- Anya Fernihough
From The UK to Rome: An Interview With Esther Magedera
Esther Magedera is a pop-rock singer-songwriter from Liverpool, UK, who moved to Rome last year, coinciding with the start of her music career. Being a fellow Liverpudlian, it was interesting to talk to her and discuss her various influences and inspirations when writing and producing her music.
To begin with, we talked about the impact that moving to a new country has had on her music. She said that for the most part, the style of music she writes hasn’t changed but there is much more inspiration in her environment in Italy. Benefiting greatly from the advantage of being unknown in this new place, Esther was able to fully express herself and be more vulnerable in her songwriting and overall was more confident in her music. Songwriting is good for “processing emotion in a healthy and proactive way,” Esther revealed, believing that making music is a great form of self-expression and for coping with and reflecting on past experiences.
We discussed the actual production of each of her songs, which seems to be a very fluid and natural process, with ideas constantly flowing between her and her producer. I was treated to an anecdote of how she initially met her producer: she saw a guy with an electric guitar at a metro station and suddenly had the urge to go over and talk to him. From there, they have been working together to make many of her songs such as ‘Adaline’.
Accompanied by a single cover as aesthetically beautiful as the song, ‘Adaline’ was written when Esther first came to Rome. “It isn’t about anyone directly [...] more the feeling the song can bring you.” With its darker lyrics and electric guitar, it is an anthem for anyone following the ‘rockstar’s gf’ aesthetic, and something that was added to my Spotify playlist the minute it was released.
In relation to song releases, Esther has a new song coming out this March called ‘Kisses Friends’. It’s about the unspoken tension between you and another person, and the struggle of keeping such a close relationship behind closed doors. “I’m actually quite worried about the release” she laughed, revealing that the subject matter would be easy to work out for her friends back home. Despite being proud of the song so far, she is still anticipating the phone calls upon its release: “Is this about this person?”
Moving to Rome has brought with it many new experiences, with the music scene differing greatly from back in Liverpool. Liverpool is famous in the UK for its vibrant music scene, with there being several gigs every weekend around the city, and the community being very tight-knit. “Everyone’s chatty and wants to help [so] it’s easy to collab [with other musicians].” In Rome however, it’s a bigger city with bigger venues, so there’s obviously a lot more competition that comes along with it. She recalled the time she played one of her songs at a club and realized the importance of being able to connect with her audience. It really demonstrated to her the importance of language and lyrics in terms of communication: “[if people don’t understand what the song is about], they can’t understand the depth of your lyrics.”
Over the past year, Esther has been improving on the Italian she already knows and wrote some verses of a song in the language, however, said that she doesn’t think she’s good enough to write a whole song in Italian. “Italian music is so beautiful [and they put ] lots of thought into the lyrics [...] I don’t want to make a mockery of the language.” Despite this, she did tell me that she is interested in collaborating with other Italian artists, such as rappers, to write new music with or remix one of her songs; something that I am certainly looking forward to.
To conclude the interview, Esther talked about the importance of songwriting and being around other creative people to inspire each other and grow as musicians. Whether it’s dancers, photographers or electric guitarists, being in a creative community has majorly influenced how she writes music and how she hopes for her career to continue in the future.
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