ester dean

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The highly-anticipated sequel, Pitch Perfect 2, hits theaters today. Who’s aca-excited? I’m definitely carving out some time this weekend to check it out.

Ester Dean not only stars in the film but provides a cut for the film soundtrack. Why “Crazy Youngsters” wasn’t chosen instead of Jessie J’s paint-by-numbers ballad “Flashlight” as the lead single is puzzling? This energetic track is far livelier than that snoozefest. No disrespect to Jessie, but keeping it real.

Dean not only enlists a few of her Pitch Perfect 2 co-stars like Anna Camp, Brittany Snow and Flula, to appear in the music video but also several YouTube stars. Check Ester and company below acting all ‘crazy’ on the streets of London. It’s pretty aca-awesome and lots of fun.

watch the video after the jump

Rihanna Drops Two New Tracks From Home Soundtrack

In: Donovan, Music

Personally, I was hoping the full version of “American Oxygen” would leak first. That’s a potential smash in the making. Instead, two more contributions from Rihanna off the Home soundtrack have arrived. Surprisingly, I’m leaning towards the ballad more than the uptempo track.

As Real As You And Me” was co-written by RiRi and produced by Rodney Jerkins. The 27-year-old’s slow jams often get overshadowed by her club bangers. “Take A Bow” and “Stay” are among her finest moments, if you ask me. This new one, ranks up there.

The second track, titled “Dancing In The Dark,” isn’t a Bruce Springsteen cover, but rather an original composition from long-time collaborate Ester Dean. It’s nice but nothing that immediately jumps out. I suppose it’s suitably fitted for an animated film soundtrack. Check out both tracks below.

listen to both tracks in full

Selena Gomez Sings ‘Come & Get It’ On New Track

In: Donovan, Music

I wonder if Ryan Seacrest is pissed. “Come & Get It” was originally supposed to debut on his KIIS-FM show on Monday morning, but made its way online a couple of days early. Selena Gomez herself posted on her Facebook page, “A little early but that’s ok! This has been such a fun ride and I’ve worked so hard on the new record. This song is a fun introduction to what’s coming 😉 Hope you guys like it! Love y’all!”

Co-written by Ester Dean and produced by Stargate, “Come & Get It” is more grown up than her previous singles. I’m loving the slightly Indian-tinged beat. Gomez revealed she wanted to create something fun, sassy and playful. Mission accomplished. It definitely has potential and ripe for a dance remix. The jury is still out if the song is about her ex, Justin Bieber. Check out a bit of the lyrics below and judge for yourself.

You ain’t gotta worry it’s an open invitation
I’ll be sittin’ right here real patient
All day all night I’ll be waitin’ standby
Can’t stop because I love it, hate the way I love you
All day all night maybe I’m addicted for life, no lie.

I’m not too shy to show I love you, I got no regrets.
I love you too much, much to hide you, this love ain’t finished yet.
This love ain’t finished yet…So baby whenever you’re ready…

listen to the track after the jump

Ester Dean Shows Missy Elliott ‘How You Love It’

In: Donovan, Music

A new year brings new promise. That’s what Ester Dean is hoping for. While the 26-year-old-singer/songwriter has produced hits for Rihanna (“Where Have You Been, “What’s My Name” & “Rude Boy”), Keri Hilson (“Lose Control”), Nicki Minaj (“Super Bass”), Katy Perry (“Firework”) and Kelly Rowland “Lay It On Me,” she hasn’t produced the same magic to churn out a hit for herself. Dean has even appeared in a hit film, Pitch Perfect, but nothing on the singing front… as of yet.

Perhaps collaborating with Missy Elliott will do the trick. Ester’s “How You Love It?” featuring the “One Minute Man” rapper leaked online earlier this week. What’s the result? An adrenaline-fueled track designed for the dance floor with some slick lyrical rhymes from Missy. Reportedly, the track will appear on Dean’s long-awaited and much-delayed debut album, Story Never Told. Check out Ester’s latest below.

listen to the collaboration after the jump

Ester Dean is blowing up. Her name may not be the most familiar in the spotlight but behind-the-scenes, she is one of the music industry’s top song writers. Having written some of the biggest smash hits for the likes of Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé and Keri Hilson just to name a few. This past month, she made her feature live film debut in the musical comedy Pitch Perfect. So, has Ester caught the acting bug?

