Estelle's Ode To American Boys A Winner

Kanye West, left, and Estelle perform at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2009, in Los Angeles.
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
This story was written by's Melissa Castellanos

British singer/songwriter Estelle Swaray hangs out with a very talented crowd -- between John Legend, and Kanye West, there is no shortage of musical creativity when brainstorming a hip-hop song, rap or a soothing melody.

Swaray reaped the benefits of the relationship at the Grammys as her hit song with West, "American Boy," from her album "Shine," won for Best Rap/Song Collaboration and was nominated for Song of the Year.

"I am having a ball right now, I am just like 'Wow, like seriously, I am nominated for some Grammys, yay!'" Swaray told prior to the awards.

"We wrote that song two years ago around this time with, me and John and about six months after that we asked Kanye to be on the song. It was just a fun song, we weren't trying to be anything too serious or too melodramatic. We were just like 'I am having fun and I am in the middle of Miami and it was hot … why don't I sing about American boys,'" she said.

She enjoyed working alongside West on the song.

"Kanye is a cool guy. He's definitely a star. He's one of these guys that's just an individual," she said.

Speaking of stars, Swaray has a song all about what it means to be a star.

"I started working on my new album and I wrote a song in a collaboration with Crystal Light and it's called 'Star,' it's available for free download on You Pump It It's just about just being yourself and embracing the woman, the star and the diva that you are," Swaray said.

Swaray has been on tour with Legend and the talented duo will be wrapping it up soon.

"He is a pretty amazing performer. If you have seen him in concert -- he is definitely that guy. It's been fun performing with him as well. We have a lot of fun," she said.

Out of all of Legend's hits, Swaray's favorite song is "Used to Love You."

Like fellow British R&B musician Craig David, Swaray has made the international crossover, but unlike David, she didn't have a semi-hard time breaking into the American hip-hop and R&B scene.

"I think I haven't found it as hard being that I wrote a song called 'America Boy,' its probably like kind of 'She's cool, she likes us!'" Swaray joked. "Plus I have toured relentlessly. So, I think in the past two years people have gotten to know me through my shows or have seen this chick pop up from nowhere, speaking the British accent from London. They have never seen anyone like me or experienced anybody like me. It's just different. I think people are looking for that breath of fresh air. So, it's kind of cool, it works out."

Swaray is getting some flak from U.K. boys over "American Boy."

"Guys at home keep getting at me because they are like 'What about U.K. boys?' I am like 'I have dated you guys for like about 10 years, so I'm like no!'" she laughed.

She claims just the style is different.

"I think that the men all around the world are crazy, personally and we are too, so it all works out. It's just fashion sense and that's about it," she admitted.

Swaray attended the Grammys last year with Legend, which she called "such an air of excitement -- just a buzz. It was insane."

She was overjoyed with the British presence at this year's Grammys, including Coldplay and newcomer Adele.

After Swaray finishes up touring with Legend, she will be kicking off a tour with Solange Knowles and then hopes to release a new album.

In 2004, the release of her debut album, "The 18th Day" brought hits "1980" and "Free." She won a MOBO Award for Best Newcomer and "Best Female Artist" at the U.K. Hip-Hop Awards three years in a row. "American Boy" topped the charts in the U.K. for four weeks in March 2008. She is also nominated for two NAACP Awards.