Some singers are gifted with one-of-a-kind voices that can instantly grab attention, local singer McKenna Esteb is one of those people. She’s been singing her whole life, recently the pianist moved back to Boise and is releasing some new music this summer.
“The easiest way to describe my music would be soul-pop,” said Esteb, “but it’s really a mixture, lots of people say it has an Amy Winehouse feel but we have our own sound. There’s a fine balance for artists and it can take a lot to figure out what you want to do. When I started to prioritize music over anything else it creates a snowball effect where everything starts falling into place. It’s a gut feeling and it feels right.”
Whatever genre it’s called, Esteb’s music is incredibly soulful and her voice is the powerhouse behind the bands sound. She’s releasing a new track on July 2 titled “My Heart” followed by an accompanying music video. A full EP will be released by the end of this summer and she’s playing a lot of shows leading up to it. People can find more information, listen to previous releases and find concert dates on her website, mckennaestebmusic.com.
Esteb grew up in the small town of Snoqualmie, WA. She participated in local talent shows and in eighth grade won the local Snow Valley Idol Contest. She said she grew up obsessed with music and often used it as an escape. Esteb is a self-taught musician. She put music on hold as she studied communications at Boise State University but after graduating felt a bit lost and decided to start making music.
“I hadn’t written before,” said Esteb, “I started to be inspired writing with a friend and we eventually parted ways but our ‘break-up’ set a fire under me. I had always thought I couldn’t write songs but going through that change I thought screw it, I’m going to do it. I was going through an actual break-up and wrote the song “Can’t Love” released in 2018. There was a rush of support that came out of that release and it gave me confidence to write more.”
That summer Esteb started meeting local musicians and put a band together. She ended up moving to Austin, TX for about a year, but she’s moved back to Boise this year and re-configured her band, using previous members Brandon Young on bass and Andrew Chumich on guitar but added new drummer Ieke Goodwin.
Esteb’s voice is reminiscent of powerhouse singers like Winehouse and Adele but the band is funky and some of the songs may make people want to get up and dance, while others may make people cry in the shower.
Her voice is powerful and seems to move people. She laughingly said people have come up to her and asked, ‘who hurt you so bad to be able to sing like that.’ Esteb has the voice down pat and said now her main focus is working on the piano and totally mastering her craft.
“Doing this just feels right and it makes me so happy, said Esteb.” Maybe her organic and honest approach is what makes her music such a delight to listen to.