Kendra Erika is a musical artist who reached the #1 spot on the Billboard dance charts with her remake of Laura Branigan’s “Self Control” in January. Now, just in time for Halloween, she is releasing a thrilling and chilling new club version of the Broadway classic, “Phantom of the Opera.” Produced by Damon Sharpe and Eric Sanicola, the song was crafted for the modern-day dance floor and was inspired by the music from the show that Kendra often listened to whilst growing up. The song is similar in style and theme to some of her other hits including “Temptation”—which is about being haunted by a figure or the idea of a person—and “Secret” which plays with the concept of a masquerade.
Kendra Erika is classically trained in music but she developed her Deep House/Pop recording style from experiencing Miami dance clubs and DJs. She and Los Angeles-based hitmaker Damon Sharpe (who has worked alongside several pop artists including Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Kylie Minogue, Kelly Rowland, Monica, 98 Degrees, Anastacia, and Natalie Cole) have collaborated on several Top 10 Billboard Dance Charts hits, including “Self Control.” Throughout her career, Kendra aims to bring joy and empowerment through her music, not degradation and overt sexualization.
Kendra recently discussed her latest song and more via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you discover your love for singing?
Kendra Erika (KE): I always wanted to do this from a very young age, so the discovery has been a growing process. I began with classical vocal training, which really helped establish a solid foundation for me. In the midst of that training, I was inevitably introduced to “Phantom of the Opera,” which then became a tattoo influence in my overall development.
MM: How did that evolve into a deep love for dance music?
KE: (Laughing) Very nice choice of words with “a deep love” (“A Deeper Love” is one of Kendra’s Billboard-charring single: https://youtu.be/BB7xNjoOafs). Anyway, when I stumbled across a few tracks growing up, I was hooked. The sonic presentation, the vocals, and the overall makeup of it is just visceral in a sense. It makes you feel something.
MM: Can you see yourself going into opera or theatre music?
KE: Since I do have that as my foundation, I would be missing out if I didn’t take it further.
MM: What experiences do you draw inspiration from in your songs?
KE: I like to stay as genuine as possible with my music, primarily because the easiest way to get to people is through music. So, therefore I make a conscious effort to make everything I do well-thought out and directionally appealing.
MM: What was it about “Phantom of the Opera” that intrigued you enough to turn the haunting track into a dance song?
KE: It has always intrigued me. I had done a remake of it a few years ago, however, I realized my voice had grown and matured. So, that song just deserved my vocals in that developed form. To answer the question as to what is was that intrigued me, I mean, the song originally had a pretty driving beat and cadence, so it’s only in artistic precedence that I add to that side of its enhancement.
MM: Is there pressure for another #1 Billboard hit?
KE: It’s a matter of when, not if. But, to be honest, yes, I am pressured to stay on track.
MM: What are your live shows like?
KE: There are lights and good sound, but I never want the aesthetics to be the focal point. The music and what I’m trying to artistically impart is what the focus should be on. Theoretically, I want the very idea of people enjoying the experience to move them, and not hypnotize them with bells and whistles.
MM: Biggest goal for 2020?
KE: I hope to focus on getting my body more toned. In a world of go-to plastic procedures, I want to prove to myself, and hopefully others, you can work for it. Career-wise, I wanna perform on a hover craft!
MM: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
KE: Continue to follow me on FB, IG, and Twitter. Let’s continue to make music that makes people feel good again.
“Phantom of the Opera” is available for purchase on Apple Music (https://music.apple.com/us/album/phantom-of-the-opera-single/1483933978), Amazon, and all other major retailers as well as for streaming through Pandora and Spotify. Visit KendraErika.com and follow her on Facebook @ KendraErikaMusic, Twitter @ Kendra_Erika and Instagram @ kendraerikamusic. To listen to the song, see here: https://www.reverbnation.com/kendraerika/song/31237424-phantom-of-the-opera-2019?source=artistProfile