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Esser: About a Boy


When radio recently renewed its romance with pop music, it was the fairer sex -- think Lady Gaga, Lily Allen, La Roux -- doing most of the heavy lifting. Enter Ben Esser, known simply as Esser, whose debut album, Braveface, is giving the girls a run for their synths. Electronic music appealed to me because it was something I could do myself, the 24-year-old Brit says. Id get one of my dads old records, record a bit of it, and turn it into a beat in my bedroom. While the DIY whiz cites legendary 60s producer Joe Meek as a major inspiration, he happily name-drops more mainstream, lower-brow touchstones. I look at pop music as a funnel of everything that happens on the fringe, he says. All the weird stuff gets filtered into a Britney Spears song and becomes great pop music. Its not only his beats generating buzz. With a towering Morrissey-esque coif and fashion friends like Hedi Slimane, Esser has nabbed a fair share of press for his look. I dress how I make music, referencing certain times and landmarks, he says. I like to wear anyone whose clothing has a history to it -- and anyone who gives me free shit, he adds, laughing. But in the end, its the songs -- not the swag -- that keep Esser returning to the stage. The best thing is getting the music out there. Id still be doing exactly the same thing even if no one was listening -- but its nice that people are. Send a letter to the editor about this article.

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