Esmée Denters (born 28 September 1988) is a Dutch singer-songwriter.
Denters was born in Arnhem, Gelderland. She started her career on video-sharing website YouTube, where she covered songs by contemporary artists such as Justin Timberlake and Natasha Bedingfield.
In 2008, she started her professional career after attracting the attention of Dutch media scouts and American pop singer Justin Timberlake. Timberlake went on to sign Denters as the first artist to his label Tennman Records in association with Interscope Records.
In May 2009, she released her debut studio album, Outta Here, which was executively produced by Timberlake and featured Denters co-writing all songs. The album reached number five in her home country of the Netherlands and charted in Belgium, where it reached 55 on the Flemish Region Albums Chart and the UK where it reached 48.
Denters added the official music video for the debut single "Outta Here" from her debut album of the same name, to her official YouTube page on 22 May 2009, and her second single "Admit It" on 3 September 2009. In autumn 2009 she went on tour with Honor Society. The album has so far spawned three singles including the title song which reached top 3, "Admit It" which reached 28 and 56 in the Netherlands and UK respectively, and "Love Dealer", featuring Justin Timberlake.
On 10 March 2013, Esmée announced on her Facebook page that she isn't signed to Tennman Records or Interscope Records anymore and that she hasn't been for over a year, but she is currently working on a new album on her own.
Denters is the daughter of Hank Denters and Fenny Boonstra. Her parents are divorced. She has an older sister, the musical actress Daphne Denters. Denters lived in Westervoort next to Arnhem until she was fifteen, and then moved with her mother and sister to Oosterbeek, Gelderland. She graduated high school in Arnhem in 2006 and subsequently attended the HAN University of Applied Sciences where she was working towards a Bachelor of Social Work until she dropped out in her freshman year in February 2007 to join Tennman Records.
2006-2007: Early career:
On 25 August 2006, Denters made a page on the video website YouTube. On that website, she posted several videos of herself singing songs. They were mostly covers of other pop stars but also some of her own. Several people around the world responded with praise for her singing performances and various record companies came forward in early 2007. Denters eventually opted for a contract with Tennman Records, the label of Justin Timberlake. Denters travelled to the U.S.A. to write songs and record in the studio. There were plans for a reality show around Denters in the United States, which followed up the release of her debut album. She also sang a song that was written by Kelly Rowland of Destiny's Child. She then flew to Sweden for a few days to write songs and record.
2007-2010: Outta Here and collaborations:
After being signed to Tennman Records, Denters began working with Timberlake. He became the executive producer of her debut album Outta Here. In April 2009, Denters confirmed on Dutch radio station Radio 538 that her debut album would be released in the Netherlands on 22 May 2009, also confirming that the album is a mix of Pop and R&B with both ballads, and uptempo tracks. Her debut single, also the title song of the album, was released in the Netherlands on 14 April 2009 and in the UK on 15 August. So far it has reached the top ten in several European countries. The album was released in the UK on 11 January 2010 and features the previous 2008 charity duet with Timberlake, "Follow My Lead" as an additional bonus song. The second single, "Admit It", only reached 28 in the Netherlands and 56 in the UK. On 22 March 2010, it was announced that the third single would be "Love Dealer" featuring Justin Timberlake. The video was produced by The Malloys on 18 April 2010 and premiered before the end of the month.
Denters also worked on several collaborations during this time. She lent her vocals to the German band Stanfour who featured Denters on their single "Life Without You", released on 25 May 2010. The music video for the single was postponed due to the April 2010 Icelandic volcano eruption. On 1 May, Denters and Stanfour flew to New York to record the video for "Life Without You". The official release of "Life Without You" in Germany was 28 May. The video leaked on the internet on 24 May. In the UK, she also contributed vocals to London MC Chipmunk's track "Until You Were Gone", which entered the UK charts at #3.
2011-present: Screaming Out Loud and others music projects:
Esmée started working on new songs for her second studio album in January 2011. When she was asked about the new record on twitter, she said "my next album is gonna be different.". In the beginning of the recording process, Esmée announced via twitter she was working with British DJ and producer K-Gee and musician Ben Cullum. On 11 August, Denters took to her Twitter to let her fans know the album title Screaming Out Loud. "City Lights" was announced officially by K-Gee and Esmée as the first single from the second album. The music video of "City Lights" was shot in London on 10 January 2012, directed by Daniel Broadley. The music video wasn't released so far and there is not available information about its future release date. According to Esmée, the album wasn't released because Tennman Records weren't going to release another album with her then she became an independent artist.
On 16 May 2012, 17 Cosmetics released a music video for a promotional song called "It's Summer (Because We Say So)" written and performed by Esmée. Esmée was announced as one of the guests to perform the new promo track at T4 On The Beach 2012 Sessions Stage supporting 17 Cosmetics.
On 22 October 2012, Esmée announced for her fans on Twitter that she was planning to do a series of new acoustic covers for YouTube again. The first cover was uploaded in January 2013. It was a collaboration with the American band The New Velvet.
At the end of 2012, Dutch DJ and producer Erik Arbores and Esmee Denters collaborated for the new Dance4Life theme song called "dance4life (now dance)" released digitally on 23 November. They performed the song in the Dance4Life 2012 charity event in Ahoy, Rotterdam.
On 10 March 2013, Esmée announced officially on her Facebook page that she wasn't signed to Tenman Records or Interscope Records anymore and that she hadn't been for over a year, but she is currently working on a new album on her own.
On 24 February 2014, Esmée returned to stages performing exclusive new music for the first time ever at Showcase Live in London. She opened the show singing her first hit single Outta Here followed by three new original songs "Cars and Airplanes", "If I Could I Would" and "Anything For The Money". A cover medley of Lorde's "Royals", Drake's "Hold On, We're Going Home" and Avicii's "Wake Me Up" were included in the set as well.
Esmée has been promoting her new music supporting artists performing in some places in London. She has announced there's a new EP to be released on summer 2014.
Products and Endorsements:
In 2006, Denters signed a promotional deal with Kira Plastinina, a young designer from Russia who was taking the fashion industry by storm. Her work for the brand included from appearances on TV, commercials, and Internet advertisements, as well as in-store promotional performance. As of 2008 the contract ended when the Kira empire closed down due to poor sales figures.
In 2009, Denters signed an endorsement deal with Wacoal to be the face for B.Tempt'd. Denters appeared in national print and advertising campaigns, direct mail, in-store and online promotional materials. Sales figures for the brand jumped to a 60% increase compared to the same time last year. Denters' contract with B.Tempt'd is still ongoing.
Esmée Denters did three world exclusive Meet and Greets with fans to promote her music career and B.Tempt'd. On 9 October 2010, Esmée appeared in front of fans at Bloomingdales department store in New York. Esmée also appeared in Selfridges & Co. in London on 30 March 2011 and then in Manchester, Trafford Centre on 7 April 2011. Esmée did a 15 minute long concert followed by a Meet and Greet where Esmée signed autographs for fans and took pictures with them.