Sometimes, the old adage is really true. The stars align a certain way and itâ€™s up to us to use our innate talents to discover the call of destiny. Emerging now, at a time in our cultural history when her unique half Panamanian, half Trinidadian heritage can be celebrated rather than obscured, Estrella Cristinaâ€™s musical course was set the minute her mother called her the Spanish word for â€œstar.â€ â€œImagine,â€ the Los Angeles based singer/songwriter says, â€œsitting at your window and looking up at the stars and thinking about what you wanted to be when you grew up. For me, it was always music.â€
Well on her way to making her longtime dreams come true, Estrella shares her innermost heart with the world for the first time on her four song EP This is Life. Performing with the three guitars she has named Phoenix (acoustic), Crimson (electric) and Achilles (a plug-in acoustic), the multi-talented performer engages in exciting collaborations with bassist Frank Coglitore (also her longtime guitar teacher who has played with Taylor Dayne, Beth Hart and Marie Digby), drummer Craig Macintyre (Digby, Josh Groban, etc.), guitarist Lance Konnerth (Hilary Duff, Enrique Iglesias) and singer-songwriters Lane Lenhart and Greg Haptor. Cogliotore produced the soaring, energetic pop-rocker â€œBrighter Than Sunshine,â€ while Haptor and Lenhart helmed the session for hip, edgy and grooving â€œNonstop,â€ which Estrella penned with Lenhart.
This Is Life is already available on iTunes as a three track EP, but the hard copy CD will also feature â€œBrighter Than Sunshine.â€ â€œNonStop,â€ a hopeful song about finding Mr. Perfect (who will love you â€œnonstopâ€!), is set to be featured on FUSE TVâ€™s â€œRad Girlsâ€ in late May 2009 and Estrellaâ€™s music is currently streaming on several radio outlets besides iTunes radio: WQTQ 89.9 FM in Hartford, Connecticut and KGRL, which streams online at http://www.kgrl.fm.
A natural talent who began playing violin at age 6, trained operatically for a few years and auditioned for many musicals while growing up, the singer took a lot of fascinating and inspiring stylistic detours before choosing the singer/songwriter route. Born in Sacramento and growing up in Guadalajara, Mexico and Nebraska, she experienced a unique multi-cultural upbringing with parents who exposed her to their native music–Spanish and Latin sounds (through her mother) and the soca rhythms of Trinidad (via her father). Her palette was rounded out with the pop music her brothers loved to listen to, ranging from The Cure and O.M.D. to INXS.
After graduating from Cornell University in New York as a Textile and Apparel Design major, Estrella headed back to her home state to pursue her goals in the music industry. Acing a hard to get audition, she put her original plan to be a solo artist on hold to sign on as the fourth and final member of a Destinyâ€™s Child-like R&B girls group (VIP) that was under consideration by J Records. When that didnâ€™t pan out after a series of showcases, she focused on developing her own pop/rock sound, starting with learning the guitar with Cogliotore, who challenged her to start writing on her new instrument.
Her musical autobiography begins with â€œBrighter Than Sunshine,â€ a co-write with Coglitore in which she sings of coming to a city not knowing a soul, having no job or place to live, and feeling all alone. Itâ€™s about finding that special someoneâ€”or something in her case, i.e. musicâ€”that makes the journey a lot less lonely. The title track â€œThis is Lifeâ€ is about the struggle towards reaching that lofty aspiration and figuring out at some point that â€œthe momentâ€ when things work out isnâ€™t a single occurrence at all, but a series of stops along the way.