Estani Presents ‘Fire & Ice’

By Michael Aaron Gallagher of StayFamous.Net

Estani Frizzell

Estani Frizzell

When the new single “Fire & Ice” by Estani begins to play, its rhythm is hypnotic, its melody is a moody mix of elegance and subtlety, and its lyrics confidently conjure the contradiction of hot and cold in a relationship. It’s as if the song is part of a motion picture soundtrack in a montage where the female lead, like the comic book character Catwoman, is neither a hero nor a villain — in equal parts, friend and foe. But who is the mysterious woman behind this dramatic new song?

Estani Frizzell is a multi-talented singer and songwriter based in Los Angeles, who was recently nominated for two Hollywood Music in Media Awards in the categories of Adult Contemporary for her song “Higher” and Latin (Pop/Rock/Urban) for her song “Caminos.” In addition to her own music, Estani is also a well-known vocal instructor, who has worked with numerous teen artists, including two rising stars featured on Stay Famous in the past – Jordyn Jones (“Jordyn Jones – A Superstar in the Making”) and Olivia Cella (“Olivia Cella Releases New Music Video”).

StayFamous.Net recently had the chance to find out more about Estani‘s new music, her work as a vocal coach and how her journey as a singer and songwriter began.

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “Can you tell me a little bit about how you began singing and when you decided to make a career out of it?”

Estani Frizzell: “My mother received a scholarship to an opera conservatory as a teen. Growing up, I heard the vocal scales and various musical genres she was asked to sing (classical and jazz mostly). Just from repetition, I began to memorize the scales and would just sing them randomly as a kid around the house.”

Estani Frizzell Music“As a teen, I was a professional dancer in a folklorico/flamenco based dance company and fell in love with the music, as well as listening to the live singers while we danced. That was the catalyst for wanting to sing live. In college, I booked my first opera based farce, A Flea In Her Ear, and won the lead role of Lucienne. The rest, as they say, is history. I moved to New York to attend school at Adelphi University, and began singing at various clubs in the city, while writing with songwriters recording demos for other artists.”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “You’ve been recently writing songs, recording in the studio and shooting music videos. What made you decide to take that step?”

Estani Frizzell: “After selling and licensing my songs to other artists for a few years, I decided to take the step into promoting my own artistry this year. It’s another sacrifice on many levels, but… that feeling in my gut kept telling me I have this window of opportunity and time to do something for myself now. I don’t want to look back and have fear be the basis of why I didn’t try.”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “How would you describe the type of music you perform and what is it that draws you to that style?”

Estani Frizzell: “The type of music I’m drawn to, in terms of my writing, always leans towards a Neo Soul based Jazz influence with a Latin flair. I had Lauryn Hill, D’Angelo, India Arie, Musiq Soulchild, on repeat, then came Erykah Badu and Jill Scott. Contemporaries like Amy Winehouse and Corinne Bailey Rae made me fall in love even more! Though I sing an array of styles from pop, to country, to salsa, and everything in between, when I’m alone at the piano, the melodies that resonate with me come from that place.”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “What are some of your all-time favorite songs?”

Estani Frizzell: “One of my all time fun jams to throw on is SWV’s ‘Anything’ featuring Wu-Tang Clan. I love SWV! ‘All Falls Down’ by Kanye West, ‘Yellow Ledbetter’ by Pearl Jam, ‘Sack Full Of Dreams’ by Donny Hathaway, ‘Aguanile’ by Hector Lavoe, and ‘He Loves Me’ by Jill Scott. For the record, this list can go on and on, and I’m leaving so many out! Anything by Amy Winehouse goes on this list.”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “How did your song ‘Fire and Ice’ come about?”

Estani Frizzell: “The song ‘Here’ from Alessia Cara had just come out. I told a producer friend of mine about it, and he had yet to even hear it… I loved the laid back, throwback, kinda soul groove the track had. I wanted that! That was a kind of track that, by all intents and purposes, wasn’t supposed to be cut for pop radio. It was urban at best, but still had this old soul feel. Anyway, it started blowing up, and I mentioned to my friend we needed our own ‘Here’ track. Hence, along came ‘Fire and Ice.’ The lyrics and melody took awhile. It was initially called ‘Burn’, but I was never quite feeling the hook. I would go home, rewrite after rewrite, until I finally came up with the “ooh ooh” in the chorus. After that, the rest came easily. I really loved the concept of duality, the yin and yang of relationships. I’ve been there when you love someone, but you hate that you’re in love with them because the relationship is so toxic. It’s about playing games and keeping score, knowing it’s not right, but not being able to leave.”

Watch the Official Music Video for “Fire and Ice”:

 

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “What do you want people to take away from your songs?”

Estani Frizzell: “I want people to listen and think, ‘Yep, I’ve been there.’ I’m not saying I’m presenting any new theme, but the way I choose to lyrically express my experiences can only come from me and I hope my lyrical content resonates with someone on a different level, rather than just another song about love.”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “Is there a theme or a message behind your music that you seem to return to?”

Estani Frizzell: “I would have to say there is a common theme in my songs – love…love and pride actually. Being a somewhat cliché answer, but without getting specifically into what the song meant for me at the moment, the overall theme is love and the affect it has on us….whether it makes us vulnerable, makes us competitive, makes us vindictive/vengeful, love for oneself, or love that makes us feel complete and whole, all my songs have a common thread of love in them I feel.”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “Do you get the most enjoyment out of the process of writing and recording a song or performing it for an audience?”

