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Born December 23, 1978 Canadian singer-songwriter and producer Jen-Bea Englishman is better known as Esthero.
At the age of sixteen, Esthero
moved from small town Harriston, Ontario on her own to Toronto, where she began singing at open-mic nights, a journey that in 1997 led to a meeting with the president of EMI Publishing Canada, whom she charmed so well during their first meeting that without hearing her sing a single note he was moved to set up and finance recording sessions with Doc
, a guitarist and studio engineer. Their debut album, Breath from Another, was released to critical acclaim in 1998 and is widely seen as one of the more accessible albums of the trip-hop genre.
Though she remained active following the moderate success of the debut album, featuring on tracks by such artists as Nelly Furtado
and The Black Eyed Peas
, it would take over 7 years for a proper follow-up to be released (due to a confluence of factors that included a lengthy creative process, the closure of the WORK record label and marketing delays) in the form of 2005's Wikked Lil Grrrls, an album that crossed genre boundaries with its heavy debt to jazz and hip-hop. The album was preceded in 2004 by a pair of EPs, The O.G. Bitch Remixes (with the title song reaching Number 1 on the Billboard Dance Chart) and We R In Need of a Musical Revolution, which served as a preview of the full length album.
Since the release of Wikked Lil Grrrls, Esthero has devoted an increasing amount of time to songwriting and production, with her work featuring on albums by Brandy
, Dangerous Muse
and Kanye West
(most prominently on West's single Love Lockdown
She is currently working on songs with producers State of Emergency
and Chin Injeti
that may serve as the basis of a future album, tentatively entitled Songs in the Key of Jenny-Bea.