One year ago, the daughter of Cuban music power couple Gloria and Emilio Estefan Emily Estefan sat down with People Chica to talk about how she wanted to follow in her parents’ footsteps, but to her own beat. Over the course of this year, she’s done just that: She released her first album Take Whatever You Want, which is worlds away from the Latin-spiced ballads her mother is famous for. “There is definitely soul and R&B and little snippets of my Latino pride in unexpected areas. A little bit of rock,” she told People en Español of her debut tracks.
The 22-year-old admitted being measured against her famous parents is intimidating: “It’s hard and at first that was restricting me from getting to where I want to be as an artist. Then you realize that people are going to say what they are going to say and you have to ignore it,” she said, adding, “You have to have that steel skin because a lot of people are going to compare you and that’s something I have to get used to.” Here are 5 more things you need to know about Estefan, including how she’s forging her own artistic identity.
1. She recently performed at Essence Festival in New Orleans with A-listers like Diana Ross, John Legend and Mary J. Blige.
2. She’s producing daring videos like her first single’s “F#ck To Be,” which is about breaking the mold. In February, her album debuted on four Billboard charts, including R&B, Heatseekers, Hip Hop and Independent.
3. The emerging talent has become a distinct presence on social media, posting adorable #TBT childhood photos, snaps from her performances, and clips rapping and dueting with her abuela Gloria Fajardo (aka. Rapbuela) who passed away at 88 in June.
4. She was nervous the first time she performed in front of her mother: “I was already in music school,” she once told the Miami Herald. “I was living alone in Boston, and I hadn’t even sung to myself alone because that’s how afraid I was of my own voice.” Of course, her mom wept with pride when she heard her daughter’s vocals.
5. She’s also forging a unique style: From shaving the side of her head to wearing understated makeup and edgy outfits full of attitude and a raw sensuality, she’s mastering her own look.
She once said she received her best career advice from her parents, who said “to enjoy every moment and not try to be anyone you are not because that will blow up in your face and you won’t be happy.” She’s clearly taken that to heart.