Singer and Songwriter Estelle California is Today’s Honoree

To know Estelle’s story is to understand the inextinguishable fire burning in her music. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes , Estelle has taken the perilous ascent from rock bottom, and used the story of her life to create an empowering experience with her music. Estelle’s vision has now burst into life with  My Name Is Freedom, her debut EP, the fruit of a challenging journey to the land of dreams, California.

Estelle learned early on that music provided refuge from a life  harrowed by oppression and violence, where her voice was silenced and her speech stolen. She was first rescued by the piano, which she learned to play at age 5. Music continued to provide escape as she studied the saxophone and became an avid dancer, before she truly found her voice at 26 when she began formal opera training.

Her passion for music, the inspiration she found from frequent visits to South Africa and her eventual move to the U.S. set the stage for the songs she writes today.

As soon as she moved to California’s Bay Area in 2013, she knew she belonged. Oakland’s energy, its diverse population and the absence of prejudice and judgment among people of so many backgrounds and cultures energized her, suggesting  the name by which she is known today: Estelle California. “California is the home the family the love I could have ever dream of having.

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