February 15th, 2024

ToneGym Hero: Esmee Gloria

ToneGym Hero: Esmee Gloria

Colombian-born, Netherlands-raised musician passionate about singing, songwriting, and guitar. Esmee Gloria is this month's ToneGym Hero!

Who are you, and where are you from?

My name is Esmee Gloria Brouwers. I’m a singer, songwriter, producer and guitarist. I was born in Colombia and spent the first months of my life in an orphanage. Then my parents came all the way to Colombia to adopt me. We’ve lived in the Netherlands ever since. I currently live with my toddler in Kaatsheuvel.  

How did you get into music?

In the orphanage, I used to be known for making noise all day and I feel like I just never quit after that.  I’ve been obsessed with music my whole life.

My parents gave me many opportunities to do what I loved as a kid. One of the best things they ever did was sign me up for musical theatre at Hofplein when I was about 7. It all started there for me. I spent every weekend of my childhood singing, dancing and acting there. 

When I was about 16, I got a letter that I was given the opportunity to audition for this preparatory program Hofplein was offering. You could only audition if one of the teachers recommended you. I was so surprised and honored at the same time. I had never auditioned before, but I got in. 

I feel like that was a pivotal moment in my life. I had always struggled with my self-esteem, but that made me wonder if I had something to offer the world as an artist.  After that I did multiple preparatory programs at several Dutch conservatories, but when it was time for me to audition for a Bachelor program.. I felt like it was just not the right move for me… 

I had always thought that I’d study musical theatre and when that wasn’t working out.. I really didn’t know what to do.. I gave up on my dream and started studying applied psychology. My roommates would always hear me sing and play on my guitar… but I’d just keep that to myself for about 4 years or something. 

What do you like to do for fun outside of working on music?

I like working out a lot. I do so five times a week to stay healthy and in shape. Health, nutrition, spirituality and psychology are very important to me, so I spend a lot of time on that. I love cooking and baking. I love to go out with my family and friends on the weekends.  

I wouldn’t say it’s something like a hobby, but I love spending time with my son. We play and sing songs together all night long. He is the light of my life and I’m so proud to be his mom. 

What's your most useless skill or talent?

I used to be great at being way too hard on myself. It was terrible and I think that it prevented me from growing as an artist for a very long time. 

After suffering from terrible postpartum depression, I was SO done with that way of life.. I’ve slowly but surely been recovering and I’m in the best place I’ve ever been. I used to force myself into changing, now I try to love myself into evolving and I feel that the progress I’ve been making reflects that. I’m really proud of myself. 

What inspires you to keep making music?

If I don’t spend enough time working on music or at least singing, I start noticing it in my mood right away. If I don’t get my daily dose of music, I start to implode. Even when everything else is great. I’m just not in a good place when things start drowning out the music.  

I’m also very grateful that I got such a bad case of postpartum depression. It really changed me for the better and made we want a truly fulfilling life. For me music plays an essential part in that, so I’ve decided to become a full-time musician. 

If you could sit down to a session with any artist, who would it be?

Stromae, without a doubt. I admire his artistry and all the little gems he has given the world over the course of his career. I’d love to get a glimpse into the way he approaches the creation of a song and what he’d think of me as a musician. 

Any habits you have before starting a session?

Yes, I do a vocal warm-up every single time. even when I’m just going to a karaoke bar, I take my SOVT straw with me and stick it into my diet coke. People have no idea what I’m doing, but I’ve gotten so used to the sensation of a relaxed vocal tract, that I don’t feel comfortable singing without using my straw beforehand. 

What have you been working on lately?

I’ve been figuring out how to make a sustainable income from music. These past few months have been all about hatching plans and working on my skills as a musician. I’ve worked hard and I hope that it will all pay off in 2024. 

If you could pick one, what would be the theme song of your life?

Oh wow that’s a tough one. I’ve lived a very full life with many high highs and very low lows, I don’t know if there’s a song that grasps that for me.  I’ll write the theme song of my life one day! 

What's your favorite musical instrument?

The guitar, without a doubt. I have a steel-string acoustic guitar and playing on it is so soothing to me, it’s insane. I also love the way the notes are divided across the fretboard as it allows for a lot of creativity with chord voicings. 

What's your favorite ToneGym feature?

Hmm tough one.. I have to go with the daily workout. Practicing ear training by myself wasn’t it for me at the conservatory.  It was just too boring to me, so I’d give up before I started to improve and then feel bad about that. With the daily workout and its gamelike approach to training, I’ve been entertained enough to continue practicing and the growth I’ve seen over such a short period of time is insane to me.

Another honorable mention: the Stats section. It provides you with so many insights on your practice. It’s so rewarding to see your TPI climb over time. 

What does the future hold for Esmee Gloria?

I’ve never been more excited about the future. No matter what happens, 2024 will be a big year for me. I’m stepping into the unknown in many ways. 

Starting January 5th, I’ll be posting videos to Youtube and TikTok regularly of me performing and sharing my journey as a musician with the world. I’ll also be starting my business as a session vocalist and songwriter.  So, I’m very curious what the future holds for me. 


You can follow Esmee Gloria on her Website, YouTube and Instagram.



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