Essence

“…layer upon layer or aural sensations (part acoustic, part electronic) just waiting to be discovered and savored. With nods to female contemporaries like Nelly Furtado, Gwen Stefani, Alanis Morissette, Imogen Heap, and Sarah McLachlan, essence remains very much her own artist. …a singer, who, like Madonna, isn’t afraid to take musical chances.” -Michael Paoletta, Billboard Magazine

Born in San Francisco, essence’s parents were quintessential flower children of the Haight Ashbury culture.  A sixth generation native San Franciscan, her name “essence” (her real name) was inspired by her mother’s dream in which her unborn daughter introduced herself as essence.   In later years, her family moved extensively both domestically and internationally while instilling a deep love of art and music.  Essence studied theater at the American Conservatory and Speech Communications and Creative Writing at San Francisco State University while working her way through school as an artist model.

Essence released her debut album, “Conception,” independently in 1997 selling more than 5,000 copies. Produced with master programmer Garth May, this was the first of a long and fruitful collaboration. The track, “Glitter Gone” was featured prominently on the television show, “Nash Bridges.”

Essence signed with RCA records in 1998, after winning the National Lilith Fair Talent Search out of 5,000 entries.  She wrote and recorded with producers John Shanks (Alanis Morissette, Michelle Branch, Stevie Nicks, Janes Addiction), Bill Bottrell (Madonna, Michael Jackson, Sheryl Crow) and Gerard McMahon (G TOM MAC, Kiss, Roger Daltrey).

Essence’s sophomore release, the critically acclaimed “Mariposa,” was released independently June, 2002. The masters were purchased and re-released by Or Music in 2003 (founded by Michael Caplan of Epic Records, best known for “Los Lonely Boys.”) “Sleeping with Driver” garnered widespread support on AAA and Hot AC radio formats. The second single, “Still Crying” garnered a SIBL Award (Songs Inspired by Literature) and landed placement on a CD alongside Bruce Springsteen, Aimee Mann, and Suzanne Vega. “Dark Angel” and “The Worst Way” were both prominently placed in the Lifetime television show “The Division.”  “Mariposa” is currently being re-released by Razor & Tie Records.

Essence’s song, “Gettin’ it On,” co-written with Grammy Award winning producer/songwriter John Shanks was released by Atlantic Records recording artist Lucy Woodward in 2003.

Essence’s third album, “Feels Like the Future” was deeply influenced by the sudden loss of her father, and inspired by the birth of her son, Rhys, only a few months later.  The album is receiving strong support and numerous features on NPR’s show “Art of the Song” syndicated on 230 radio stations nationally. The title track, “Feels Like the Future” won 2nd Place in the 2009 International Songwriting Contest (out of 15,000 entries), the GRAND PRIZE for the 2009 Great American Song Contest, and placement on NBC’s Access Hollywood. Critically acclaimed independent film, “Motherland” prominently features her song, “Shape of You.” In 2008, UK DJ SolarStone, remixed and released essence’s song, “Lunar Rings” into a popular international dance single.

In her decade long span as a recording artist, essence has earned a devoted following in San Francisco where she has sold thousands of CDs and performed in some the nation’s most prestigious venues, ranging from New York’s Bowery Ballroom to San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore auditorium. She has also shared bills with Tom Petty, Jason Mraz, Shawn Colvin, Natalie Merchant, Ani DiFranco, and Linda Perry of 4 Non Blondes.