Esthero’s `selfish’ music blends styles

“The world I know is a world too slow.” Appropriate, even natural feelings of a 16-year-old music prodigy growing up in a town of 2,100. Esthero knew she had to get out, and she did.

It is challenging to describe the music of Esthero. It accommodates an element of every style – blues and rap, R&B and ska, hip-hop and reggae, and pretty much everything else. The multitude of beats allows her subtle transition from reggae to blues, then from blues to hip-hop in a matter of seconds. The eight people on stage with Esthero move as one.

Esthero’s target audience is as hard to identify as her style. Her unique music can allure anybody. The crowd at her 9:30 Club performance Wednesday was shockingly diverse, even though Esthero does not try to impress anybody.

“(My music) was written selfishly,” she said. “I did not have anyone else in mind.”

She does not seek understanding from her listeners, nor does she expect recognition from the general public.

“My lyrics wouldn’t mean anything to you. I wrote them for me,” she said.

Perhaps that is why her songs come out sugary, silky and suicidal. The final effect: Her music is fascinating enough that words do not matter.

The mellow beat is contrasted with turn-table swipes and rap. Esthero is unpredictable. Luckily for the listener, all the surprises are pleasant. The climax of her show Wednesday came following a toss of her flaming red hair, when Esthero screamed out almost as a challenge, “I think there is a Latin beat in the house.” Her hips spellbindingly swayed to a meringue beat.

Esthero may not aim to impress anybody, but she does. Her new album, Breath From Another, has been successfully selling in both the United States and her native Canada. Her popularity and sales will most likely rise after the premiere of her debut video, “Heaven Sent” on MTV.

After finishing her tour, Esthero will go back to her hometown outside of Ottawa, Canada, “put my face on my cat’s belly and kiss her.” To avoid the harsh Canadian winter, she plans to head off to Los Angeles to write songs.

What will she do if her career stops short of success?

“I can still sing in the shower,” she said.

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