Listen: Rihanna’s Songwriter Drops Her Own Track


Rihanna’s secret weapon,” is what people are calling Ester Dean. This is fair, I guess. The Grammy-nominated artist has written an INSANE amount of hits for badgalRiRi: Rude Boy, What’s My Name, Where Have You Been, Talk That Talk, and a host of others. But to call her Rihanna’s secret weapon simply does not do this woman justice.

Ester has written for just about everybody, including Britney Spears, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson, and Katy Perry. Now that she’s being managed by Jay-Z’s label RocNation (along with artists like MIA, Shakira, and Rihanna), I expect very exciting things from Ester. In 2009 she released Drop It Low (featuring Chris Brown), a really hip-pop song that failed to make waves. I think her new song is a gazillion times better; it’s very 90s R&B-ish and I can’t wait to hear more from this immense talent. Check out the new track and tell me what you think.

Baby Making Love

So what’s the verdict? Can Ester go from songwriter to singer? Can she out-sing the people she writes for– Rihanna? Katy? Bieber? Lol, that one makes me laugh a little. And most importantly, does this music make you want to make a baby with your lover, or the fantasy celebrity lover of your choice?

Ester signing to RocNation’s Management is no small potatoes. This label has such an eclectic array of artists (many from the UK), sometimes it’s hard to keep them straight; there’s also a difference between being managed by RocNation and having a record deal with them (Ester’s record deal is actually with Interscope). So I’ve made us a photo gallery, lest we forget who Rita Ora is when her next single drops in the States. But first, check out Ester’s obscenely impressive Writing Discography:

Christina Aguilera: Not Myself Tonight, Vanity, Woohoo, etc.
Beyonce: Countdown, Start Over
Britney Spears: (Drop Dead) Beautiful, Selfish
Katy Perry: Firework, Peacock
Kelly Clarkson: Mr. Know It All
Ciara: Never Ever, etc.
Jesse McCartney: Up
Nicki Minaj: Super Bass, etc.
Rihanna: Rude Boy, What’s My Name, Where Have You Been, Talk That Talk, Drunk On Love, Roc Me Out, Farewell, etc.
Jennifer Hudson: Gone, One Piece
Usher: Hot Tottie, Lil Freak, etc.

For the rest of Ester’s writing credits, go to Wikipedia.
Connect with Ester Dean: Official Site, Official Twitter



JIGGA, Artist and Roc Nation Label Owner
The Blueprint 3 was the first Roc Nation album released. It was Jay’s 11th #1 album, breaking Elvis’s record for most #1 albums by a solo artist.

  • jenn

    oh snap. lovin’ the 90’s vibe. can’t wait to hear more from her!

    • Thanks for the comment jenn! I, too, am looking for ward to the next track.

  • Jess

    I’ll have to listen to this when I get home. I really enjoyed some of her songs that she did with Christina Aguilera ie. Woohoo and Vanity

  • swile71

    She has a killer voice and I love the song!

    • swile71 thanks for commenting. Isn’t cool when singers can um sing?!

  • ├íngela.

    She has a little Jazmine Sullivan/Chrisette Michele vibe going on. I like it. She’s a great writer, but writing doesn’t make you an artist. If she can get her performance and stage presence down, she’d be great.

    • You’re right ├íngela– I think if she can get some good people behind her it could really go down. Based on this track, I think Ester deserves to have some serious time and money invested in her work.

    • Sam

      You mean writing doesn’t make you a “performer”, right? Because writing is definitely an art form that requires a lot of talent :)

  • nicole

    i’ve heard a few songs from Ester. i see a long career for her. im glad shes finally getting some love!

    • Thanks for commenting nicole! With her track record– she deserves the attention.

  • Sarah

    Lovin it – it totally has a 90’s vibe!!! I love the rasp in her voice.

    • Agreed Sarah! She’s got her own sound and I hope we get to hear more of it. Thanks for the comment.

  • Seth

    wow! i love this! she’s definitely got a voice on her to rival the artists she’s been writing for, save for maybe Beyonce. I love the grit at the top of her tone and the weight of her voice, although I wish they wouldn’t have employed so much autotune on the vocal. When is that troublesome trend going to disappear?