Estani Frizzell: “I have to say performing for an audience. Hearing the adulation and seeing the audience engaged in your performance and your material, there’s nothing else like that feeling. Writing and recording comes in a close second though! Once you’re done and you receive that final mix of the song, it’s like YYYEEESSSS! The feeling of completion is a great high.”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “Is there a particular song that you are the most proud of?”

Estani Frizzell: “I really felt very close to a song I wrote entitled ‘Battlescars.’ It was released by another artist, but I felt the song should’ve had a better life. I guess that may be one I might be bringing back.”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “Do you find a difference in the way your Spanish language songs are received as opposed to the ones you’ve done in English?”

Estani Frizzell on the red carpet at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards

Estani Frizzell on the red carpet at the Hollywood Music in Media Awards.

Estani Frizzell: “It does seem that the interest in my Spanish material is more prevalent. I’ve noticed that as well when I perform live. I had a show a couple of weeks ago and had a percussionist who can ad lib amazingly. He’s Puerto Rican and can spit Spanish verses on the spot. The audience reaction to putting him in a few songs was really great to watch! Spanish takes the song to a different level – the way I sing it and the way it’s received. In fact, I have another show coming up in Hollywood and I was specifically asked to sing my Spanish songs. I don’t necessarily see a difference in promotion, but I do see a difference in reception. Spanish speaking audiences really embrace the culture, the sound, and the overall vibe of the artist. That’s what I truly enjoy seeing and hope to take my songs to a global level in that respect. I write all my songs with a Spanish version as well for crossover.”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “You mentioned on your website about singing backup for Jay Leno‘s ‘Tonight Show’ and I was curious if you talk a little bit about that experience.”

Estani Frizzell: “I was actually called in to sing back up for a very well known major label Latin Artist, Laura Pausini. There was an agency hiring background vocalists, and they called me up, I auditioned, and got the job. It was surreal in the sense that you got your own room with your name on the door, and it’s the freakin’ ‘Tonight Show!’ Though I was singing back up, that didn’t matter. Coming from San Antonio, Texas and seeing Jay Leno on TV all the time, then you’re singing on his show. It was a fun time. He was very nice!”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “Who are some of the artists you’ve had the opportunity to work with so far?”

Estani Frizzell: “In terms of writing, recording, vocal coaching/producing, I’ve worked with mostly teen artists. Some include Olivia Cella, Alexa Friedman, Hayden Summerall, Jordyn Jones, Sierra McCormick. Whether it was one song, a few lessons, or they’ve been with me for years, meeting and working with these young artists is great and I always like watching their careers grow and progress.”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “For people who don’t know, what does a vocal instructor do? How does the process work?”

Estani Frizzell: “A vocal instructor is there for guidance to help the vocalist achieve maximum potential with minimum force/strain. So many vocalists (including myself before lessons) equate volume and force with power. My job is to find the best tonal quality of each vocalist, work from that place, and deliver techniques that enhance range, vocal longevity, and more importantly, a dynamic yet consistent vocal quality.”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “As a vocal coach, what aspect of teaching do you enjoy the most?”

Estani Frizzell: “Seeing and hearing the progression from a vocalist at any skill level. As a coach, you can tell when a vocalist has done their homework. Seeing the look on their faces when they hit a note they couldn’t hit before, or finding the tone that works best for their voice, or knowing they found the proper vocal placement and they can feel it…all of those aspects and more, truly make teaching really rewarding. I always tell my vocalists, ‘As much as I want you to keep taking vocal lessons once a week, twice a week, three times a week with me, the goal of vocal lessons is to become self sufficient and see me only for maintenance, not as a crutch.’ When students come in and can tell me, ‘Oh, I didn’t breathe correctly, or I was singing from my throat, etc…’ Little things like that, I know they’re really taking the lessons and their craft seriously.”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “What’s the most rewarding part of your work?”

Estani Frizzell: “Knowing that my vocalists believe in me and my ability as a coach/songwriter/producer and that I’ll do what it takes to make them the best they can be. I don’t take that for granted…ever.”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “I had a chance to watch the music videos for the songs you’ve written that some other people have performed. What does that experience feel like for you to see someone bring your song to life and have it become a part of their musical journey?”

EstaniEstani Frizzell: “It’s surreal to see my words come to life through someone else’s musical expression. It’s funny, once I hear the song and see the video together as a unit, the song doesn’t even feel like it’s mine anymore. To think that my song resonated with someone so much to want to record it, means so much. It shows that there was a true connection to want to invest time. When they come back for song number two, number three, number four, that feeling is just…wow. You want to grow with these artists and be there to say…. I rememeber when.”

Michael Aaron Gallagher: “If you could envision the next couple of years, what would you really like to see happen with your music?”

Estani Frizzell: “I am working towards developing a fan base that truly identifies with the music I write. I want consistency as a songwriter/artist. Writing for established artists, having my songs placed in TV/movie soundtracks, and still perform my own songs would be ideal. Sia is an amazing example of that.”

In addition to Estani‘s upcoming performances at The Viper Room on Dec. 13 and Old Town Passedena on Dec. 31, two of her singles will be released by another recording artist in 2019 (“Take Me Down” and “Selfish”). She is also currently writing a children’s book. Her song “Fire & Ice” is available for download now on iTunes. For more information on Estani, including tour dates, vocal classes and much more, visit her official website at www.estanifrizzell.com. You can also connect with her on Instagram (@estanifrizzell) and Twitter (@estani).

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“Estani Presents ‘Fire & Ice'”
Copyright © 2018 by Michael Aaron Gallagher
Photography courtesy of Estani Frizzell

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