Simply by dint of living in this city of ours, we are, perhaps uniquely, blessed with the not-infrequent rubbing of elbows with the rich, famous, legendary, or the soon-to-be all of the above. This gives us story after story, however superficial, of touching little parts of history, no matter how small or pop-culture-focused.
Being floored by Emily Estefan as she belted out several songs in my cramped, dark room felt like something I am going to be able to look back on in the not-so-distant future with no small degree of satisfaction.
The project was somewhat of a whirlwind and suffered from some of the faults that occur when taking on something large in a rush, but Emily took it all in stride, approaching me with an openness and wide-eyedness that was wholly at odds with how most would expect the child of legends to behave. She was immensely gracious, admiring the art on the walls, marveling at my old 4×5 camera, cracking self-deprecating jokes about her (lack of) ability to retain lyrics. She attacked every interaction, every question, every song with an immense, refreshing enthusiasm.
And boy, lemme tell you, it was something to behold.
That Emily is destined for greatness seems obvious given her talent. Neo-soul, as a genre, is not without its stars — Hiatus Kaiyote, Thundercat, and The Internet all come to mind — but where other acts tend to put a lot of emphasis on their more contemporary influences, such as hip hop, Emily brings some of the flavor of her certified legendary roots to the fore, injecting her songs with a jazzy Cuban foundation that pays immediate tribute to her family’s legacy while simultaneously delivering her own statement of purpose and taking aim at a legacy of her own.
Not only that, but in the space of about thirty minutes, Emily demonstrated through her innate kindness, authenticity, awareness, and spirit that she will achieve these goals with a grace that is going to set an example for songwriters. I cannot stress enough just how good she is or how far she is going to go, so take a look at the gloriousness that is apparent even through my meager means of capturing it: