Recently I found myself thinking about my name. When I was young like so many other kids, I thought about changing my name when I became an adult. I wondered what it would be like to live life with another name. However, somewhere before I became an adult, those ideas disappeared completely. I learned the value of the first name my parents gave me, and the last name I inherited. Much like our featured artist this week, she has an appreciation for not only the name her parents gave her, but also the family business of music. This week I chose to feature the very talented Emily Estefan.
If some of you do not know, Emily Estefan is the daughter of musicians Emilio and Gloria Estefan. Of course the couple, married in 1978, are known worldwide because of the successful music group the Miami Sound Machine, and Gloria Estefan’s award-winning solo career. Here in South Florida, the family is part of the local music scene, and our way of life. At some point most of us living in Miami have dealt with the Estefan’s or one of their various local.businesses. The most prominent family business owned by the Estefan’s is within the music industry. An article in Closer Magazine two years ago stated that “for singer Emily Estefan, performing isn’t just a passion — it’s a family business.”
Emily Estefan was born December 1994 and has developed into a multi-instrumental musician, singer and songwriter. After attending the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Estefan started writing and performing her own music. Emily wrote, recorded, produced and performed her full album Take Whatever You Want, at Fairy Light Studios (her own studio in her college apartment in Boston, MA).
As I decided upon featuring Emily Estefan, I wanted to make sure the feature was more than fair. Even though the young artist had a famous last name, her music was uniquely her own. “I always think about [my parents’ fame] as a double-edged sword. They’re amazing, golden footsteps to follow in. So my biggest fear now is just being able to do the past justice,” Emily said of her parents, Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan. Emily will always be scrutinized closely because she chose to work in the family business of music. Like chasing the moving object that you will never catch, Emily Estefan is following her parents footsteps but creating her own path for the rest of her journey.
After listening to Take Whatever You Want, I was happy to hear that Emily’s musical style was very different from that of her parents. Like many of today’s young musicians, Emily is well-educated to understand how to read, write and perform music. It also appears that she will never shy away from various musical genres. Much is on display as you listen to the entire album.
About Take Whatever You Want, Emily says, “I think the biggest thing I want to put across with the album is packed right into the title “Take Whatever You Want”. It’s a large collection of genres and themes and it’s kind of impossible to understand all of it or feel connected to all of it, but when you step back, even though it’s kind of a journey through a lot of different sounds, it’s definitely one energy put forth. I guess the biggest theme or message is that I’m not trying to fit any other mold. It’s the first expression where I didn’t confine myself to any barriers and you can take whatever you want from it and interpret it however you want. And just as much as it’s my music, when it’s let go, it’s completely yours as well and I think that’s what music is.”
Emily Estefan performed last month at University of Miami’s Festival Miami. It marked her début major concert, right at home. Not much pressure but a lot of pressure at the same time. Her parents, as well as many others very familiar with the young artist were all in attendance at the sold-out Gusman Concert Hall. She did not disappoint the crowd, as she started down her own musical road. The limelight is not an unfamiliar place for Emily, Her public singing début came in a 2014 performance of Where The Boys Are at the Hollywood Bowl. She performed in front of a 100,000-person audience at the Miami Beach 100 Centennial Concert on March 26, 2015 and performed on national television for The Today Show with her mother on April 27, 2015.
Now that Emily Estefan has created her own material, and started to perform that material for audiences gathered for the purpose of seeing and hearing her, some might wonder what comes next. Just last week Emily performed at The Miami Symphony Pop-Up Series. It was designed to bring together families and members of the community with a shared passion for culture, art and music, and to enjoy them all in one inspiring space. Sounds like the perfect place for Emily Estefan considering the diverse nature of her music. She is scheduled to perform at SXSW this year.
Normally, we all treasure the one thing our parents can successfully give us all: our names. If we are like Emily Estefan, we might also have a place within the family business.