"I genuinely want to be somewhat of a pioneer for women who value time as their main source of currency."
Women are killing it in the music industry, and song lovers couldn't be happier! In our column, #WomenCrushWednesday, each week, we'll feature an awesome lady whose tunes are blowing up our playlists and ask them about their musical journey.
Kendra Erika is full of wisdom regarding what she has learned in the music industry thus far in her career. From taking her roots in the Southern Florida music scene and jazz lessons to becoming a master in making successful dance music, she is sharing her thoughts on it all with us. Read on for inspiring advice for young girls to get into the industry and a look at what she'll be working on next.
How did you become interested in music?
I always loved and was interested in music in general, but it wasn't until I was in my teen years that I wanted to make my own music. The concept of creating something out of thin air, like an architect does, was and is something admirable, and originality is something that I value. Plus, music is something universal, and I'm interested in anything of a broader scope.
In what ways did growing up in Southern Florida influence your musical style? What do you think of that music and cultural scene?
Growing up in south FL, I believe you get the best of both worlds when it comes to the many jazzy piano restaurant settings and the EDM-centric nightlife venues and events. I believe that's why deep house drew me to it. Just because of that mesh between having a smooth and laissez-faire vocal tonality with a very intriguing beat that keeps you (in) cruise control. I've had the privilege of performing in both settings, so the influence has been mutual.
I read you were trained in classical and jazz music. In what ways did that affect your musical style?
Classical is just something I was fortunate in being trained in. Foundational knowledge about my voice and how to use it only protects me more for the better. Jazz only allowed me to really show my strengths in both performance, history of the American songbook, and utilizing my voice in a cruise control manner. I'm never one to be too flashy with my vocal tone. Only because I want to let the lyrics and overall message shine. When you write your own stuff, you tend to be very protective of the artistry behind what you've manifested.
You've worked with some very famous producers and opened for acts like Jason Derulo. How do you feel about these experiences?
These experiences have been stones of growth for me. What I've noticed and found about these particular experiences is that they've come at their own special time. I'm never one to get too excited about these certain things, not because I'm not excited, but because I just want to focus on what I need to do. On a side note, every "famous" person I've met and worked with has shown me a very honest and authentic side to them. Not everyone deserves to see the overall well-rounded versions of these people, so just knowing that I'm one of the chosen few that deserves that validates and makes me very optimistic in a realistic sense. I guess I'm just easy to talk to lol.
What has been your experience as a woman in the music industry?
Society tends to be very tough and delusional with women in the music industry nowadays. Everything is being pushed down to be younger and younger. However, the reality is that the "older" or the more I've grown, I've seen that I'm like that fine bottle of wine that gets better with time and experience. And, I mean REAL LIFE experience. I'm approaching my mid-twenties this year, and I finally feel I'm in the vehicle I've always wanted and needed to drive. Being that I still pursued my dreams and still got an education and had a developmental upbringing. I genuinely want to be somewhat of a pioneer for women who value time as their main source of currency. I mean, I didn't even know who I was when I was 18, 19, 20, 21. Jumping from one toxic relationship to the next. Searching for validation in all the wrong places. How do you expect for these young female artists to know who they are and be a beacon, a leader, an example for a generation. The pettiness behind likes, followers, and filters as currency is just hysterical to me. Celebrity mentality galore. I wish everyone success, and I truly hope that being a women in this industry can keep evolving, and that women can stop victimizing themselves, and recognize their own internal strength.
Can you talk a little bit about what inspired your latest single, "Sublime?"
There's nothing more psychedelic than looking inside an experience between two taboo beings in a nightlife setting. The word "sublime" itself just has this neon-like vibe to it. Due to the track itself being nostalgic in its EDM power, the subtle thrill of the taboo love concept only topped it off.
This is your third track to crack the Billboard Top 20. What do you think classifies a killer dance song?
In a world where everyone just dances to a beat nowadays, now, more than every, it's crucial to have an interesting lyric and melody that transcends the song and makes it as memorable as possible. You never want your song to just be another beat for people to dance to. Statistically speaking lol.
Of all the successful songs you've released, have you got a favorite or any plans to release them together in a full-length project?
I really can't say I have a favorite. It's hard to say or decipher. I'm honestly debating on whether or not to release a full-length project. The instantaneous nature of our culture is just so fast- paced nowadays, that it's become single to single as the reinvention experience with music. But, I do have some great songs coming your way very soon!
What is coming up next for you?
Even I don't know what's coming up next sometimes! But, working on new projects constantly that will be releasing very soon!
Rachel A.G. Gilman is a writer, a former radio producer, and probably the girl wearing the Kinks shirt. She is the creator of The Rational Creature and suggests you check it out. Also visit her website for more.
Have an artist we should profile? Send a pitch email to Rachel.
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