Explosively updating the Bond girl framework in 21st Century terms and embracing glamor and sexuality as an empowering tool, visionary deep house/dance-pop singer-songwriter Kendra Erika most recently hit the Top 10 on the Billboard Dance Club Chart, claiming the #9 spot with breakthrough hit single “Oasis.”
The hit Billboard Dance Club track, her first release on Dauman Music/Big Deal/Sony/Red, was penned by Kendra Erika and co-produced with Eric Sanicola and GRAMMY Award winning producer Damon Sharpe, who has written and/or produced for a wide array of award-winning popular artists, including Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez, Kelly Rowland, Kelly Minogue, Monica, Ginuwine, 98 Degrees, Anastasia and Natalie Cole.
The powerhouse production/remixing team The Perry Twins played a pivotal role in the final production of Billboard Dance Club hit single “Oasis”; The Perry Twins remixes include tracks for Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera.
An auspicious launch for what promises to be an extraordinary career, “Oasis” offers a unique blend of Kendra Erika’s personal inspiration, innate sense of rhythm and tone and the deep influence of pop great Lana Del Rey and the musical emotions behind her work. Kendra Erika’s goal was to reveal a compelling image within a fresh sound mix.
A native of South Florida, Kendra Erika’s Deep House/Dace-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, the Florida native brings a dynamic cinematic experience to everything she produces. Prior to the release of “Oasis,” Erika created a widespread buzz with her popular videos for “Miami Love” and “The Truth Never Lies”.
Most recently Kendra, you scored a well-received Top 10 hit on the Billboard Dance Club Charts (#9) courtesy of popular breakthrough hit single “Oasis”. How proud are you knowing that “Oasis” has now officially become your biggest dance club hit to date?
The song itself came together so smoothly and organically, so I’m very proud that it intuitively was meant to be. However, I have much more to share in the future, so as far as “biggest” goes, I’m never one to plateau and stop growing.
“Oasis” is your first release on Dauman Music/Big Deal/ Sony/Red and was co-written and co-produced with Eric Sanicola and GRAMMY Award winning producer Damon Sharpe, who has written and produced for a pantheon of reputable Award-winning recording artists, including Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez, Kylie Minogue, Kelly Rowland, Monica, 98 Degrees, Anastasia, Natalie Cole and Ginuwine. How much did you learn from a musical perspective from the great Eric Sanicola and Damon Sharpe?
I mostly worked with Damon (Sharpe) in the studio. I have yet to meet Eric (Sanicola) officially, for he and Damon made the track separately. But, working with Damon was just so organic and there was and still is an instant flow. This really showed me that this level, and the levels beyond is something I can do and work with. There wasn’t anything really challenging about the process. I think that was because as an artist, who is impatient about making my own impact on the world, I just naturally wanted to grow and take myself to the next step.
The powerhouse production team The Perry Twins additionally played a integral role in the final production of Billboard Dance Club hit single “Oasis” and have produced dance remix hits for Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé and Christina Aguilera. In retrospect, what do you feel The Perry Twins essentially brought to “Oasis”?
They made it more unified as a song. Whenever the Perry Twins mix, their style is that of making it more worldly appealing. Their message as DJs, as far as equality goes, is something that is also parallel with what my message is.
Who are your favorite contemporary Deep House and Dance music artists?
I really love the vibe Disclosure brings. I love that upscale chic sound, because I appreciate that sense of chill lounge. I also love DJ XPO. I always listen to his mixes when I take long walks to get some inspiration. DJ Snake is also one of my faves. Creating that epic reverb sound is just dope to me. When it comes to going back to my jazzy roots, DJ Jazzy Jeff always hits the spot. As far as dance artists go, it’s hard to pinpoint, because it’s really the DJs who make the presence nowadays. I mean, a country artist is now considered in some ways a dance artist because the DJ is the one making the killer remix for the club, and getting everyone on board with the song.
When did you develop your insatiable appreciation for Deep House music?
Since I was always performing in restaurants and lounges singing jazz standards, I feel that deep house gives everyone that same intimate experience. It still lets you get in that club zone mentally, but it doesn’t get you too amped up and excited. I’m a laid back, chill person, and deep house is that happy medium for when I want to go into a more upbeat setting. As far as what I can do vocally, stylistically, deep house vocals are very sensual, so I don’t have to be too dramatic and use pretentious rifts.
Miami, Florida has a historical rich culture and heritage for Deep House and Dance Music. What do you adore most about South Beach?
I love how it’s everyone’s vacation spot, but I get to live here. Everyone uses this environment to let loose and feel liberated. It’s literally what dance music is all about, finding that sense of escape.
The Hispanic community has indeed been very supportive throughout your successful career. Why do you feel the Hispanic community has strongly connected with your music?
I truly believe it’s because culturally they’re focused on keeping life a celebration. Mostly their music is about having passion and being intimate in that moment. I feel that my music has that similar message as well.
Who do you cite as your all-time biggest musical influences?
Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding, Frank Sinatra, Jessie Ware and Banks.
What is the most inspirational mantra that you live by?
Aim for respect, rather than attention.
Before we leave Kendra, do you have any live shows in the pipeline?
Watch “Oasis” Lyric Video
“Oasis” is available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon, and all other major retailers. “Oasis” is also available for streaming through Pandora and Spotify. To see the lyric video for “Oasis” go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBm_l0HD_uU
Kendra Erika official website: http://www.kendraerika.com/ or go to her social sites listed below.
W| By Dean Perretta @DeanPerretta