Welcome to the ESSO experience!
Born and raised in Harlem, ESSO was always very much in tune with the duality of his surroundings. Growing up, he was extremely aware of the street activities taking place around him, but he also understood the cultural significance of Harlem from a young age. This same understanding would help shape his musical identity years later. As he puts it, “On one side of Harlem you have the Bumpy Johnson’s and the Frank Lucas’ and AZ’s of the world, and on the other side you have the Langston Hughes’ and Count Basie’s and the Harlem Renaissance. I’ve been exposed to both sides, which makes me look at things differently than a lot of people.”
Since releasing ESSOcentric in October of 2006, and the follow-ups ESSObama: The Champagne Campaign, and E3: E-Day, ESSO has quickly become one of the most well known independent artists in New York City. Named “Unsigned Hype” by The Source Magazine in December of 2006, ESSO has also made appearances on BET’s Rap City and MTV’s Sucker Free: Straight from the Streets, SHADE45 (Sirius Satellite Radio), XM Raw 66 (XM Satellite Radio), various College Radio shows throughout New York State and was featured twice in SCRATCH Magazine to critical acclaim. He has also performed across the country in New York, Las Vegas and Washington DC, played at CMJ in 2008 and 2010 and played South By Southwest in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
ESSO’s 2009 Off The Wall EP brought him national attention with its creative re-imagining of Michael Jackson’s 1979 classic of the same title. The first single from Off The Wall “Don’t Stop” was added into rotation on MTVJams and ESSO was featured in XXL Magazine’s Show & Prove column as a result. 2010’s The Anti-Socialite saw another ESSO video on MTV, this time the Rena1ssance produced “New York, New York.” In March of 2011, he released his latest work #yandilife before heading to South By Southwest and performing at Showcases sponsored by Vibe Magazine, OnSmash.com and RubyHornet.com.
Currently ESSO is in the studio working on forthcoming releases after headlining “The Revolt” at NYC’s legendary Webster Hall.