being played per say. But most of the time when I do listen to the radio though; it's more the indie-pop/rock/alternative stations. A lot of the underground "undiscovered" music is really great! Other than that for the most part though I stick to listening to the CD's in my musical collection, I've got quite a collection and although this is the digital music era, I'm one of those music fanatics that still buys CD's. I love to read the liner notes, see who wrote what, who produced what, etc…
I think the Internet has helped music grow. Like anything else there are pro's and con's but in general I would say it has definitely been a good thing. I mean it has made music more accessible to people in terms of being able to get to music anytime anywhere. Without the Internet, it would make it almost impossible for indie artists like me to get noticed and be heard.
Isaac: If you could create a fantasy band - what would be the line-up and why?
Estrella Cristina: That's a great question, a first! Hmm… that's a really tough one because there are so many great musicians that I have yet to meet! I think I'll have to leave this one as an open answer to be answered on our next interview ;).
Isaac: What CD's do you currently have available and where can they be purchased from?
Estrella Cristina: I currently have my Debut EP: This Is Life available on iTunes. The iTunes version is 3 tracks. A hardcopy can be purchased by contacting me via my website or by purchasing at my live shows and includes a 4th track "Brighter Than Sunshine". I will be releasing another EP sometime this spring so I'm really excited about that! I've grown a lot as an artist since the last project and have been writing a lot of new material that I'm really excited for people to get to hear.
Isaac: Where can fans access your music, videos, blogs, and anything else about you online?
Estrella Cristina: Fans can access my music, info, updates, etc… via both my MySpace page at www.myspace.com/estrellacristina and also via my official page: www.estrellacristina.com. I'll be launching a YouTube station later this year as well. Also, if they are interested in receiving email updates, they can sign up for my newsletter at: www.iloveestrella.fanbridge.com
Isaac: Message to your fans?
Estrella Cristina: I'd like to say a really big 'Thank You' to my "Stargazers" :-) for their consistent support and encouragement along the way. It really keeps me inspired! A reminder to them to keep working towards their dreams no matter what and to keep shining the light that only they can shine. Also, thanks to you for listening to my music and helping me share it with the world. Your support means a lot and it makes a big difference. :-) Much Sunshine to everyone in 2010 and keep a look out because this is my year!
Street Voice News - Keeping Real Music Alive-August 2009 Reviews
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ESTRELLA CRISTINA - This Is Life EP: This lady is one of the most beautiful women in the world but w...ESTRELLA CRISTINA - This Is Life EP: This lady is one of the most beautiful women in the world but what blows me away about Estrella Cristina is her voice. I haven't put this release down simply because of that voice and when you hear 'This Is Life' you'll understand why as this has to be the best release I've heard in 2009. How Estrella Cristina has slipped the net with major labels is criminal as the delights on this four track EP are perfectly crafted pop tunes at their best! Even 'In Between Days' is spot on with her own take on this class 'Cure' song. However Estrella's own songs are in a different league and you'll realise that when you hear 'Brighter Than Sunshine', 'Nonstop' and 'This Is Life'. It's artists like Estrella who offer something more than the mundane pop that is on offer in these dull times. Estrella is exciting, she's sexy and what's more she has that knock out voice. I love her! You'll love her too! 10/10
Estrella Cristina-This Is Life
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Get your pop rocks on with a slight alternative twist on Estrella Cristina’s newest release, This Is...Get your pop rocks on with a slight alternative twist on Estrella Cristina’s newest release, This Is Life. Having ties and roots to Panama, Trinidad and the U.S., Cristina brings a diverse vibe along with a deep love for music itself. Being named after a star in Spanish, Estrella, could it be that this pop/rocker is destined to become a music star? All of that aside, it is quite evident that this 4-Song EP packs some punch from a musical and artistic standpoint.
This singer/songwriter/guitarist actually has names for her guitars! One acoustic guitar is called Phoenix, one electric guitar is named Crimson and the acoustic-electric guitar is titled Achilles. Showing immense creativity, it slides right into her ability to play and perform. The title and meaning of the 4-track set actually signifies Cristina’s personal thoughts and recollections of all her experiences since moving to LA to pursue her music career. Estrella is extremely reflective on this album and it comes across to the listener as a well-put-together, real-life-story. Her story-telling and lyrical abilities are quite impressive for this young Estrella.
