1 Jul
Pompadour? Check. Specials Obsession? Check. UK's Next Big Export? Perhaps.


After the unexpected success of The Cool Kids, Chocolate Industries is hoping for another homerun in the form of Esser. A 23 year old Brit, Esser’s Braveface (which drops August 11th) was recorded entirely in his bedroom, then given a work-over by producer Lexxx who just cleaned shit up a bit. Like other bedroom dudes such as Calvin Harris or Whitey, the production skills are apparent, bouncing around stylistically but still keeping a solid, cohesive vibe. And like early Streets, the beats’ll keep your head bobbin’ whilst you fill out that Excel spreadsheet. His sound is kinda hard to pinpoint, which is what’s so compelling about Esser’s music, but think lots of ska and rocksteady influences, with flourishes of future bass and even New Wave mixed in. There’s even a bit of Amy Winehouse-esque retro soul thrown in…minus debilitating drug problem, plus impressive pompadour. Peep out his America mixtape HERE, as a sort of unofficial introduction to the mind of Esser. Like Esser himself, the 15-minute mix jumps around from old rocksteady to Major Lazer to 70’s soul, all seeming to ride a steady 2-step beat.

Visually, kid obviously loves his Specials, but definitely got his own thing going on. The first single from Braveface, “I Love You”, was put out as a limited edition 300-copy vinyl pressing, and it came complete with a handmade letterpressed jacket (and Prince Paul remix). Now that’s classy!

Esser Q&A:

What’s the most interesting place music has taken you in the last 12 months?
I think that is about to come actually. I am writing this on a plane to New York for our first American tour. SXSW was amazing and I’m really enjoying that intense American work ethic.

Is it true you used to wear 2 ties to school?
It was more a mistake than a conscious effort. It only happened once.

Who are your top three musical style icons? (in terms of fashion as opposed to songs)
Terry Hall
Ninja Man

Do you have any magical power?
I can smell people’s thoughts

Hit the Jump for the rest of Esser’s Q&A, upcoming tour dates, and a live version of “Headlock”…

Download his track “Long Arms”, or watch “Headlock” below…

So you started out in cover band – where?
The band was based in Essex, but we played all over the UK. Mainly holiday camps like ‘Butlins’ and ‘Havens’.

What was the worst song you had to cover? Was there any you flat-out refused to sing?
I didn’t actually sing in the band, I played drums. I think I would feel weird about singing some of the songs we did. Can you imagine me singing songs by the band ‘Reef’?

How different was the bedroom studio demo you brought to Lexxx and the final product, Braveface?
It kind of varies from song to song really. We basically changed some of the parts and worked on the sonics of the record really.

What’s the biggest difference — either positive or negative — between working in your home studio and working within a professional one?
When you’re at home there are certain limitations you work within. When you are in the studio it seems you have every possible sound at your disposal, obviously that is amazing but I can often be hugely overwhelming.

Have you ever driven anyone insane?
Not yet. Lexxx maybe on the edge.

What were you doing at exactly midnight last night?
I was packing for the states!

If you went to the bathroom in the middle of this interview, and we pressed shuffle on your iPod while you were gone, what would you be most mortified to come back and hear us listening to?
There is no music on there that I am ashamed of.

Have you got a favorite item of clothing?
Probably my three-piece Peter Jenson suit

If you were lost in a Supermarket, what aisle would we find you in?
The nut aisle. I’m really into cashews and pine nuts at the moment.

Esser, live on MTV…

Jul 4 2009     Manchester International Festival     Albert Square

Jul 12 2009     Loop Festival     Brighton

Aug 7 2009     Bottom Lounge with Lykke Li     Chicago, Illinois

Aug 8 2009     Lollapalooza     Chicago, Illinois

Aug 29 2009     Rock en Seine     Paris

Sep 6 2009     Jersey Live Fest (main stage)     Jersey, Channel Islands

Sep 12 2009     Bestival – Big Top Tent     Isle of Wight

Sep 24 2009     Transgressive 5th Birthday Show w/Young Knives & more @ Heaven     London



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