While most people post videos to YouTube knowing that they will be discovered, Esmee Denters posted a video of her singing because her friend said she was good and wanted to see if others felt the same way. Denters was soon discovered by Justin Timberlake and after thousands heard her sing on YouTube, the 18-year-old from the Netherlands recieved touring opportunities from the likes of Timberlake and Natasha Beddingfield. Watch her sing live when she opens for Honor Society Oct. 14 at Martini Ranch.
Q: What advice would you give musicians who would like to use YouTube to be discovered?
A: Always be yourself and do not let anybody discourage you from doing what you want to do. My platform was YouTube and that worked for me but that doesn’t mean that it will work for everybody so you might have to try different things to get the same result. So just go for it and don't let anybody discourage you.
Q: What was your reaction when you received the first comment on a YouTube Video?
A: I was really surprised at the thought that somebody just saw it and commented on it because I’m really not that good with the computer so I was just hoping that it would work. Then all of the sudden it was online, and then I got my first comment which was really sweet. It was a girl from the UK I think. She was really nice and was like "I like your voice" and it was just a great feeling to know that somebody in another place in the world from where I am was just commenting, saw my video, and loved it. It was a great feeling.
Q: How did you get into music?
A: It was basically two things that got me into music. I always knew that I wanted to become a singer, I just didn’t really know how to do that because I grew up in a small town in Holland and there just weren’t a lot of ways that you could get noticed. One day I just found out about YouTube and I’m like OK, let’s just do it, let’s try it, and see what people think and eventually that happened and the record companies started calling me and I went over to the United States to meet with different labels and it all started happening for me and then I met Justin Timberlake and he signed me. From there on, I just made a record and now I’m on tour. It’s been a pretty crazy journey for me.
Q: What are you trying to convey through your music?
A: I just write from the heart. If ever something inspires me, it could be something happening to my friends, or something that happened to me, I just try and put that in my music and I just always try to write songs in a way that other people can relate to. I think a lot of us are going through the same issues; everybody’s had their heart broken maybe once or twice, and I just try to write songs about those kinds of things that people can go "Oh wow, that had happened to me" or they can take something out of it.
Q: What is the most memorable moment of your music career this far?
A: Oprah. I’ve always been watching her show and it's OPRAH! It’s just incredible to be asked to be on that show and they did a whole thing about YouTube and they asked me to come on the show and I was like oh my God, is this real? I didn’t believe it was real until I saw like a limo parked in front of the hotel. It was crazy and she was really, really nice when I got to meet her so I think that’s definitely one of my favorite moments.
Q: Who inspires you?
A: I really grew up with a lot of different music around in the house, my dad used to have old soul records from Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, just all kinds, of stuff, and I think that’s where my love of music grew. That’s when I knew that I wanted to become an artist and I started listening to people like the Spice Girls, Destiny's child, Janet Jackson, I just felt like it was something that I had to do and it was incredible to see them perform live and those people have defiantly inspired me in the beginning. There’s so many great songwriters out there right now and I think Ne-Yo is a great songwriter, of course, Justin is an amazing songwriter, and you can learn a little bit from everybody.
Q: What artist dead or alive would you like to record with?
A: I would love to work with Alicia Keys actually; I think she she’s great, she’s a great songwriter and I just look up to her a lot, it’s not just she’s an amazing artist and I love her songs but I also love her personality, because I saw her live a couple of times and I don’t know what she’s really like in real life but she just seems like such a nice and genuine person and I think we would be a great team together, it would be awesome.
Q: With your album coming out in January, are there any more singles on the way?
A: For right now it’s Outta Here but there are definitely going to be other singles.
Q: Do you plan to do a US solo tour when your album comes out in January?
A: I would definitely love to have my own show one day so right now I’m touring with Honor Society and so hopefully the people that I get to meet here, hopefully I’ll get to come back and have my own show and meet all these people again and it would defiantly be great. I just gotta make sure that people buy the single so I can do that.
Q: If you were not a musician, what would you be?
A: I remember when I was little; it was either, of course, a singer and the I always thought about being a dolphin trainer. It must be very funny to hear, but I just love dolphins.
Q: If your song could be the theme song for a show what show would it be?
A: I absolutely love Entourage; I think that’s a great show.
Q: What do you feel are the worst and best parts about being in the spotlight?
A: The best part is definitely is touching people with my music. I think that’s the most important part for me is that, music is my life and if I can do something that I love and I can make other people happy by doing that then I think that’s just the most amazing thing there is. I think the worst part probably is traveling, because I love performing and all that stuff, but you just have to travel everywhere. Sometimes you have to go somewhere for 10 minutes and your traveling for 9 hours to get there. So sometimes, I just need to buy more books and read a lot or watch TV shows.
Q: If someone were to make a movie of your life who would direct it and who would star as you?
A: I think Scarlett Johansson is really beautiful, she would have to get another hair color but I really like her.
Q: What was your first job?
A: I think my first job, I was going door to door to sell cards so that was pretty crazy because sometimes it would rain and my cards would get wet and then I have to pay all the money back, it was a pretty bad job.