This multi-dimensional pop/rock diva collaborated with some very special guests that provided their own musical talents along with some production wisdom. Frank Coglitore on bass, Craig Macintyre on drums, Lance Konnerth on guitar along with singer/songwriters, Lane Lenhart & Greg Haptor all helped make this record happen. All artists came together with Cristina at the core to make one nice piece of work. In a sense, all of the stars aligned during the making, recording and production of this album.
On the track, “Brighter Than Sunshine” co-written by Coglitore, Estrella speaks of a foreign place to her, LA, not knowing anything or anybody and feeling very lonely. The twist of the song though is that she finds music to be her only hope and source of happiness. Cristina stated that she “kind of uses the idea of a romantic connection with another person as a metaphor for my ongoing love affair with music!” This is a truly deep and poetic concept for this young artist, in which her words definitely shine through on This Is Life. One line that really sticks out for me is on “In Between Days” when she sings: “Yesterday I got so old, I felt like I could die”. Most artists or really just people in general look back at the past for great memories and such especially as we get older. What Estrella did hear is play with that idea by associating the past, yesterday, with feeling old. Instead of conventionally looking to the future as growing older and eventually dying, she reversed it up on us. Very unique approach as it really makes you stop and think about the unconventional phrasing.
One other key element of the record is Estrella’s vocal ability to really intrigue the listener. You get a sense of a very sensual & dedicated woman singing here that comes across as a very mature approach. But then, you also hear a very sweet & innocent-sounding voice that appears to be candy-coated with sugar and spice. The mixture of the serious, grown-up mentality with the girly-girl-next-door-without-a-care-in-the-world approach is very captivating. Seems Estrella Cristina just might have found her perfect companion in this life.
For more on Estrella Cristina and the new EP, This Is Life, SKOPE out www.estrellacristina.com.
By Jimmy Rae
EZ EPs IV: Estrella Cristina, Cast Spells, Forcefield Kids and Stereo Alligator
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I was listening to a "new" shuffle playlist (music added in the last three months) and this charming...I was listening to a "new" shuffle playlist (music added in the last three months) and this charming song, "In Between Days" came on. Remember the first time you heard Lady Sovereign's "So Human" and thought, hey, isn't that the Cure? The same thing with "In Between Days", except, instead of Robert's familiar voice, it's by Estrella Cristina.
Estrella's name, as I've read, means "star" in Spanish. She's based out of Los Angeles, and her debut EP This Is Life is currently available on iTunes, minus, in my opinion, her best pop song "Brighter Than Sunshine". You can hear and purchase the song on iLike. However, as of this writing, her official website is currently not available, but I would recommending contacting her for a CD version as that would contain all four tracks.
The rest of the EP is light radio pop song, check out the one love song "Non Stop" and the title track, "This Is Life" to get feel of her style of music.
So this is living, so this is life, she's scheduled to appear on the follow dates:
07/16/09 Genghis Cohen-Shout it out/Nette Radio Quarterly Showcase Los Angeles, California
09/17/09 (TBC) Genghis Cohen-Shout it out Showcase Los Angeles, California
Estrella Cristina-This Is Life
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Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, Ms. Estrella Cristina at first listen sounds like many. After repetiti...Hailing from Los Angeles, CA, Ms. Estrella Cristina at first listen sounds like many. After repetitive exposure, her lungs, and moxy can draw comparisons to few that are many.
This Is Life, a quickly put together E.P. has a consistent upbeat flavor. "Brighter Than Sunshine" has that spunky Fefe Dobson, Pop/Punk demeanor. Slick production for indie is key here, shining up what seemingly was a short notice recording. "Non Stop" is cheery and features high-pitched simplistic instrumentalist work that could possibly make it to Mix radio in most major markets, but something is stopping Cristina. Most of "In Between Days" has a very familiar shadow of The Cure guitar-wise anyways.
