The exceptional, internationally regarded New Zealand musician Estère, will perform in the 2022 World of WearableArt Awards Show from 29 September to 16 October this year.

The Aotearoa-born Cameroonian-Kiwi artist and producer, whose bicultural influences are integral to her music and whose latest album was produced with Massive Attack’s Stew Jackson, has performed in Europe, Africa and Asia.

She’s been invited to numerous international festivals including Glastonbury (UK), Afropunk Paris (France), Bushfire Festival (Swaziland), WOMAD (NZ), Aarhus Festuge (Denmark) and Sori Arts Festival (South Korea). She has also opened for shows such as Grace Jones and Erykah Badu. She has headlined sold-out shows in the UK, France and Aotearoa and has been twice nominated for Aotearoa New Zealand Music Awards, including Best Producer (2018) and Critics Choice Award (2015).

Photographer: Steve Boniface

On selecting Estère to perform as this year’s guest artist, WOW Executive Creative Director Brian Burke says, “WOW can evolve and become an extraordinary platform to feature all kinds of original local artists.

“This show has a more contemporary, yet abstract, approach to storytelling. We needed a female muse as a through-line.

“I really wanted to fuse pop culture and feature an incredible original local songwriter, singer, and extraordinary performer who could take this year’s show to the next level.”

WOW Show Director Malia Johnston says, “We knew Estère would be a great fit because of her prolific and extremely creative approach to everything she does with her music; from her lyrics to her diverse style, and interest in choreography and design.

“Estère is at once playful and at the same time has a lot to say with her creative voice.

“She has an X-factor on the stage and a special quality and enthusiasm for working collaboratively.

“She brings ‘next level’ expression and has inspired our entire creative team – we’re extremely excited to see her as an integral part of the 2022 WOW Awards Show.”

Musician Estere posing

Inspired by acute curiosity and joie de vivre, Estère’s layered, intricate, beat-driven songs are written, recorded and produced in her study room, and she in fact began her journey producing songs on a media recorder in her bedroom.  

Her first album, Estère, released in 2015 via Paris-based record label Prospect, earned her accolades from the likes of Disco Naïveté, Elle Magazine (FR) and Portals. In 2018, Estère’s second album My Design, On Others’ Lives was championed by Radio New Zealand as “an exceptional record.”

Afropunk called it “an immersive experience unlike anything you’ve ever witnessed.” Released to critical acclaim in January 2021, Estère’s third album, Archetypes, created with Stew Jackson, was described as “a triumph on many levels… each and every moment is pure auditory and sensory magic,” by Ambient Light.  

The iconic New Zealand event, the WOW Awards Show, returns to Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington from 29 September to 16 October. The capital city will host an audience of over 60,000 from across the country, with designers coming from across the world. 103 designers representing 20 countries have created the 88 finalist entries. 55% are from across Aotearoa.

More than $185,000 of awards and prizes are up for grabs, across three recurring sections – Aotearoa, Avant-garde and Open – as well as three new sections in 2022: Architecture, Elizabethan Era and Monochromatic.