polaroid lake.jpg

Born to Peruvian and Italian parents in a musical household, Esbie became closely familiar with the struggle that most talented artists face by watching her multi-instrumentalist father navigate the niche of folk and bluegrass music over the course of many years and a cross-country move. Being his biggest fan meant hanging onto his coattails for frequent trips to the local record store, gigs around town and at-home sessions with a variety of string instruments. With a performing arts high school education and exposure to the SF music scenes under her belt, Esbie took her own art to new heights at Sarah Lawrence College, immersing herself in music and politics courses so that her passion for sounds and social activism could be fused on the academic track.

This passion carried her through a lonely year abroad in Cornwall, England, where she studied production and engineering at the school studio and learned how to record her own nascent project. Struck by her peers’ innocent nonchalance towards “making it” in the music industry, Esbie was inspired to embrace solitude as a creative tool to advance her unique vision, untampered by the transient trends of popular music back home. Thus began Esbie Fonte, the project that would come to embody her innermost framework of musical thought. As she began to think more globally, the music grew from its roots in folk, fed by a shining love for singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell and Joan Armitrading, and tempered to maturity by the blues of Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday.

Fresh out of college and having achieved solace in going solo, Esbie was unafraid to explore the concrete jungle that is Los Angeles, where she recently relocated to pursue music more seriously. A couple bouts of window-shopping at Guitar Center led her to test her own music on a series of studio monitors, which attracted the ear of her now-collaborator and other half of Esbie Fonte, Peter Tilley. Together they have taken her bedroom production efforts to new heights and forged a truly standalone sound.