Ester Dean Talks Writing Hits for Rihanna, Usher & More
Written By: Trilll Nadia
Zone 4 Records/Interscope Records singer/songwriter, Ester Dean, is responsible for various hits by popular artists, including tracks by Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, Chris Brown, Soulja Boy, Usher, R. Kelly, Rihanna, Mary J. Blige, Keri Hilson, Keyshia Cole, Kelly Rowland, Trey Songz, Robin Thicke, and Nicki Minaj. Currently, two tracks Dean is responsible for are mega-hits, Katy Perry’s “Firework,” and Rihanna’s
“Working with Rihanna has been great,” “When I write for her, I live in her attitude. I recall being in the studio with [production team] Stargate and my friend Tracy who helped me write ‘What’s My Name?’ I was just having fun. We were building something beautiful without knowing if it was going to sell. But that’s the best part about it.” “She’s just fierce,“ Dean continued, “When I’m in the recording booth and I’m wining it up on ‘Rude Boy,’ I’m channeling who she is. I think Rihanna is sexy and will say things that other chicks won’t say. Even if she says let’s go kiss some girls, who really cares … that’s Rihanna. Music is about fantasy. This is what people want to do, but are afraid to do. My sex life is much more prude than the sex life I write about [laughs]. I use Rihanna’s alter ego as inspiration. That’s why people loved ‘Rude Boy’ because that sound wasn’t out. The fans are tired of the same old things. People are thirsty for something that’s new.”
In addition to her on-going success of her Rihanna joint, Dean’s Usher hit, “Hot Tottie,” featuring Jay-Z, has also received quite a buzz. Dean revealed her surprise at the final product of the track.
“Usher is a real good friend of mine,” Dean went on. “I went to Jamaica with him and the guys. We are out there hanging out and one his boys ask me, ‘You heard Usher’s new song ‘Hot Tottie?’ And I had never heard of that song before. I knew we recorded some stuff with Usher, but that was all. I didn’t even know Jay-Z was on it and I didn’t know my vocals were going to make the track. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even remember recording the song [laughs].”
In the near future, Dean intends on returning to the studio with Rihanna, and has recently finished the cutting process on several songs with Mary J. Blige.
“We are doing some great songs,” the Grammy Award winner stated. “Working with great artists like Mary makes the [process] easy. I love what I do.”