Esmee Denters started out as just an ordinary girl with a dream. With a web cam and her vocal talent, Denters began posting YouTube videos up of herself singing covers of songs anywhere from Mariah Carey to Stevie Wonder. Her videos became popular and soon requests for Esmee to cover various songs became common. After attaining a manager, while thousands of video views kept rolling in daily, what Esmee didn’t know was that Justin Timberlake was among those watching. I had the privilege of speaking with the YouTube sensation to discuss her journey thus far as a musician in the entertainment industry. Read the interview below, bitches!
DANITY: Alright, dahling, let’s get this started. When did you first become interested in music? How?
ESMEE: Ever since I can remember I have loved music. I think it all started because my dad is such a music freak. We had all types of records around the house from The Beatles to Stevie Wonder. I think that’s why I started to develop an interest for music.
DANITY: The million dollar question that I know I and my readers are dying to know is…how did you come to the decision to post and share your videos up on YouTube? I mean, it really takes a lot of guts NOT knowing if peeps were going to rip you apart or adore you.
ESMEE: I was looking on the Internet one day and discovered YouTube. I thought it was so cool that you could share your own videos. I found my sister’s old webcam and got the idea to post some videos of me singing covers. I never really had a plan. I just wanted to know what people thought of my voice.
DANITY: Did you market your YouTube videos or did your visitors start spreading like wildfire?
ESMEE: No, I didn’t market anything. I actually didn’t even tell my friends about it in the beginning. I guess people just started telling each other and all of a sudden it just blew up out of nowhere.
DANITY: Wow, that is freakin’ amazing! At what point did you get a call from Justin Timberlake and his peeps?
ESMEE: After about 6 months, I had gotten a large amount of views and I started receiving emails from record companies. So I started looking for the right record deal. Justin was setting up his own label, Tennman Records, around the same time and was looking for artists. He had heard about this girl on YouTube singing all of these covers so he contacted my management. Then he invited me in Chicago to one of his concerts so we could meet.
DANITY: I would have died, girl. Me plus J-Tizzle equals “Mother Lover”. HA! What was that call like for you and what was going through your head? I mean, c’mon…THE sexy back bringer!
ESMEE: It was amazing! All of these thoughts were running through my head. Could it be true that Justin wanted to meet me and perhaps sign me to his label? I have always been a fan of his work, so it was so unreal to hear the news.
DANITY: How did the meeting of Natasha Bedingfeld come about?
ESMEE: I got to do the pre-show for the “FutureSex/LoveSounds” tour in Europe. Natasha Bedingfield was also on the same tour. She was so nice, and we just started hanging out a little bit before the shows. I asked her if she would like to sing “Unwritten” with me for my YouTube channel. She seemed totally into it, so we recorded the video on tour in a studio.
DANITY: Super sweet. So, how has life been for you since you signed on with TENNMAN?
ESMEE: It has been amazing! I got to work with the most amazing writers and producers on my first album, “Outta Here”. Justin has also involved with the whole process. We wrote songs together and he produced most of the album. I also wrote a lot on this record, that’s why it feels really personal. By letting me be creative, Justin really helped me find the true artist in me. I honestly don’t think there is a better place for me to be!
DANITY: So, tell us a little bit about this debut record, dahling.
ESMEE: I would describe it as a pop/R&B record. People knew me from singing covers and I really wanted people to get to know me as an artist. The sound of the album is a mixture of what I grew up listening to and what has inspired me throughout the years. There are some live-sounding tracks on the album and there are dance tracks too! Some songs are about having a good time, going out with your friends, and then there are some ballads that are a little deeper. I really wanted the record to capture all the different emotions that I have as a 20 year old female. I can be vulnerable but strong at the same time.
DANITY: I cannot wait. What artists inspire you musically?
ESMEE: I have always loved strong female artists like Beyonce, Janet Jackson, and Alicia Keys, but one of my all-time favorites has to be Stevie Wonder. I am also inspired by other genres of music as well like Imogen Heap and Snow Patrol.
DANITY: What exactly does a day in the life of Esmee Denters consist of?
ESMEE: It is definitely a lot different from what it used to be. I am very busy traveling around the world to perform and to record songs. I am so happy and thankful that I have been given this opportunity by all the people that have been watching me and supporting me. I really couldn’t ask for more.
Click after the jump for more of the exclusive interview and video!
DANITY: I bet. To go one day from a webcam to the stage the next is freakin’ nuts! What has touring been like for you?
ESMEE: It has been amazing to travel to different countries and perform in front of thousands of people. I love singing my original songs and trying to win the people over. I just got back from the tour and I already miss it. I was the supporting act on Enrique Iglesias’ Greatest Hits tour. I am so glad Enrique gave me that opportunity – he is such a nice guy!
DANITY: Ummm, and not to mention easy on the eyes! What is/has been your favorite part about this whole experience? I mean, you literally went from singing on YouTube as a hobby to an overnight sensation.
ESMEE: It is different… I have been working on my album in the studio for a very long time, and it is very personal. For me, writing songs is an outlet, it’s about getting in touch with yourself. Performing is about showing people what you’re all about and letting them hear the songs that you have been working on. Right now I am so excited about this album that I am really ready to get it out there and perform everywhere! I love to see people react to my music.
DANITY: Where do you see yourself in five years?
ESMEE: I wouldn’t want to do anything else besides music. Hopefully, I will be working on my third album, and I am secretly hoping to win a Grammy one day!
DANITY: Ok, now on to a couple fantabulous questions, Danity Donnaly style. If you could duet with ANY musician who would it be and why?
ESMEE: Stevie Wonder, the guy is such an icon! He is the reason I wanted to become an artist.
DANITY: If you could go on a date or hang out with any celebrity, who would it be and why?
ESMEE: I wouldn’t see it as a date, but I would love to hang out with Stevie Wonder for a day.
And one day, Esmee’s dream could very well come true. As for the future, like Esmee’s new pal Natasha Bedingfeld sings…”the rest is still unwritten”.
NOTE: Esmee Denters’ debut album released in the Netherlands on May 22nd and her debut single was released in the United States for download on May 14. Check out some behind-the-scenes video from the making of the Outta Here video below.