Inspired by the classic soundtracks of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, singer-songwriter Kendra Erika has many influences, all of which you can hear on her new track “Miami Love.” As a talent whose star is sure to rise in the coming months, she kindly agreed to this interview to chat social media, dream shows and sexy music videos.
PW: Please introduce yourself.
Kendra Erika: I’m Kendra Erika, a recording artist from south Florida.
PW: How would you sum yourself up in five words?
KE: Cinematic, nostalgic, lively, radiant, confident.
PW: When did you first realize you wanted to be a singer and did you have any other ambitions prior to that?
KE: I realized I wanted to be a singer from a young age. I always loved creating a world and transporting people into it. I wanted to use music as a way to draw people into a world of my own. My love for cinema, especially the Bond films, inspired me to do so.
PW: Can you recall the first concert you attended and record you bought? What impact, if any, did they have on you?
KE: The first concert I attended was an N-Sync one. I instantly fell in love with how much they captured people and created such an experience for their fans. I am pretty sure the first record I bought was a Britney Spears or Madonna one.
PW: Which bands or artists did you grow up listening to and have those influences/artists from your childhood changed much as you've gotten older?
KE: I listened to Britney, Madonna, Backstreet/N-Sync, and Destiny’s Child a lot growing up. As I got older, I started to listen to less poppy artists such as Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding, and the more nostalgic artists like Frank Sinatra. My tastes became more mature naturally.
PW: Is there a particular band or artist you think you sound most like or do you make a determined effort just to be yourself?
KE: Definitely I align myself with Lana Del Rey. However, I adamantly maintain my integrity, but I love to parallel myself with her for she also brings a cinematic experience to her sound and music.
PW: How easy or difficult do you find the song-writing process? Can it depend on what you're writing about?
KE: As a song-writer, there are always times when I can draw from experiences, and that helps in the process immensely. I instantly can paint that picture in my songs for it is vividly alive in my mind.
PW: Who or what most influences your song-writing?
KE: Lovers and moments.
PW: What, to you, makes a great song and with that in mind, which song would you say is the greatest ever written and why?
KE: If a song is strong in its arrangement and message it is a good song. If the song paints a picture and transports you into that world, then it is an even better song. I believe Miami Love is the strongest in both production and visualization. It brings you into the emotions and the world of being in that fast-paced love affair.
PW: Tell me about your latest single "Miami Love." Is there a story behind it?
KE: I mean, everyone has that particular love affair that just stands out vividly in their mind. Especially me being from south Florida, I wanted to tell a story of the hotness a love affair can bring into your life. Everyone knows Miami to be a crazy place where fantasies come alive, so I wanted to bring that out in this song.
PW: What was the experience of making the video like? Is that side of the business something you enjoy and how much input do you have?
KE: It took two days to shoot and I loved every moment of it. Seeing the beauty where I live really struck me. I love acting; showing the vulnerable side to the message I was trying to get across. I felt my co-star and I had a great vibe together and that helped a lot. I really enjoy the cinematic side; creating the aesthetic. The vivid experience that's portrayed in "Miami Love" is true to my life and I hope it can evoke those same feel good experiences for everyone who watches!!"
PW: Is there an album or EP in the pipeline?
KE: There is an album or EP that will be released by the end of this year, or early next year.
PW: What are your upcoming tour/performance plans?
KE: An acoustic set is in the works to begin playing at venues in the major hub cities.
PW: If you could play a venue anywhere in the world with three other bands or artists who can be living or dead, where would you play and who would you choose?
KE: I would love to play the O2 Arena in London with Lana Del Rey, Amy Winehouse, and Andrea Bocelli.
PW: What are your thoughts on social media? Would you agree it's a necessary tool for bands and artists today?
KE: It is such an integral part of today’s growing society. Everyone should be skilled in the new form of communication, for it is crucial for anyone to get their cause and message out there.
PW: Finally then, whose career would you most like to emulate and at what point in your career would you be happy to say "I've achieved all I ever wanted?”
KE: I would love to emulate Lana Del Rey’s career so much. She is the primary inspiration I love doing what I do. I believe just by living moment by moment, is when I will be the most happy. If you always think “oh, I need this to make me happy”, you will never be presently fulfilled.