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Estelle: It's hard to perform R&B music in the UK

Estelle: It's hard to perform R&B music in the UK

March 3rd, 2012 by MESFIN FEKADU, Associated Press in News

NEW YORK (AP) - Estelle said she left the United Kingdom to pursue her career in America because performing R&B music back home was too tough.

"It's so (expletive) hard for British artists to be taken seriously as R&B artists," she said.

"It's frustrating," continued Estelle, who now lives in the United States. "I get a lot of (people saying), "Yo Estelle, I can't sing R&B and be out here and make money. This is crazy.' And I'm looking at them like, "I know. That's why I'm not there doing it."'

Estelle's sound is a mix of rap, R&B, reggae and pop. She says British R&B singers have trouble performing R&B "because No. 1, you're not American."

But R&B music in Europe isn't quite the same as in America. Europe's R&B charts will feature pop acts like Jason Derulo and Flo Rida, whose songs don't appear on the U.S. R&B chart.

"The kids in the (U.K.) hood still know what R&B music is. They still know what real (R&B) is," she said.

Estelle released her debut, "The 18th Day," in Europe in 2004, but she made her real splash on the music scene in 2008 with the monster hit "American Boy," which won her a Grammy Award. The song featured Kanye West and is from her U.S. debut, "Shine," released on John Legend's label imprint, Home School Records.

This week, the 32-year-old is releasing her new album, "All of Me." It features collaborations with Chris Brown, Trey Songz, Rick Ross, Nas, Ne-Yo and Janelle Monae.

Estelle says though some people wanted her to rush out new material following the success of "American Boy," she decided to take time to write and record quality songs.

"I always say there's a difference between cooked food and McDonald's," she said. "Your mom's homemade dinner - you enjoy this more than you enjoy the fast food that comes along and goes, and I strive to make homemade dinner every time I put out an album."