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Sam Wisternoff started his career in music early; by age eight he was already rapping in his hometown of Bristol, England, and two years later he and his older brother and DJ Jody (who would later go on to become part of house duo Way Out West) were signed to local Three Stripe Records as True Funk Posse (or TFP), releasing their one single before the MC was even a teenager. From 1993 to 2000, Wisternoff was in a rock band, the Pudding, who counted the Pixies and Sonic Youth among their influences. As SJ Esau, however (a name he got from an ex-girlfriend, who said his middle names were Jeremiah Esau, which they weren't), Wisternoff explored slowcore experimental indie pop sounds, self-releasing his first album, Queezy Beliefs, in 1999. After some more self-released projects and tours around Europe, SJ Esau signed to his self-professed "favorite label," Anticon (he had worked with Why? previously on his 2005 remix album, Stop Touching My Cat), and his record Wrong Faced Cat Feed Collapse came out in early 2007.