Gabriella Estrada, a freshman music education student, is one of five artists to receive the opportunity to produce a song for Blue Hawk Records.
Music has always been a part of her life. At the age of four, she began learning classical piano. Now, fourteen years later, she is self-taught on guitar and ukulele, and is studying her passion as a college major.
Estrada described her sound as predominantly indie, which carries into her song on the record. In fact, her favorite genres span from indie to R&B, looking up to artists like Frank Ocean, The 1975, Daniela Andrade, and Tyler, the Creator.
Her song on the record, titled ‘Hero,’ is filled with acoustic guitar strums that complement her passionate vocals. Estrada said that she wanted the song to sound comforting, calming, and acoustic, as she admires the therapeutic vibes that music can convey.
Her song, which she wrote earlier in the year, comes from a place of deep emotion and friendship.
“I wrote it at a time when I was going through a little rough patch,” she said. “I was at one of my friend’s houses and I just had a moment of anxiety. In that moment, my friend was trying to get me to talk and be the person to help me, so I wrote that song from that experience.”
This emotional moment carries into the main lyrics of the chorus: “Wouldn’t you like to know if you could be my hero, ‘cause I want to know too.”
“The song is about everyone in my life who I consider a hero,” she said.
At the recording studio, the Blue Hawk Records team is planning on adding a soft drum beat and a bit of violin to accompany the ambient harmonies of Estrada’s voice.
Kat Fernandez, General Manager for the student-run record label, said, “Gabby is very multi-talented. We were able to see how unique and talented everyone was. I have high expectations for the album. It’s coming along really well.”
After graduation, Estrada plans on continuing with music into her future career of teaching students at the high school or college level.
She said, “Music Ed is especially important because you’re inspiring other people to find their emotions in music. I think it builds a skill of empathy and understanding the world around you more. Human nature is very much involved in music.”
As of now, Estrada’s first few months as a Monmouth Hawk has been very music-filled, working not only with Blue Hawk Records but also becoming a member of Sea Sharps, Monmouth’s a cappella group.
It was the next natural step towards music after an extensive songwriting experience, expanding her musical knowledge by learning new instruments, and being involved with Chorus in high school.
“I’ve never had an experience like this before,” Estrada said. “I’m just getting all the different music experiences I never got in high school but wanted to get. That’s why I was so excited for college. I’m doing so much.”
Blue Hawk Records is just the beginning of Estrada’s musical college experience.
“I’m a very hopeful person, and I have a lot of hope for myself,” she said.
Estrada describes herself as a lit candle, a person who uses her bubbly personality to spread optimism to her peers.
“If you’re in a dark room and in the darkest of times, I will be that lit candle that makes you smile as much as I can,” she said. “I want to give light to everyone. I want to make people happy, and music is one of my outlets for that.”
Through her music, Estrada hopes to become her own ‘Hero’ for people who feel as if they are going through a rough time.
PHOTO COURTESY of Blue Hawk Records