Deep House/Pop Recording Artist KENDRA ERIKA Discusses Her Biggest Inspirations, Latest Single, “Oasis” and More!
Posted On 16 Jan 2017
Hailed by Popmatters.com as an artist who “updates the Bond-girl frame work to 21st Century terms, an embrace of glamour and sexuality as an empowering tool,” Kendra Erika makes an explosive breakthrough with her debut single “Oasis.”
To see the lyric video for “Oasis” go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBm_l0HD_uU .
Released recently via Dauman Music/Big Deal/Sony/Red, “Oasis” was produced by GRAMMY Award winning producer Damon Sharpe, who has written and/or produced for a wide array of pop artists, including Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Kylie Minogue, Kelly Rowland, Monica, 98 Degrees, Anastacia, Natalie Cole and Ginuwine.
“Working with Kendra Erika was an absolute pleasure”, says Damon. “Her haunting, smoky tone brings a cool kid aesthetic to “Oasis.””
The powerhouse production/remixing team The Perry Twins played a key role in the final production of the single. Their remixes include tracks for Lopez, Christina Aguilera, Beyonce, Lolene, Tony Moran featuring Frenchie Davis, Kristine W and Josie Cotton. Commenting on their contributions to “Oasis,” Doug and Derek Perry say that they “were drawn to (the song) from the first time we heard it, so we were excited to remix it! We love Kendra’s voice and the lyrics are very cool and unique.”
A native of South Florida, Kendra’s Deep House/Pop recording style developed from the eclectic vibes of her surrounding musical culture and community. Focused on being truthful to her core artistry and authentic to who she is as a person, Kendra brings a dynamic cinematic experience to everything she produces. Prior to the release of “Oasis,” she created a widespread buzz with her popular videos for “Miami Love” and “The Truth Never Lies.”
The message Kendra imparts on “Oasis” goes beyond the surface: “Get Lost in the Oasis” finds her reminding listeners that there is always a silver lining in any situation. Because it can be hard to find and achieve, the “Oasis” should be celebrated and never taken for granted. The single is a unique blend of Kendra’s personal inspiration, innate sense of rhythm and tone and the inspiration of pop great Lana Del Rey and the musical emotions behind her work.
Kendra’s goal was to reveal a compelling image within a fresh sound mix. An Oasis isn’t merely supposed to be seen. It’s exactly what Kendra creates with all of her music – a vision.
“Oasis” is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, and all other major retailers. It is also available for streaming through Pandora and Spotify. To learn more about Kendra Erika, please visit http://www.kendraerika.com/ or go to her social sites listed below.
Follow Kendra Erika here:
Learn more about Kendra in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! Now that 2016 is over, what are some words you would use to describe the year?
Productive, progressive and incredible.
What have been some of the highlights for you and your music?
I think one of the biggest highlights I experienced in my music is the fusion I found between the vintage cinematic experience I was creating, such as “Hustler” and “Miami Love”, and the deep house/dance experience such as “The Truth Never Lies” and “Oasis”. It’s always nice and comforting to discover something original that you can bring to the table as an artist.
What are you most excited about for 2017?
Well, there is a lot I am excited about, I mean I can only really see the horizon. But, I’m mostly excited about creating more and meeting more and more people to collaborate with.
Growing up, did you always want to be a musician?
I knew I always wanted to entertain and be something people can smile about. The whole artist and musician side came when I was in my mid teens. I always wanted to make something of my own when it came to wanting to inspire people, because coming from a musical theater background, I was performing someone else’s work. I value my individuality and my integrity, and that grew stronger as I exited my teen years, and into my womanhood as an artist.
Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
When I was 13, I won this local talent competition by singing Andrea Bocelli’s “Time to Say Goodbye”. It was my first year participating in the show, and I had put so much time and preparation into it, and that’s when I realized that I can visualize something and make it happen for myself. The world is the oyster, and I visualized that pearl, and I took it.
