Queen Esther


Musician, songwriter, actor and playwright Queen Esther joins Rhett from her home in Harlem to talk about her extraordinary multi-hyphenate career, which currently includes two new albums (to be released this year), and a play, which will culminate in an off-Broadway run. There’s no shortage of wisdom and inspiration in this conversation, as Queen Esther discusses the importance of following the creative spirit, what it means to plug into one’s own uniqueness, and why imposter syndrome is off the table.


Queen Esther’s most recent work includes a performance with her western swing collective The Black Rose of Texas at Lincoln Center’s 2022 Summer for the City. Her critically acclaimed 2021 Black Americana album Gild The Black Lily is the fourth release on her imprint EL Recordings – and her 2018 TED Talk about the true origins of country and bluegrass continues to reverberate throughout the Americana community. Coming in 2023: Rona, an EP of rangy alt-Americana songs written in Harlem during the early months of the pandemic lockdown and Things Are Looking Up, a jazz album of original songs and Lady Day’s lost classics.


Queen Esther website

Queen Esther on IG @thisisqueenesther 

Rhett on IG @rhettmiller

Rhett Miller website 


Wheels Off is brought to you by Osiris Media. Hosted and produced by Rhett Miller. Co-produced by Kirsten Cluthe in partnership with Nick Ruffini (Revoice Media). Editing by Matt Dwyer. Music by OLD 97’s. Episode artwork by Katherine Boils and Mark Dowd. Show logo by Tim Skirven. This podcast is available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also ask Alexa to play it. Please leave us a rating or review on iTunes. Revisit previous episodes of Wheels Off with Rosanne Cash, Rob Thomas, Will Forte, Lydia Loveless, Allison Moorer, Ted Leo, Paul F. Tompkins, Jen Kirkman, and more. Find Rhett’s podcast #WheelsOff and other music-powered shows on @Osirispod


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.