    • LOL Seth @ “troublesome trend.” Am I just immune to it (after so much)? Because I didn’t pick up on it. But then again– maybe in the hook a bit? Thanks for the comment.

  • Andrew

    I’m not too into it… yet. It might grow on me, especially considering that apparently she has written some of my favorite songs.

    • Andrew, thanks for the comment. Let’s see if she grows on you– she can def write a hit song or 20.

  • apriljan

    You know, I was one of the few that heard Drop It Low and I played it over and over. I was surprised that it didn’t catch on. I miss hearing that 90’s sound… it’s only fitting that Ester would bring it back!

    • apriljan i thought Drop It Low was catchy but not for me, really. This one made me think of SWV.

  • Isabelle

    Love it. Especially her voice, I wanna hear more.

    • Me too Isabelle. Glad you likey.

  • Julie

    Shannon – Totally loving all of your posts! You’re good enough to have your own blog ;)

    • Aw, thanks Julie. Trent and everyone else involved with PITNB have been amazing teachers– I’ve got a ways to go but I’m having a great time. So glad you’re liking the posts!

  • JCZ

    It’s a good song – 90s R&B and Hip//Hop will forever be the greatest for those genres. But I don’t see this being the hit it deserves. Also – she has a great voice, but in do disrespect, if Bieber sounded a little manlier, this is what he would sound like.

    The song, well the production is only one-dimensional. It never changes and radio won’t take to it. Urban will but Mainstream won’t. Listeners need an intro, the main beat, a breakdown before ending. This kinda just ends abruptly without the listener knowing the song is coming to an end. I just feel thats how music has become these days – very constructed, like a narrative almost.

    Anyway I welcome any contemporary 90s influenced music – I more often enough crank out to 90s R&B and Hip Hop than its newer stuff these days.

    • JCZ wow! Thank you for those observations– you are absolutely on point. I hadn’t at all considered the song’s composition. Great to have an expert on board here.

    • JCZ

      Would hardly say that – I absolutely love the production and the song in general. As I said, I craaaave 90s R&B and Hip/Hop.

      It’s just upsetting that radio likely won’t take to this. Just an assumption. If you look at the R&B Charts, a lot of artists who constantly release Top 10 hits, hardly make an impact on the Hot 100 and these artists release the greater R&B music. Beyonce, who I’m not much of fan of, is portrayed to be THE Female R&B artist of today, which listeners would know, is quite an overrated statement IMO. Same with Chris Brown – both artists include R&B but I would preferably still call it Pop. Especially in award shows like The Grammys, where they over shadow the true R&B artists found on the R&B charts.

      Ester is clearly quite talented – she has an appeal to mainstream artists with her songwriting, but obviously knows her stuff about less mainstream music such as this track, which I like to see.

      A question I could raise though is; are the listeners/music buyers the blind ones when it comes to the generic/repetitive productions found by people like Dr. Luke and RedOne OR is Radio and the Labels to blame for just not having the ability to find some alternatives to at least diversify their catalog?

      There is clearly a lot more to that – there’s reasons why some artists (K. Perry) continue to have radio hit after radio hit and it comes down to $$$ and their label. But we, as buyers/listeners, do hold the right to choose what we listen to in the end. I would choose this Baby Making Love over a typical RedOne Pop song.

      (I’ll make a quick exception, as an Aussie, about the success of Gotye. Ironically though, it becomes a shame when such a song becomes more known for being over-played to extinction – then again, there is always ONE indie track that becomes a cross over hit, this year, we’re fortunate enough to have two so far, the other being ‘We Are Young’)

    • JCZ these are great points and I think we all wonder about who has control over what gets put out. I think as individuals have SOME control, which is precisely why I posted this. I think if any one artist gets enough buzz, that can make a difference in the product that gets put out. I don’t have control over the decisions made by labels, but as a consumer I can and should take a stand on what I think is good music. I think we can all do this in small ways.

  • Sam

    Also, I get a little Lauryn Hill vibe from her voice…and I LOVE Lauryn Hill. Miseducation is my favorite album of all-time!

    • Ahhh yes Sam. Why aren’t we listening to Ex-Factor right now?!