As one of the first YouTube cover artists-turned-major label pop stars-turned-indie acts of our generation, Esmée Denters knows a little something about the ups and downs of the music industry.
The Dutch singer-songstress was first discovered by Justin Timberlake and signed to his label back in 2008, just around the same time as Justin Bieber was discovered by Scooter Braun for his own YouTube covers. She would eventually head into the studio with the likes of pop powerhouses like Polow Da Don, Toby Gad and Ryan Tedder (really a dream team all around), kicking off her major label pop career with her debut Outta Here in 2009.
And while she managed to notch a few hits across the pond, her proper US debut single, the underrated “Love Dealer,” missed the Hot 100 entirely in 2010.
By 2013, Denters confirmed that she was no longer associated with JT’s Tennman Records and going it solo once more.
So, fast forward through some live showcases and a smattering of one-off releases, and here we are with a brand new offering called “If I Could I Would,” produced by David Spencer and co-written by Esmée along with Sash Blu and Nikal Fieldz.
Esmée is feeling awful guilty on her piano-led power ballad, released last week. And why’s that? Because the boy who does all the right things for her just doesn’t make her London Bridge wanna go down: “If I was Rapunzel, he’d climb every tower and fight the dragon for my heart/And no matter how bad I wanna love him, I just can’t seem to fall,” she laments. Oh, Esmée — you little heartbreaker, you.
Shse sounds fantastic (no surprise there, obviously) — the melodies are giving me JoJo, and the slow marching production screams Ryan Tedder/One Republic.
Here’s hoping that this is only the beginning of the next chapter for Esmée.
“If I Could I Would” was released on September 15. (iTunes)