Regardless of whether or not this is my sound, Estrella has a boisterous and hyper sound, and would not doubt seeing her invading Pop Culture given the right amount of marketing.
Estrella Cristina – This Is Life EP (CD)
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“Nonstop” is the focal point on the “This Is Life” EP, and this track is something that acts as a gr...“Nonstop” is the focal point on the “This Is Life” EP, and this track is something that acts as a great introduction to Estrella Cristina. This is due to the eclectic composition of “Nonstop”, which takes on a wide body of work in the formulation of Cristina’s sound. There are hints of classic alternative artists like Natalie Cole, Jewel, and Lisa Loeb just as there are subtle touches of contemporary artists like Avril Lavigne and Kelly Clarkson. “Nonstop” is three and a half minutes of pop perfect, a delight that opens listeners up for the different facets of Cristina.
“In Between Days” takes listeners on a different journey, but Cristina has the talent to link together the two distinct approaches taken in a fulfilling way. “In Between Days” is so different because takes a classic Cure track and imbues it with just enough of her soul to make it into something special. While I would not think I could hear a cover of a Cure track that is competitive in terms of quality with the original, Cristina’s “In Between Days” is neck and neck with the Robert Smith version. “This Is Life”, the titular track for the EP, ends off the festivities. Cristina is smart here by placing this track at the end for a number of reasons.
First, listeners are more familiar with Cristina’s work and can give her a little more attention than would be the case if she lead the EP off with the track, while the track itself works as a bridge between what is present on this CD and what will ultimately be par for the course on her upcoming full length. “This Is Life” is emotionally intense and showcases Cristina flipping the script yet again; where the previous tracks either blended together the vocal and instrumental or gave more of a focus to the instrumental side, this final track relies heavily on the harmonies crafted by her capable voice. Where a number of artists just do not have the chops to make a solid song with such a load on their shoulders, Cristina is able to make a track that stands above the works put out by other contemporary artists.
Top Track: Nonstop
Estrella Cristina – This Is Life EP / 2009 Self / 3 Tracks / www.estellacristina.com
Estrella Cristina Interviewed - August 09
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Every so often a talented artists just blows us away at Street Voice and the latest happens to be Am...Every so often a talented artists just blows us away at Street Voice and the latest happens to be American pop sensation Estrella Cristina. This lady is more than just a pretty face - She is an amazing artist. On hearing her debut 'This Is Life' EP we had to feature Estrella in Street Voice and here's what she had to say for herself.
Street Voice: Can you introduce yourself to our readers and tell them a little about yourself please?
Estrella Cristina: My name is Spanish for star. I always joke that my parents where trying to give me a head start with my name! I’m a Los Angeles based singer-songwriter. I was born in Northern California, 3rd of six children. My dad is Trinidadian and my mom Panamanian so I grew up with a very unique perspective. I did a lot of traveling when I was younger and lived overseas for a few years before ending up in New York and finally here in Los Angeles.
Street Voice: So what made you decide you wanted to be a singer as well as picking up an instrument too?
Estrella Cristina: Well this is going to be a long answer! Ever since I can remember music has always been a part of my life, sorta following me around like a soundtrack. I grew up with a lot of music around the house, my brothers playing the piano and then when I was about 6 my parents put me in violin lessons along with my younger brother. That’s was my first instrument and when my love for music began. I played for about 5 years and then became interested in singing, started taking operatic voice lessons and doing musicals, etc and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve just always known this is what I wanted to do. I ended up picking up the guitar just because I wanted to be able to be an all around artist, write my own music, sing my own music and play my own music. I wanted to be the real deal and be able to go to people and say “look I can do it all”.
Street Voice: When you first started writing and performing did you see yourself looking ahead and releasing your own music?
Estrella Cristina:Yes, I knew that eventually that’s where it would all lead. It took a lot of patience and hard work! It was really important to me to put a consistent solid body of work together that was honest and felt like “me”.
Street Voice: You've recently released a four track EP 'This Is Life' so how did you feel when you had the finished product in your hands?
Estrella Cristina:It was a real feeling of accomplishment like “wow everything has led up to this moment”. It felt great! It’s weird, while you’re going through the journey of finding your “sound”, you wonder at times if you’re going the right way and if you’ll ever get to a point where you think your music is ready for people to hear. Then when you actually get to that point, it’s both feelings of relief and amazement.
Street Voice: This EP was released through i-tunes first so have you had much positive attention?
Estrella Cristina:Yeah, I’ve had a great response to it! I’ve had quite a number of great reviews and lots of emails and comments from listeners. It’s awesome to be able to get the feedback and know that people are really connecting with it.
Street Voice: Out of curiosity what made you decide to cover the Cure's 'In Between Days'?
Estrella Cristina: Well it’s funny, my producer and I had all these conversations about all these 80’s bands that we loved and said hey we should do an 80’s cover song. So we came up with this super long list of 80’s bands and artists that we loved. There were soooo many on the list: Tears for Fears, OMD, INXS, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Talk Talk, New Order, Aha, you name it. Finally the list was whittled down to a hand full of songs. Tears for Fears “Head over Heels” was one of the final ones we were considering but The Cure won out in the end! We felt like we could do something really cool with that song and we had never heard a female singer redo it. It was challenging redoing a Cure song, making it my own but trying to do the original justice.
Street Voice: Now when can everyone expect a full length release?
Estrella Cristina: Well, I’m planning on releasing it later this year sometime. It’s all ready, we’ve just got to pick the actual date!
Street Voice: I have to say you have an amazing voice which is so natural but is that down to the opera and musicals training you have undertaken?
Estrella Cristina: Thank you so much :) Well I think part of it is surely a natural gift. The songwriter part has always been there since I was a kid. My writing has always been where I pour things out and for the most part what I hope people take away from my music when they listen to it is that it’s honest and real. Vocally I think an amount of it is natural and then the training helped me to really finesse the edges and learn to just “own” my unique sound.
Street Voice: What kind of venues do you usually perform at and have you shared a stage with anyone famous?
Estrella Cristina: Well the venues can vary. For the most part right now, I’m focusing on playing the smaller venues. In smaller venues you are locking eyes with your audience. You can hear the silence of the room. It’s amazing! When I was with a group we would do bigger venues and it’s an entirely different feeling. I think if you can master the smaller more intimate settings the bigger ones are easier. It’s all about connecting with the audience and I love the smaller venues for that. I haven’t shared the stage with anyone famous yet but I’m sure that’s just around the corner!
Street Voice: Aside from music what do you like to get up in your spare time?
Estrella Cristina: lol…well fashion! I actually studied Textile Sciences and Design in school. I rarely have the time lately but every now and then I’ll actually make a few outfits. I’m quite good at it and pretty fast :) I do it all from scratch, from the design to the pattern making to making the actual outfit. It can be very calming. That and I love going to the movies.
Street Voice: You're also a very beautiful lady so has modelling ever been an option?
Estrella Cristina: Thank you! :) Well, I dabbled a bit with modeling in the past, doing photo shoots for designers, etc… as more of a hobby. I chose to just put all of my focus on music. Once my music really takes off I’d definitely would love to do some print advertising type of modeling for brands, like MAC Cosmetics, Covergirl, Converse, stuff like that. That would be fun!!
Street Voice: You have also had a very interesting upbringing with a lot of culture being around you so has this helped shape the way you are now?
Estrella Cristina: Definitely! I mean not only did I grow up with multicultural parents but we traveled a lot. I lived overseas, in Guadalajara Mexico, for a few years growing up and spent time in both my parent’s countries too. It really made me have a love and curiosity for different cultures and traveling. It made me realize how really connected we all are. Pretty much everyone in my family speaks at least two languages and loves to travel so it influenced me in that way as well. I’ve been able to see so many places already and there are still so many other places I’d love to see!
Street Voice: If one of our readers was to ask you out on a date is there anywhere you'd like to be taken which would blow your mind?