That is an interesting question. I mean, I could be stubborn and stomp my feet in my direction and say no, this is all I want to do. But, I do have a degree in Communications/emerging media and International business, so humbly, I feel my knowledge isn’t limited to one particular aspect of this business. But, at the end of the day, I know that music can lead to so many other endeavors because of what I have to offer under my belt.
How do you think your sound is influenced by your South Florida background?
South Florida is filled with many different influences. I grew up unaffectedly in one of the most affluential towns in south Florida, Boca Raton. So, a lot of the restaurants and lounges I performed in catered to those distinguished people that enjoy the sounds of Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and so on. So, having that jazz standard influence played into me writing very melodic and lyrical vintage cinematic songs. But, me being externally young, I also enjoyed the Miami DJ scene, such as Nikki Beach, Hyde, and any other poolside or lounge setting, and I just embraced and loved the vibe DJ’s created with their form of entertainment.
Is that where your deep house/pop sound originated?
It is. Especially tropical house, since that is always a hit here in the Miami scene. At night, that’s when I love the more chic side of deep house, like sitting and enjoying the environment at the W Hotel Living Room.
At the end of last year, you released your debut single, “Oasis.” What was the inspiration for this song?
I was in LA at the time, and Damon’s studio is located in the Valley. The Valley itself is very very desert like. So I was looking out the window and letting the visual and the environment inspire me. The concept of the oasis came to me, because it’s so universal and it also gives a strong visual aesthetic.
What was it like working with Grammy award winning producer Damon Sharpe on it?
He’s very efficient when it comes to creating and letting ideas flow, and take form. I feel I’m very much the same when it comes to that, so we just had such a great work flow and momentum when it came to creating the song and then laying the vocals down.
Do you have plans to release more music soon? What about a full album of original music?
I mean everything that I create is leading to making a full album. I would love to have an album created by the end of this year, because I love traveling and touring. So, as far as creating more music goes, yes definitely.
Who are some of your favorite artists and what bands continue to inspire you and your music?
I love the underrated artists that contribute to the creativity of their music, such as Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding, Jessie Ware, and Solange. As far as DJs go, I really like Disclosure’s vibe, as well as Kygo and Calvin Harris. I love continuing to research my own influences, such as indie DJs and underground deep house DJ/producers.
Who would you still love to work with in the future?
I would still love to work with either Lana or Ellie in the future.
What do you hope is the message of your music?
As a woman in music now, I feel most of these female and male “artists” or entertainers, for that matter, sing a lot about sex and how appealing certain part of their body is. It’s objectifying in both sexes. I mean, yes, it is a very thrilling and alluring concept, but with me, I don’t like to narrow myself in to selling my body via my music. “Oasis” is a universal message that brings people together. I feel the message of my music is to bring that sense of authenticity and tastefulness back into how young people, especially women want to perceive themselves as. Will I have a song that pertains to the concept of sex in the future? Yes. But, being tasteful, and having artistic integrity in presenting it is what I want to bring to the table as an artist. My main influence were the Bond girls growing up, and they always kept their cool, and were quite stylish and elegant with how they presented themselves in a sexual light.
I hope they continue to take away that feeling of pure connectedness. I always love writing from my own experiences, which parallel with the experiences of many others out there. I don’t want to necessarily empower, because I’m not a motivational speaker per se, but I want to enlighten.
When you aren’t performing, working in the studio, what do you like to do for fun?
I do love to spend time with friends and loved ones. Taking long walks with my headphones on, traveling, and just seeing what else can inspire me in this world is what my idea of fun is.
How do you unwind from it all?
I’m actually sort of an introvert. I love to either just take a hot shower or hot bath, invite close friends over to cook and share cocktails with, and/or just watch either an old classic film, or anything that satirically reflects society, such as SNL or my new favorite, Westworld.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers regarding yourself or your music?
My biggest thing I have learned this year is that you must choose for yourself, rather waiting to get chosen. Don’t put they key to your happiness into someone else’s pocket.