Estrada espouses things U Need 2 Know
After spending most of 2013 in the studio, Elise Estrada is back with a new single, U Don’t Need 2 Know, from her forthcoming third album. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)
After spending most of 2013 in the studio, Elise Estrada is back with U Don’t Need 2 Know, the new single from her forthcoming third album. Joe Leary spent 24 Seconds with the Vancouver singer/songwriter.
24: Does having singles in the Top 10 give you validation as an artist or is seeing your audience react to your performance more of a thrill?
EE: Nothing is more rewarding than seeing my audience react the way they do when we meet. When they tell me my music helped them get through a break up or helped them get through depression due to bullying, that’s when I'm happiest. I know that sounds cheesy and so Disney of me … but it's true. I'm not curing cancer and I'm not Mother Teresa. I'm just a singer. But if my music helps a little girl or boy in a positive way I'm doing my job.
24: Your new single, U Don’t Need 2 Know, was released this week. Tell us about the song.
EE: Beautiful women we see on Instagram and music videos, movies and magazines inspired Adam H. Hurstfield and I to write U Don't Need 2 Know. Let's be honest, models, actresses, ‘beauty gurus’ and singers do not wake up looking the way they do in pictures and videos. As a singer I get lots of ‘You're so perfect and beautiful’ comments … I just thought people should know I don't wake up looking like those pictures. No woman does. I don't think it’s right when young girls compare themselves to someone like Kim Kardashian. Yes, she's a gorgeous woman, but young girls don't realize she's wearing false lashes and had those lips worked on. I don't think it's right for young girls to compare themselves to Victoria’s Secret models because those women dedicate their lives to the gym and diets. As women, I think we're too hard on ourselves. My concern is that the media has bombarded us with messages that have us believing that their definition of beauty is actually true. That's why we wrote this song, a song that is honest and playful, a song that pokes fun at me and my beauty secrets because I believe young girls should know. There's a reason why the beauty industry is a multi-billion-dollar powerhouse … so ladies, you don't need to be perfect. You can change your hair, wear makeup and all the hottest trends … but nothing is more beautiful than being confident in you. Confidence is what makes a woman beautiful, the rest are beauty secrets men Don't Need 2 Know!
24: You wrote a very heartfelt tribute to Amanda Todd with your producer Adam H. after learning of her suicide. What kind of feedback have you had from people about the song?
EE: We tried to write something to honour Amanda Todd and to let the victims of bullying who suffer in silence know that there are people out there who do care, and that they are not alone. We wrote Wonder Woman with another one of our team members Vic Levak. Since the release of the song, we have been hearing from a lot of kids dealing with thoughts of suicide, and to be honest ... it's been difficult. We are not professionals, but we always try to help them and direct them to professional help. But more importantly, we let them know we care. Sometimes that means the world to a kid who thinks they are alone in the world. The hardest part for me was seeing Amanda's mom and dad's reaction to hearing the song. Watching them break into tears as they listen to our song really crushes me. I can't help but cry every time we listen together, but the song has brought both Adam and I close to the Todd family and Amanda's mom. Carol Todd's determination to save the world continues to inspire me to want to do more.
24: What message do you offer to young people who have been victims of bullying themselves?
EE: The first thing I have to say is you are not alone. I too have been a victim of bullying and I'm living proof that it gets better. There are many, many strangers such as myself out there who care about you. Don't be embarrassed about it because it happens to most of us. Tell your family. Tell your teacher. And never for a second think that the pain you feel now will be around forever … it won't.