Australian teen songwriter and artist E^ST (a.k.a Mel Bester) has always moved to the beat of her own drum.
Maybe it’s because music has been the one constant in her life (she relocated to Australia from South Africa when she was a kid, moving house with her family close to 30 times). Or perhaps it’s something more innate that sets her apart from her peers: a natural curiosity teamed with a gift for expressing the conflicted emotions of youth in her own distinctive voice.
Bester’s prodigious talent was first picked up on six years ago when she sent an acoustic demo off to Swedish publishing and production powerhouse The Kennel. The hitmakers were intrigued and invited this unknown teenager from the New South Wales Central Coast to Stockholm, twice, for month-long stints in the studio.
“The Swedes are pop machines, it’s impressive,” Bester says. “My style isn’t straight-up pop, but I learned how to structure a pop song, and to think about what I want to say and how to say it in a way that hasn’t been said before. They put a lot of faith in me. I grew in confidence.”