For our first Office Hours event of this school year, we were joined by Grammy nominated musician and UCLA alumna Este Haim. After graduating from UCLA in 2010 with a degree in Ethnomusicology, Este formed HAIM with her sisters Danielle and Alana. Since, they have released 2 albums and won countless awards, including the NME Award for Best International Band in 2014 and 2018.
During our conversation with Este at the Ostin Recording Studio, she talked about her experience in the music industry, specifically what it means to be a woman in that space. She recalled going to all-boy jam sessions as a teenager and how she would always be skipped over. Of that experience, she says, “I remember being like: this needs to change. I don’t know when and I don’t know how, but this needs to change.” Years later, Este and her sisters work tirelessly to encourage and include women in their music-making process. She told us, “I want to specifically inspire women, and people in general, to be honest. Stand up for yourself, never stop believing in yourself.”
When asked about what advice she would give to someone trying to break into the industry, she shared many inspirational words with us. She says you need to have a goal and chase it, no matter what roadblocks come up along the way: “See it and believe it and never give up on it.” Always take the opportunity to network and collaborate with others because you never know what might come out of it. For musicians, Este emphasized the importance of knowing how to do it all: know how to write, record, and mix all of your music yourself.
After answering questions from the audience, Este stayed around and talked to all the students, greeting and speaking to them with such genuine kindness and interest. We cannot thank Este enough for being our first guest of Office Hours this year and for giving us some of her time and wisdom!
Author: Kaitlyn Zorilla