Posted On 07 Aug 2017
Meet the Pop Diva, Kendra Black! Based in NYC but born in Italy, Black will be releasing her 4-track debut EP The Edge (with focus track Rude ft. Snoop Dogg – out now!) very soon. But before that, she has dropped her very first video for another track “Air Pack Jet.”
Born and bred in Italy, Black grew up studying music as well as acting and ballet. She trained and performed with teachers from the Music Conservatory of Cannes (France) and from The Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan. After graduating from the Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington DC in 2012, Black relocated to New York City where she put together her team of producers and band members.
She collaborated on song co-writes with Bravo’s Platinum Hit finalist Nick Nittoli and Award-Winning singer/producer Lachi, and teamed up with the producers at Trend Def Studios in Los Angeles. The resulting product is Black’s new five-track EP, The Edge, which she plans to release on March 10th this year.
Black has performed on stages in France, Monte-Carlo, Italy, Egypt, the Caribbean, and the US. Her most recent performance was headlining at Webster Hall Studio in NYC, which was hosted by Hot 97’s Laura Stylez. The Hot Zone USA described Black as “an up-and-comer to watch for,” while AXS called her live performance “smoldering” and her voice “intoxicatingly sweet.”
Learn more about Kendra Black in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! How has 2017 been treating you? Musically, did you approach this year any differently then you did last year?
This year started off with a bang! A lot of opportunities came my way, and I’ve made the best of all of them. I think what makes this year more special than the previous one and all the ones before, is that I’m loving the process more and more and it’s reflecting in my music.
Where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What kind of music do you listen to when you are working? What music gets you instantly out of a bad mood?
Yes! I’m currently listening to ‘Downtown’ by Majical Cloudz: of the electro pop (or art pop) genre. Even though it has a different vibe compared to what I’m currently producing, it’s actually a genre that I find uplifting and inspiring when creating something new.
Growing up, have you always wanted to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
Yes, I always thought of music as a future career. My earliest musical memory would be when I first started singing with my dad. He’s the one that showed me the beauty of music.
If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing?
I’d be a dancer. Throughout my artistic development I’ve pursued both ballet and music and was actually juggling the two until I chose music as a career. I do still dance though. It’s something I will never give up.
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think living in New York City has affected who you are as a musician and the art that you create? Do you think your Italian background comes through at all too in your music?
Well I’ve been traveling the world since I was 12, my artistic career both as a singer and dancer started in a ballet academy in Cannes, France. There, I not only perfected my ballet skills but I also learned how to train my voice an play the piano. A few years later I left France to travel the states. I lived and performed in Washington DC and later in New York City. While my training in Europe helped me polish my sound, the states inspired my flow, rhythm and vocal strength. I would be who I am today without my diverse experiences.
What was the inspiration for your 5-track EP called “The Edge”? Did anything surprise you about the process of putting it together? How do you think your already released single “Air Pack Jet” prepares listeners for the rest of the EP?
My travels to Los Angeles inspired it. I instantly picked up on the energy of Cali and the amazing producers that helped me throughout the recording process, Mike Gonsolin and Nick Nittoli from Trend Def, and producer and songwriter Lachi. The first single ‘Air Pack Jet’ is already out on iTunes and perfectly sums up the overall energy and style of the EP.
How did you get to work with Snoop Dogg on your track “Rude”? What was it like working with him? What do you think he brought to the song that wasn’t there before?
Having Snoop on the track was by far one of my biggest accomplishments so far, and him being on ‘Rude’ is great because of his talent, but it goes beyond that. Snoop has been my favorite rapper and dream collaborator since I was a kid. The flow and ‘swag’ he brings to the song is amazing, and I can’t wait to work with him again in the future.
How do you think that being a musician has helped you live your best life? Can you talk about the joy that it brings you today?
Making music is an outlet that allows me to express myself in fun and creative ways. I was very shy as a kid and it’s thanks to my vocal abilities that I was able to open up to life, and the journey is still ongoing! Music helps me explore all the different sides and nuances to my persona.
What are your plans for the rest of the summer? Do you have any upcoming tour dates lined up?
I’m currently abroad, enjoying a well-needed rest. You can stay posted on my tour dates and upcoming releases on my website www.kendrablackmusic.com or social media @kendrablackmusic
Who are some of your very favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I would love to work with artists of many different genres throughout my music career. Artists such as Twenty-One Pilots, Kanye West, Coldplay and Jay Z are of great inspiration to me. I hope to work with them in the future and expand my genre into something even more unique.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
I hope my music inspires people to be themselves and free their emotions. This is my mission at this stage of my career. Be strong, recognize how much power you already have within you, and learn to master and express all your energy. Keep your head up high and free yourself from anyone trying to tell you your dreams are too big or unconventional.
What advice would you give to someone just getting started on this music path? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
Do what you love and find the reasons within you. Never forget those reasons because they are the ones that will guide you and help you hang on to your dreams when things around you get tough.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Yes, I would like to encourage everyone out there to trust and follow their passions and creativity, whatever they may be. Use the music that inspires you and the things you love to help you release your emotions and grow into the strongest, best version of yourself!