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Estelle celebrates 2014 ESSENCE Festival 'American' style

Estelle at the 2014 Essence Music Festival in New Orleans at the Mercedes Benz Superdome
Mariah Honey

Estelle Swaray is a true musician. Being able to rap, belt out a signature smooth melodic tone, and compose it all in songs she wrote herself, Estelle embodies what all the real music lovers would consider a rarity in today's music- a true R&B artist. Although she hails from across the pond in West London, England, she connects with the down-home folk just like she's the girl that grew up next door.

Estelle may have been born in the UK, but she has roots from her mother's family coming from the West African nation of Senegal and her father's Caribbean island influences that help make her culture. She grew up listening to her family's reggae records and grooving to the soul of the collection. As she grew older she discovered Hip-Hop. “I got into Hip Hop from my uncle; he was always playing us Kool G Rap and Big Daddy Kane; he was a bad boy and my mum was not really happy that I was hanging out with him," Estelle confesses.

Estelle began her own music journey in London's renowned hip-hop record shop called Deal Real. Estelle got her start in London's renowned hip-hop record store Deal Real. Her fellow employees encouraged her to take a chance and get on the mike on-stage; soon she was playing numerous London clubs. Running with the likes of Amy Winehouse, Adele, and Lily Allen from the UK and Kanye West, John Legend, and Jill Scott from the American side of the globe, Estelle has been able to establish herself as a solid force in the R&B music game.

According to Estelle herself , when it comes to music "they are talking about the 'British invasion...we are here!" This year she is back celebrating Essence Festival 2014 in New Orleans by taking to the Essence Superlounge stage at the Mercedes Benz Superdome on the second night of the festival. This was Estelle's second performance at the Essence Festival. Earlier in the weekend she promised her show this time would be bigger and better. She delivered.

When asked what her 2014 festival performance would be like, she eagerly answered "we are going to have a lot of fun". Touching on old hits and blending them with new sultry tunes, Estelle wooed the festival goers. She took the crowd on a journey from earlier hits such as "Come Over" to new hits such as the racy "Freak" and the even racier "Make Her Say".

Decked in a chiffon white top, Estelle was full of Independence Day spirit at the Essence Festival. As moving about the Superdome, she was eager and super chatty with the festival-goers. When asked about how much she was enjoying herself she responded with feeling "blessed to be here celebrating". She also commented on excited she was to be here to see her friend Prince perform later in that same evening. Her celebratory spirit definitely was shining through.

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