Talking girl crushes and sad pop music with Self Esteem


Last month saw Jägermeister’s renowned JägerHaus return to London’s All Points East festival, bringing more than 50 artists to perform.

One of those buzzy artists was Self Esteem – the new-yet-not-new project from Rebecca Lucy Taylor. For a long time she was dividing her attention, working on painting and prints, and video, as Self Esteem, whilst the day job was writing and performing as one half of Slow Club, but now the music and the day job is Self Esteem too, and Rebecca is revelling in it.


What inspired the title for your new album ‘Compliments Please’?

I thought it was really funny.

How did (Feelings) come about?

I was in a long Uber ride in LA quite a few years ago. I had just had proper influenza on tour in the USA and had had really quite the most horrible time and realised how much I wanted my life to change. The driver was a singer herself and she just kind of launched into a motivational speech so I recorded it.

Is Girl Crush about more than just a “girl crush”?

The point of the song is that calling something a ‘gender’ crush negates the presence of emotions or attraction or lust. It’s just a crush. Is my point.

Who are your main pop influences?

Rihanna, Destiny’s Child Producer’s / Songwriters. Lauryn hill. Whoever wrote ROAR. Whoever writes Little Mix singles.

Would you say that pop music is getting sadder?

As somebody who has never written a happy song I can’t be sure I’ve noticed a difference. I think pop as a genre has become more open and honest; and probably therefore sadder. It’s not hard to be open about being happy in the sunshine etc. Is it?

If you had to listen to one album on repeat for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Perfume Genius – No Shape. It is perfection. Sonically, Rhythmically, lyrically. That album makes me horny and full of grief all at once.


Are all of your songs on the album written from personal experience?

Pretty much. Some lyrics are appropriated from different relationships, and dressed up as being about a lover maybe, but mostly it’s me being self-indulgent.

Do you have a favourite song to play live – and why?

I’m currently loving playing live with all my heart. One of my songs is called In Time, and we dance a lot in that. And there’s also a refrain that makes me feel like I’m exercising some cortisol out when we sing it! – so I’d say that one.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?


What’s next for Self Esteem?

I’m writing my next record at the moment and plotting a load of other art stuff. I’m also playing at a lot of festivals and also doing a headline tour in October. Please do attend!