|Birth name||Jenny-Bea Englishman|
|Born||December 23, 1978
|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Genres||trip hop, hip hop, nu jazz, R&B/soul, breakbeat, electro, pop, alternative, rock|
|Occupations||Singer/songwriter, Producer, Arranger, Activist|
|Labels||Sony, Reprise, Warner Bros.|
Esthero (born Jenny-Bea Englishman, December 23, 1978 in Stratford, Ontario) is a Canadian singer-songwriter who currently lives in Los Angeles, California. The name Esthero, pronounced [ɛsˈtɛroʊ] es-TAIR-oh, refers both to the singer and formerly to the two-person team of herself and producer Doc. She claims to have got the name by combining the name of the heroine (Esther) and last line ("If I am to be the hero, then I cannot fly from darkness.") of the movie from Sylvia Plath's novel, 'The Bell Jar'.
Esthero's sound characteristically features her voice over a mix of mellow bass lines, jazzy trumpets, Spanish guitar and hip-hop. She is sometimes compared to artists Björk, Portishead and Sade. Later artists who count Esthero among their influences include Res, Fergie and fellow Canadian Nelly Furtado.
Esthero's brother, Jason Englishman, is also a musician.
At the age of sixteen, Esthero moved from the small town of Walkerton, Ontario on her own to Toronto, Ontario, where she began singing at open-mic nights while supporting herself by working at various jobs: Future Bakery, the printing house, and telemarketing. She was seen singing at the Free Times Cafe by manager Beau Ovcaric who set up a showcase for his partner Zack Werner. The two managed her on good faith without any legal paperwork until she turned eighteen. They introduced her to EMI Publishing Canada president Michael Mccarty, whom she charmed so well during their first meeting that without hearing her sing a single note he set up and paid for recording sessions with Doc, a guitarist and studio engineer. The young duo quickly began recording together, and 6 demos in were being courted on the presidency level by almost every major label in the US. Thanks to then EMI publishing US president Rick Krem their demo's reached the ears of the heads of the WORK Group (a subsidiary of Sony). Their debut album, Breath from Another, was released to critical acclaim in 1998.
On April 20, 2004, without Doc's assistance, Esthero released "O.G. Bitch," a standalone EP featuring six different remixes of the title track, plus the b-side "I Love You." The EP led the way to Esthero's 2005 full-length album on the Warner Bros. label, the decidedly jazzy Wikked Lil' Grrrls, seven years following her debut album, to extremely mixed critical reaction. The album features contributions from Sean Lennon, André 3000, Shakari Nite, Gnarls Barkley, Jemeni, Jelleestone, and Cee-Lo Green of Goodie Mob. It was chosen as one of Amazon.com's Top 100 Editor's Picks of 2005.
In 2007 Esthero amicably parted ways with Venus management and briefly joined forces with Shmanagement, based in Los Angeles, before switching representation to Creative Artists Agency. She continues to have a familial bond with Zack and Beau.
Esthero has appeared on the Chris Rock Show, Video on Trial, Jimmy Kimmel Live, as well as Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Farmclub with the Black Eyed Peas. She has also contributed songs to the films Go, Bounce, Zero Effect, I Think I Love My Wife and Down With Love, as well as the video game 007: Nightfire. Collaborations in which she has participated have appeared in Love & Basketball and Slam.
Her song "Wikked Lil' Grrrls" has also appeared in the film Miss Congeniality 2 and in commercial spots for Sex in the City and Desperate Housewives, on the TV show 'Boston Legal' and also on the TV show Las Vegas and its soundtrack.
Recently, on her MySpace profile, she reported that she had left Warner Bros.
2008 was an eventful year for Esthero, with a number of high-profile collaborations including the viral sensation Yes We Can, a song (with accompanying video) inspired by a speech delivered by Barack Obama and produced by Will.I.Am. Esthero also provided the voice of the spaceship J.A.N.E. on Kanye West's Glow in the Dark tour and appeared on his album 808s & Heartbreak, on which she co-wrote three tracks. 2008 also saw her take on the role of producer for a track from Dangerous Muse's debut album and a co-writer on Brandy's album "Human".
Her song "Heaven Sent" was once featured on the VH1 show Breaking Bonaduce. "Everyday is a Holiday (With You)" was used in episode one, season two of Grey's Anatomy entitled "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head", as well as in a national ad campaign for Zellers. Her song I Drive Alone was featured on TV series The L Word. This song also was featured on the season three soundtrack. "Country Livin' (The World I Know)" was featured in 2007's I Think I Love My Wife starring Chris Rock. Her cover of the song "The Windmills of Your Mind" was also used in an episode of CSI: Las Veges.
She is referenced by Talib Kweli in the Reflection eternal song "Some Kind of Wonderful" on the Album Train of Thought. "..listening to Esthero, puffin' vegetables..."