“I have caught that bug and I want to venture into anything and everything creative about acting,” Ester tells me in our exclusive chat. “I’d like to become the Will Smith of movies.” When talking about the Pitch Perfect experience itself, she shares, “it was a very new experience and I learned a lot. It was trying because it came at a time that I was also writing songs and going off to venture into new areas. So it was a little scary but it all worked out in the end.” It’s great to see Ester finally take her step into the spotlight, especially from an Oklahoma native who wanted to be a chef.

More of my chat with Ester Dean after the jump.

Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” hands down is one of my favorite ballads ever. If you watch any reality singing competitions, you know I’m not alone with this sentiment. The heart-wrenching song has been butchered numerous times on American Idol, Nashville Star, Rock Star: INXS and countless others. Even established artists aren’t immune to the track’s emotional power. George Michael, Prince, Kenny Rogers, Kelly Clarkson, Boyz II Men are just a few who have covered the 90s classic. Now, you can add Ester Dean to the list.

For those who don’t know who Dean is, she’s the songwriting genius behind some of today’s biggest hits. From Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Nicki Minaj, Usher and Christina Aguilera, Ester has worked with them all, with Rihanna at the top. The prolific songwriter has penned huge hits for her including “Rude Boy”, “What’s My Name?“, “S&M” and “Where Have You Been”.

Stepping out behind the scenes, Ester is now front and center giving her own touch on Bonnie Raitt’s signature ballad. The 26-year-old has totally reworked it and turned it into a dance track. While the dance beats remove the emotional impact of the lyrics (IMHO), I don’t completely hate the cover. I’m sure Bonnie Raitt fans (and Raitt herself) absolutely loathe the new interpretation. Listen to it below and judge for yourself.

listen to it after the jump

The other day, I was checking out my favorite music blog, and was delighted to find his new 2012 Fall Playlist which compiles a list of some of the greatest remixes of the hottest songs right now. One song that immediately caught my attention was the lead-off track for the whole playlist brought to us by UK DJ and producer, Michael Woods and singer songwriter, Ester Dean.

We’ve Only Just Begun has been floating around for a while but somehow, I missed the boat on this EDM gem. Featuring Ester’s unique vocals and Woods’ signature production style, the song has marked a permanent spot on my workout playlist. In other Ester news, she made her live-action acting debut in Pitch Perfect which opens everywhere this Friday. I personally cannot wait to see the film. Ester also worked on Ice Age: Continental Drift voicing the character of Sloth Siren. Give a listen to Woods’ and Dean’s collaboration below and tell us if you like in the comments.

Listen to “We’ve Only Just Begun” after the jump.

New Music Must-Haves

In: Music, Tyrell

Today, instead of writing three individual posts about three different songs, I thought I’d try and lump them all together for you. May I introduce, New Music Must-Haves. You’ll definitely want to snatch these tracks up before the weekend.

The first track on my must-have list is courtesy of Sam Sparro. His highly anticipated new LP (Return To Paradise) is coming soon and already, we’ve been teased with The Shallow End. Now, we are getting treated to another funk-pop gem titled Happiness. Title aside, this song will put a serious smile on your face with the bouncing bass line and the catchy hook of a chorus. Ten bucks you’ll be singing this song in the show tomorrow morning when you wake up.

Second up is Ester Dean who isn’t best known for her vocal stylings but rather, her penning of hit songs for some of the world’s hottest acts including Rihanna, Kelly Clarkson and Katy Perry just to name a few. In her new track Gimme Money which has summer jam sprinkled throughout it, she brought on friend Nicki Minaj to spit a couple raps on it. I absolutely love this song and the hints of Toto’s Africa in the chord progression is also nice for you music junkies who’ll pick that up.

Finally, we have Santigold’s latest track Disparate Youth. Where has Santigold been? I feel like she made us all fall in love when she released You’ll Find A Way and then poof, she didn’t resurface. Thankfully, her latest effort is so solid. The hip hop beat juxtaposed against the bouncing synth is infectious. Once her voice kicks in, you know you’re ready to dance. Also, that guitar riff that kicks in during the verses is so unexpected and a nice touch. This track serves as the officially single for her forthcoming sophomore album due out later this year. Give a listen below.

Listen to all three tracks you must-have after the jump.

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