With a highly-acclaimed career spanning ten years as Slow Club’s percussionist, vocalist and more, Rebecca Taylor is certainly no novice when it comes to the British music scene. But while the band enjoyed success and adoration, being part of a duo left Taylor grappling with the idea of reducing herself, simultaneously struggling with women’s expectations to be quieter and well-behaved while portraying what she considered to be a ‘meek version’ of who she was.
Now, enter the direct and unapologetic Self Esteem, the pseudonym under which Taylor presents her latest musical efforts. What began as a joke in an attempt to reject her own insecurities and self-doubt has transformed into an outlet of creative expression and self-discovery for the Yorkshire musician, this time without hesitation or compromise. “Only now am I feeling like it’s alright to be ambitious or have ideas. It’s blowing my mind,” she says. “I was so girly, so submissive. And it’s time to just be true. No one’s gonna fuck with me now.”
Last year marked the release of Self Esteem’s debut single, an electro-pop track by the name of ‘Your Wife’ that showcased Taylor’s innovative new venture through a series of uplifting beats, along with lyrical concepts of empowerment and raw vulnerability. In recent months, single releases such as the vibrant and rhythm-driven ‘Wrestling’ have built up high anticipation for forthcoming material (there are whispers of a spring album), while the lyrically reflective ‘Rollout’ represents everything Self Esteem has become: challenging how female artists are expected to behave, and embracing her new-found identity within the industry under the guise of what she describes as a ‘bloody breakup song’, Taylor looks back with one question in mind: “What I might have achieved, if I wasn’t trying to please…” Self Esteem is unapologetically female, presenting a musical embodiment of Rebecca Taylor’s mind through an infectious blend of entrancing basslines and powerful lyrical hooks, and a burning desire to challenge (and defy) expectations.
Photo by Charlotte Patmore.