Interview: Kendra Black

by | Mar 8, 2016

Kendra Black is a New York City based recording artist, dancer and actress who will be releasing her debut album in the Summer of 2016. She has performed at several venues in the NYC area and received great review in AXS Magazine after the release of her debut single ‘Tonight.’ Now, she’s just completed a few tracks with major level producers out in L.A. and will be releasing the album, which will feature some special guests and cameos. We met with the artist to find out about her new release.

1inmusic: Hi Kendra, nice to meet you. Like many artists releasing music today, you are going the crowd funding way. Of course the audience out there wants to know, what is unique about you and your music and why you think they should fund you?

Kendra Black (KB): Hi! and thanks for showing interest in my music ad upcoming projects! I’m working very hard on the production of this album, and support from audience and fans is a very important key to its success. Throughout the years, I had the chance to perform and experiment with many different music genres, which dramatically improved my vocal skills and played a very important part in my artistic growth.
My music is very fresh and upcoming. It’s all about the perseverance, the hustle, being young and wild in the crazy New York City… and that’s why it reaches out so well to the young crowds. By making a contribution you will aid in the growth and expansion of my style, and allow my music to reach out to young audiences, while giving me the chance to get even closer to reaching my dream of breaking into the music business.

1inMusic: What/who shaped your music and motivated you to be a professional?

KB: My different life experiences entirely shaped my music. My hustle in New York, my successes, my failures, my determination and all the things that came with it.. Amy Winehouse and Lady Gaga are among my biggest idols. What struck me the most about them since the very beginning is how different they were from all the other big stars out there. Amy Winehouse’s love for music was so incredibly pure, which made her talent so authentic, and to me this is priceless and the real key to success. What I admire the most about Lady Gaga, is her ability to address and relate to every single one of us, with her music, her personality, and her incredible values. I believe that the ability to connect with people through your art is indeed to be considered one of the most powerful things on the planet. As for me… I actually knew I wanted to be a professional since the very beginning of my artistic journey. I owe everything to music and the way it allows me to express myself.

1inMusic: So who has been supporting you in your artistic journey?

KB: I have amazing parents that have always helped me and supported me while I worked my way up to achieve my dreams. Although I will forever be grateful for their help, I made an important decision while working on this project, and that is to personally take care of the funding of the album by working hard and earning the funds on my own. Of course, nobody can make it entirely on their own, and that’s why I also teamed up with MusicRaiser. Therefore, I will be grateful for any help to the funding of my album, as every contribution, even the smallest, will bring me closer to my ultimate goal and dream.

1inmusic: So you are working with some big names. Drop us some of the people you are collaborating with and why you chose them…

KB: A couple of years ago, I auditioned for a new reality show centered on the lives of young emerging artists and their artistic journey and hustle to break into the music business. I was thrilled when I learned my audition was successful, and I went back to film the pilot episode. There I met many amazing people, and made some connections that changed my life forever!

It is thanks to those connections that I am now working with Mike Gonsolin and Nick Nittoli, the amazing producers at Trend Def, in Los Angeles!
Their style is fresh and upcoming, really what all emerging artist and young audiences are on the lookout for. These guys have worked with international superstars such as Snoop Dogg, French Montana, Lady Gaga… and I was thrilled at the opportunity to work with them on some of the tracks for this album.

Here is the link where you can check out the teaser of one the tracks I produced with them https://soundcloud.com/kendra-black-kb/air-pack-jet-teaser?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=facebook

1inmusic: So is that the type of music you listen to?

KB: Music is like air to me.. it boosts my energy, gives me strength, and helps me get through life like nothing else does. I listen to many different genres depending on my mood. R&B, Rap and Alternative Rock are my absolute favorites. Among my favorites are Logic, Beyonce, Twenty One Pilots, Snoop Dogg, Craig David..

Every different music genre has different colors to it.. each and every one depicting a different emotion and state of mind.

1inmusic: So what will people get with this EP you are releasing in terms of music goodies and extras with their pledge of support?

KB: There are rewards for every contribution to this campaign. They range from CDs, behind the scenes videos, cover songs of your choice, T-shirts, even participation in music videos! Your involvement in this production is gonna give you access to exciting unedited material, unreleased music and videos and much more! This campaign will help you learn more about my personal journey and my style, and your contribution will ultimately make you part of this project.

1inmusic: Did you write the songs on the EP and what ignites your (song) writing flow?

KB: I wrote the songs on this album in collaboration with the great producers and artists that are currently working on this project with me and assisting me through the process. I must say that my travels and experiences around the world have been the biggest influence to my songwriting… I think I have changed the most since I moved to New York a few years ago. The city and its lifestyle have undoubtedly been one of the biggest influences to my music career.

1inmusic: Is there a tour scheduled for the EP release and how will you prepare for your performances?

KB: I will be having a great number of live shows over the next few months ! The album is still in the making but you can already find teasers online. To prepare for my shows I eat and sleep well, I practice meditation… Rest and focus are essential to a good performance and must not be underestimated.

1inmusic: Who, to you, is the most undervalued music artist?

KB: To me, the most undervalued music artist is the one that fails to be understood and appreciated not because of the quality of his product, but because of society standards. In an ideal world, every artist should be able to make a career off the unique product of his hard work, dedication, and soul.. of course we live in a society where that isn’t always the case! Therefore today’s artists feel forced to conform to the mass in order to be successful instead of strengthening their individuality, and that is something that needs to be acted upon in today’s industry.

1inmusic: We know here that you are an all round artistic individual. Talk to us about your love, skills and professional experience in ballet and acting and how you balance out these passions to pursue music.

KB: Although I was gifted with a voice since a very early age, ballet has always been a big part of who I am. I started out when I was 5, and got very far with it, but ended up choosing music as my ultimate career path. Since I moved to the United States, I also started a career in acting that I’m planning to pursue and take even further. So far I had the incredible opportunity of taking part in the filming of TV productions such as Nickelodeon’s Teen Nick’s Top 10, The View, Good Morning America, as well as ’The Lucky Ones’, a movie by Stephen Petrillo.

1inmusic: Success to you is…

KB: To me, success lies in the ability to express yourself through your art and convey something meaningful to your listeners, which I think is the most important goal an artist can have. Art should be all about conveying a message and touching people’s hearts, that’s what defines true music to me.

1inmusic: What do you wish you were told when you started out and that you think would help anyone who starts out?

KB: Well, since I was a kid, I remember my mom telling me not to be afraid of change and growth, and that things aren’t always gonna look and be the same throughout your artistic journey… Although I now know what she was referring to, I wish I had acknowledged that sooner. In fact, I had to loose myself so many times to truly find myself and my personality, and thus my advice for today’s emerging artists is that the acceptance of change is crucial to the development of one’s art form.

1inmusic: Thank you Kendra. Final question: You teamed up with MusicRaiser for this fundraising. Where can we contribute support and what is your website?

KB: You can access my campaign by clicking on the link below, which will take you directly to my page and profile!!

https://www.musicraiser.com/projects/5275-emerging-artist-producing-an-album-in-la

You also can tune in on my website www.kendrablackmusic.com for the latest news and updates about my music!!