“…layer upon layer of aural sensations (part acoustic, part electronic) just waiting to be discovered and savored… With nods to songwriting heroes and legends like Tom Petty, Lucinda Williams, Stevie Nicks, and Patty Griffin, as well as contemporaries like Adele, Beck, and Jack White, essence remains very much her own artist. …a singer, who, like Madonna, isn’t afraid to take musical chances.” – Michael Paoletta, Billboard Magazine
A sixth-generation San Francisco native, award winning singer-songwriter essence has been immersed in art and music since childhood. And yes, her birth name really is ‘essence’ – she was raised by quintessential flower children, her parents being two free spirited bohemian artists from the Haight-Ashbury ‘Summer of Love.’
Since winning the Grand Prize in the National Lilith Fair Talent Search in 1998, essence has been signed to RCA Records, Way Cool/MCA Records, and Or Music (Los Lonely Boys, Matisyahu). She debuted with the successful indie release Conception, which garnered much Bay Area radio airplay and press and established a devoted fan base. essence’s sophomore release was the critically acclaimed Mariposa, an album she toured nationally in support of, opening shows for artists Jason Mraz and Shawn Colvin. In 2009, essence released Feels Like the Future, and subsequently won the Grand Prize for the Great American Song Contest, and 2nd Place in the International Songwriting Contest, out of 15,000 entries.
Her songs have been prominently featured on Nash Bridges, Lifetime’s The Division, Access Hollywood, and NPR’s Art of the Song. “Shape of You,” an emotional song about loss and healing, was the theme song in the film Motherland, which won the SXSW Audience Choice Award in 2009. essence has opened for Tom Petty, Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, Chrissie Hynde, Steve Miller, Pat Benetar, and Linda Perry. She has played at venues ranging from NYC’s Bowery Ballroom to San Francisco’s Fillmore and The Warfield, LA’s Rose Bowl, and Philadelphia’s World Cafe Live.
In addition to writing folk/americana, pop, and rock songs, essence expanded her repertoire by creating a collection of charming, catchy tunes inspired by her son that turned out to have a life of their own becoming favorites of families nationwide, loved equally by parents and children alike. Her latest album, A Dog Named Moo, was entirely funded by loyal fans on Kickstarter and was picked up and released by My Kazoo/ Universal Music. A Dog Named Moo is a multi-media project featuring a collection of 13 songs, a “T REXXXX” book, a smartphone app, and several music videos. essence is developing an educational curriculum based on the project. A Dog Named Moo was voted Top Kids Album of the Year by Daily Candy.
essence is currently creating not one, but two new records in tandem. The first is an acoustic record (not for the kiddies) which spotlights her most raw, soulful, and truth-telling songs to date. The second album in the pipeline is a sequel children’s album, this time inspired by her daughter, that will serve as a bookend to A Dog Named Moo.
For essence, music is much more than creative expression – it’s a spiritual path. “Music is life force – and tapping into that energy makes me feel completely alive.”