Esthero was much more than a one-night stand. 1998's Breath From Another was the catalyst that sparked a love movement in which the years that followed were spent waiting and longing for her return. Blessing us with gifts such as “Country Livin’ (The World I Know),” “Swallow Me” and “That Girl,” she was indeed “Heaven Sent.” Esthero was our breath of fresh air. Her voice - often imitated, never duplicated - reached a part of our souls that had previously remained dormant. She was our beacon of light. A sacred blend of jazz, hip-hop, soul, funk, and rock, Esthero became our best-kept secret. Then just like that, she was gone.
Our drug resurfaced throughout her absence, instilling her magic onto soundtracks [Go, Boiler Room, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, Slam, Down With Love, Felicity, and Dawson’s Creek] and collaborations [Black Eyed Peas, Mos Def, Goodie Mob, Sugar Ray, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, and DJ Krush]. The fix wasn’t enough though. While good popular music hit a record low, it was time to let the secret out. Thankfully, Esthero was eager to return. Her emotional/spiritual journey, living life and perfecting her already perfect voice finally brought her back to us. The world is now anxiously awaiting the homecoming LP Wikked Lil’ Grrrls from the regenerated Esthero. Her vision has never been clearer, and she’s on a mission to change what she sees. It’s time to start the ReVoLuTIoN. After all, they don’t call her “Lil’ Dukes Up” for nothing.
Esthero emerged from the womb with headphones on, and from the moment she learned to press play, she and her stereo were inseparable. It was apparent from childhood that one day she would emerge as the pink pirate, luring the 5 senses towards a euphoric state, fulfilling music’s destiny. Her divine sound was birthed in a small town in southern Ontario, but cultivated in the musical mecca known as Toronto. A 16-year old Esthero, accompanied by her guitar, left home and placed the first brick in the path that would ultimately lead her to us. Too young, too pure and too driven to let any downward spiral drain her boundless energy, Esthero found all the strength she needed in her music. She held several jobs, including a merchandise seller for local rock bands.
Constantly penning lyrics, she shared her indescribable voice through coffee houses, bars, and open mics. Esthero was discovered within two years of meeting her manager and released her first LP in 1998. Breath From Another was categorically described as trip-hop, but the liquid beats ignited with Esthero’s fiery vocals reflected much more from the then 18-year old songstress. The most impressive factor that distinguished Esthero from most musicians was that her live sets were as flawless as the studio cuts. Performances blended a multiple-piece orchestra, complete with turntables and the most essential instrument: that voice. From hip-hop purists to jazz enthusiasts, Esthero’s sound was the thread that wove multiple styles together effortlessly.
Following the release of Breath From Another, Esthero joined the Reprise family and took time to exhale while her audio disciples held their collective breath.
Esthero spent her hiatus gathering emotional ammo to blaze her forthcoming projects. She returned with the release of “O.G. Bitch,” a Track & Field production that immediately claimed the number one spot on the Billboard Dance Chart. Following “O.G. Bitch” came We R In Need Of A Musical ReVoLuTIoN , a six-song EP that serves as a precursor to her upcoming April LP release Wikked Lil’ Grrrls. Featuring three tracks from the album and three b-sides, the EP provides a first glimpse into the future with collaborations by Sean Lennon and Cee-Lo Green. The stage is now set for Esthero’s long-awaited LP, Wikked Lil’ Grrls.
Wikked Lil’ Grrrls is an in-depth look into the core of Esthero. In the past, she was the vocal instrument whose words and music blended into a trance that blanketed her in mystery. Wikked Lil’ Grrrls presents a more soulful, still ethereal woman who has been loved, lost, and liberated through self-discovery. Bratty yet balanced, Esthero takes the reigns where many female artists have fallen short in exposing their brazen side. Musically, the LP incorporates the many loves of Esthero, who served as both an Executive Producer and Co-Producer on the album. She is joined by guest producers [Adam 12, Camara Cambon, Spookey Ruben, James Robertson, Track and Field, Sean Lennon and Keith Crouch] with appearances by Shakari Nite, Cee-Lo Green, Jemeni, Jeleestone and Andre3000 of Outkast. Esthero creates a perfect world where samba meets soul and jazz unites with rock. Her vocals are graciously magnified this time, and accompanied by pianos, horns and basslines. This masterpiece surely sets the standard for the new school fusion of genres.
Wikked Lil’ Grrrls reflects an evolved Esthero but still a lyrical genius. Potent yet fragile and haughty yet humble, Wikked Lil’ Grrrls lets us witness the pink pirate as a rebel, friend, daughter, and lover. Esthero is our mystical faerie, who proves that magic is still present in music, love, and life. It’s her boldness and passion that reminds us of what we’ve been missing for so very long. She inhales the purest pleasure and pain from reality and exhales fantasy hymns with which all of life’s emotions are gracefully enhanced. It was Breath From Another that enlightened us, and perhaps it will take another breath from Esthero to revive us.