Esta In Paradise
We're in the photo studio at the Karmaloop headquarters, blasting baille sounds from the speakers when we switch to a Tom Kruise mix our Art Director, Billy, puts on. Esta is familiar with most of the tracks, but only makes that apparent by bobbing his head and bouncing on his toes when the beat drops. We spend the rest of the shoot trying to stump Esta with our most obscure picks from SoundCloud. As the shoot goes on, he stays incredibly calm, focused, attentive. We share some laughs over the #SelfieOlympics hashtag on Instagram and all the various types and uses of 'Bae' before taking a break to grab lunch at a surfboard-shaped table at a cafe in the heart of downtown Boston. 
Let's talk about the label. How did you end up joining Soulection?
One of the cofounders of Soulection (Andre Power) was attending this beach showcase I was a part of a few years ago. He then showed my music to Joe Kay after that showcase. After that, Joe Kay reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to put out a project under Soulection and I became an official artist after that.

What is your process for coming up with an idea for a new beat?
It definitely always varies, but it just always starts off with a first idea. It could be drums or drum patterns, or simple sounds that I find intriguing. And then it'll just go from there. Like, we were watching "Coming To America" when we were in New York... and then, I heard the Peaches rap.... I thought, maybe I could put that into some ratchet beat. It's on SoundCloud right now. It's doing pretty well, too. (laughs)

What are your top five female acapella samples?
Aaliyah, Aaliyah, Aaliyah, Aaliyah. (Laughter) Man... with Janet and Aaliyah, you could chop those up for days. I just gotta give it to them two. There's so many things you can do with just those two artists.

Alright, now it's time to get to know Esta, the man. It seems like you're not afraid to have fun and be yourself on social media. How important is it to you that you show your personality to your fans?
It's very important because I think people take it too seriously. On social media everyone's trying to be someone they're not. What you see is exactly who I am. It's almost weirder for me to be serious.

What's a typical day like for you?
I feel like every day is a day off 'cause I enjoy what I do. I'm just constantly thinking about music.

If you weren't a producer... you would be?
A Basketball player.

Too short for anything but a point.

What team would you want to play for?
Lakers. I wanna be a part of the Shaq/Kobe era. Like early 2000's. Afro-Kobe. Fro-be.

Ok, more importantly, which member of Dru Hill would you be and why?
I would wanna be Sisqo 'cause he walked on girls... in the Thong Song music video. Jesus walked on water, right?

Where do you see yourself in five years?
It’s hard to say. Things happen so quickly, I don’t even know where I’m gonna be at tomorrow. This tour [Paradise Tour] happened in four months. Things have been crazy. I remember the month before I played Coachella I met Ginuwine. I didn’t even know him. Joe Kay just called me and asked if I wanted to play Coachella and I was like “I’m down.” Then he says “Alright, that’s cool then. How about meeting Ginuwine next week?” I said “That’s cool, too!” (laughs) And then it happened! So whatever I’m doing, I hope I’m having fun.
Shop Esta's looks.              Follow Esta on Soundcloud.               Follow Karmaloop on Soundcloud.