I have been stuck behind a cash register at my day job this week (got to save that $$ for grad school) playing one artist over & over & over in my head: Estiva.
Estiva is the name of Steven Baan, a gifted Dutchman definitely destined to join the ranks of Tiësto and Armin van Buuren (in my ever-so-humble opinion). I first heard Estiva on A State of Trance in 2010 (I am an American who has lived in Europe throughout my life. Germany & the Netherlands feel more familiar to me than Florida. A State of Trance is often the soundtrack to my European nostalgia). My first reaction was rapture & disbelief; Estiva's music flowed effortlessly, and the song I Feel Fine left me completely euphoric.
Estiva has mastered the process of elevation and the ultimate feeling of weightlessness - essentials to a good trance (& dance) track. Even after his songs end, you are left floating. The current predominance of pulsing, testosterone-heavy trance music in the US makes Estiva’s uplifting approach even more powerful.
Without further ado, I introduce to you my 3 favorite songs by Estiva:
I Feel Fine (Piano Mix) - This 9 minute saga played on repeat as I suffered through the final months of writing my senior thesis. A year later, it remains my go-to song when I'm feeling down. Listening to the fluid undulation of I Feel Fine is like traveling in delicate loops through space and time. Sound trippy? Well, it is! If nothing else can elevate you physically or emotionally, this song will.
Next Level - Next Level is absolutely massive. The build-up is gradual and the breakdown hits you with the full force of a tidal wave. Woa! The energy in this song is epic and commanding. It is truly trance at its best.
Better Days ft. Josie - Better Days is emotional and ethereal. It was also the first Estiva song I heard that featured lyrics. Thankfully, Josie's vocals (traditionally angelic and female) do not overshadow Estiva's skills. It is a genuinely thrilling song, with perhaps the best radio potential for American airwaves. I am quite partial to the music video as well, if only for the totally badass neon green ceiling...
A call to all POP-lovers! Check out Estiva’s beautiful music on iTunes & tell us what you think. We hope it elevates you too.
Keep taking us to the next level Estiva! (I hope my love for you is self-evident by now!) We have no doubt here at Unapologetically POP that you will craft many more beautiful songs in the years to come. And when I move back to Europe, I cannot wait to see you live.