Estrella Cristina:Hmm…..this is a fun question! Well when it comes to dates I’m all about less is more. When I’m doing things, no matter where I am, my focus is on people and whoever it is I’m with. People are what can make or break the energy of a place. What blows my mind are the simpler things. Let’s put it this way, I could be in a hot air balloon floating over the Eiffel tower with someone not that interesting, be completely bored and have a terrible time despite all the hoopla when I’d rather be hanging out a caf? and really having a great moment with Mr. Perfect from my song NonStop and have the time of my life :)!
Street Voice: Apart from playing plenty of shows and promoting your EP what other plans do you have for 2009?
Estrella Cristina: Well besides that just really doing anything else I can to get my music out there in the mainstream. It’s going to be music, music, music all the time. I’ve got a great team behind me with promoter Jennifer Lyneis and her team at UE3 Promotions here in Los Angeles. We’re really working hard to get my music placed on film and television so later this year you will be able to hear me on some of your favorite shows and films!
Street Voice: Anything you'd ike to add?
Estrella Cristina: Just a really big thanks to you and Street Voice UK for taking the time to listen to my music and for the support! It really means a lot :) Also thanks to my "Stargazers" (the nickname for my listeners) for continually supporting me and my music.
Thanks to Estrella Cristina for making this such a cool interview. If you should get the chance you should check out this young lady's music. I really can't sell Estrella enough. I guess you need to check ouyt for yourselves what all the fuss is about. Ignoring this lady would be madness on your part so go on and give Estrella Cristina a listen!
Estrella Cristina-This Is Life
[+ Show ]
Estrella Cristina is one of those performers who seem born to make music. With classical training in...Estrella Cristina is one of those performers who seem born to make music. With classical training in violin, operatic training in voice, and a host of backers with serious music industry credentials, Cristina's ascent in the pop world seems assured. Of course, unless a parent or close relative is an industry mogul, you don't make those sorts of connections without some talent, and Cristina shows no shortage of it on her debut EP, This Is Life. Writing with bassist (and her first guitar teacher) Frank Coglitore (Taylor Dayne, Beth Hart, Marie Digby) and Lane Lenhart, Cristina presents material with distinctive Pop viability while bearing a bit more weight than your usual radio fodder. Cristina's band includes Coglitore; drummer Craig McIntyre (Digby, Josh Groban) and guitarist Kenneth Konnerth (Hilary Duff, Enrique Iglesias).
After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in Textile and Apparel Design, Estrella returned home to Nebraska to pursue music; winning out in an audition process for a spot in J Records quartet VIP (think Destiny's Child). For one reason or another the group never panned out, and Cristina set out to learn guitar with Coglitore. Fast forward to 2009 and Cristina's first recorded work is ready for the marketplace. This Is Life opens with Brighter Than Sunshine, a pop nugget about being alone in a new place and finding someone or something gives your existence meaning in purpose (in this case, music). Non Stop is a pop confection all about finding the perfect guy that should fill out a lot of teenage mix tapes this summer and fall. The lyric content here is a bit light, but the song is sweet in its own right. (Non Stop was featured on Fuse TV's Rad Girls in May). Cristina takes on The Cure's In Between Days in a Pop/Dance version that will likely make hard core Cure fans cringe but is perfect for pop radio recidivism. This Is Life is a bit more mature; a realization that working toward a goal isn't so much about plateaus or moments but successive steps. It's a highly optimistic pop tune that probably wouldn't make it as a single but is definitely not just filler as an album track.
For all of the operatic training, Cristina doesn't present a particular strong or durable voice on This Is Life; she has a pleasant voice, but there are definite holes that show through on the EP and the presence of voice altering software is evident. As a Pop radio artist, Estrella Cristina's This Is Life is a strong start. There is some real talent here and over time I should think she's mature into a decent songwriter on her own. Cristina seems destined to ascend in the Pop world, but whether she has the personality and creative talent to ascend into the realm of artistry will take some time to divine.
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
Typical Set 30-45 mins.
Believe (Anything Is Possible)
*Brighter Than Sunshine
Hope You're Happy Now
This Is Life
*Happily Ever After
& a Cover Song:
*included in set if playing full band
There are no upcoming dates at this time.