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Next time you complain about a friend inviting themselves to one of your parties, think of how Kardinal Offishall ended up on Estelle’s new single, “Freak”.

“He heard the song, and was like, ‘Gimme that,’” recalled Darlings, who played the track from her house for Kardi. “He literally like took the song, looped up the beginning of the instrumental and did his verse and sent it back like, ‘There ya go, I’m on the track now.’”

Estelle didn’t mind – she cites Offishall as a good friend and one of the few that she’d grant that privilege to. Plus – she thinks he added a lot to the single.

“He killed it,” she stated. “He came on it and lifted the energy up completely.”

The singer did clarify one issue: Kardinal’s path of entry to the record is not the reason she made him wear skinny jeans for the song’s music video.

“(Laughing) He knows me. Whenever he’s around me there’s a lot of skinny jeans,” Estelle joked. “I’m sorry. I’m British. It’s what happens.”

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Of course, before Offishall declared himself a contributor to the record, Estelle linked up with French producer/DJ David Guetta. The man behind “I Gotta Feeling” and “Sexy Bitch” only reached out to one artist other than Chris Willis for a contribution to “One Love” – Estelle.

“I was like, ‘Hell yeah, will you do a track for me?’” Darlings said. She and Guetta recorded “One Love” – which the producer would later use as the title track for his August 2009 LP, an honor that Estelle admitted is “really cool.”

“After we did ‘One Love’, we were just both sitting there and I was like, ‘Play me some more stuff,’” she said. “He played ‘Freak’ and I was like, ‘Oh my God… trust me, give me that record!’”

Estelle decided that she’d bring it back to the 80’s on the hook – paying homage to the British pop group Soul II Soul by singing the chorus of the group’s smash single, “Back To Life”.

“He lost his mind,” Darlings said of Guetta’s reaction to the impromptu tribute. “I’m a child of the 80’s from London. Soul II Soul is what I grew up on.”

“Freak” is the first single from Estelle’s third studio LP – All Of Me – which she plans to release this fall. Other confirmed contributors include Swizz Beats, Gym Class Heroes’ Travie McCoy, and John Legend. Darlings revealed that the album will probably not include another collaboration with KanYe West. She did note that a recent duet with Mr. Hudson would more than likely be included on an extended version of the LP.

Someone does her hair, someone does her makeup – and the British-born artist admits her total prep-time can ring in as long as two hours. She’s a Grammy-award winner, and is probably coming to a red carpet near you soon, if she hasn’t graced it already. But despite all the commotion, it seems singer/fashionista Estelle Darlings is still pretty modest.

“I think it will happen,” the “American Boy” songstress said on the prospects of one day creating a fashion line. “I just don’t want it to be like, because I’m me. I want it to actually be a good line, yunno, something great. So, I think I’m going to have to go and do a real internship.”

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Perhaps she could intern at People’s Revolution? She did appear for a few seconds in an episode of Kell On Earth. Somewhere in the lower 48, Ryan Seacrest and MTV are scrambling for the production credits on this one.

Anyways, Darlings does have a bit of a start on her fashion line – a jewelry line with Rachel Roy. Pieces range from $30 to $195, and can be found at some Macy’s. Estelle was conscience of the retail prices.

“I’m very much in to quality, but I still like my cheapies,” she admitted. “The whole point with (the jewelry line) was to do something with great quality that was quite cheap at the same time.”

Darlings also revealed that she tries not to spend a lot of money on “eye-lashes and product-things,” while noting that she is sent a lot of items based on her look.

Her third studio LP, All Of Me, is scheduled for a fall release. The first single, the David Guetta-produced “Freak”, features Kardinal Offishall and is available online now.

It’s been quite the year for England’s Mr. Hudson. Signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music, Hudson is set to debut in the States with Straight No Chaser on October 5. In an interview on The Ralphie Radio Show – West’s protégé confirmed that he’s on at least one track off of Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3, and that he is also working with Estelle on her next LP.

“We did a little duet together, hopefully for her album,” says Hudson of his studio session with Estelle – who is also from England. Hudson called Estelle “an inspiration.”

It’s just another project that Hudson finds himself involved with, thanks to West. First – 808’s and Heartbreaks – where Hudson sang background vocals on a couple tracks and lent a more prominent role to the song, “Paranoid.” Next up: Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 – where it was originally rumored that Hudson could be featured on a couple of cuts.

“I got a funny feeling it might just be Forever Young,” revealed Hudson of his contributions to the final product – which is due out September 11. “Just to be anywhere near that project is an honor. (Jay-Z)’s the man.”

Hudson took a backseat, observing and participating when asked on ‘Ye’s and Jay’s respective albums – while also watching other projects within the G.O.O.D. Music family unfold. Now, it’s his turn. Kanye actually presented the first single, “Supernova” – to Hudson as a gift, literally.


Part 1: His New Life Thanks To KanYe, Sneaker Collection, Coldstone Creamery

Part 2: “Supernova“, Straight No Chaser, Blueprint 3, Working with Estelle.


“He comes in… and says, ‘Yo Hudson I got a present for you,’” the English vocalist recalled. Immediately, Hudson thought the gift could be “embarrassingly generous” – as according to the singer, Kanye gave both his barber and manager cars. But there was no big “Oprah-type” moment, as West simply turned to the engineer in the studio and said, “Press play.” ‘Ye’s trademark big drums came blaring over the speakers, and West sang what would become the chorus on “Supernova” – in what Hudson describes as a, “slow and lower, more like at 808’s and Heartbreaks approach.” Hudson cranked up the volume on it and the final product came together.

“So I didn’t get a ‘Jesus Piece,’” he remarked. “I think I got something better.”

People overseas might agree – as the song peaked at numbers 2 and 3 on the UK and Irish Charts respectively. The success in Hudson’s homeland clearly means something: he didn’t need a cue to bring up the chart position during the interview. However I wondered if the London singer minded that Kanye threw his best English accent on the track.

“He’d been in London for weeks… and he had a couple drinks, so I think it just came out,” said Hudson. “I think it’s like ‘When in Rome,’ yunno?”

Mr. Hudson shared that the vernacular impact goes both ways – he added “I’ma” to his vocab – using the example of “I’ma get me a Coldstone.”

The ice cream parlor is one of many things that West turned Hudson on to. Another is fashion, particularly sneakers.

“It went from one pair to two or three. But I’m still learning,” admitted Hudson. “An Englishman has like, maybe one or two pairs of trainers.”

Of course, considering the teacher, it’s no surprised that the student owns a pair of “Yeezy’s.”

“I’m too scared to take them out the box,” said Hudson. “Maybe I’ll just wear them around the house.”