Interview with our ReverbNation Winner, NYC’s Kendra Black!
1. Age and how long in the industry?
I am 22 years old...Although I've been singing since I was six, my professional career started when I moved to New York in 2012. The energy of this city helped me set my path in music and broadened my horizons in the music and fashion industries. Since my journey started in the big apple, I had the chance to work with major writers and producers like Nick Nittoli, Lachi and Trend Def, record a single with Snoop Dogg, and release the EP through a NY based record label. On top of that I designed and launched my KB Sports Apparel, which you can check out at www.kendrablackmusic.com
2. Let's have some fun! What's your Zodiac Sign?
I'm a Pisces! And I have to say I really relate to my sign. I’m naturally creative and empathic but with a strong personality. And though us Pisces tend to think too much, that’s also a main trait of any successful artist, so I learned to focus those energies in the right direction.
3. What is your main inspirational philosophy in life? Favorite quote?
My philosophy in life is courage and dedication, to always reach beyond my comfort zone and pursue my dreams through the strength personal strength. My two favorite quotes would be ‘There are two kinds of people in the world, those who fear the future and those who embrace it’ and.. ‘Go anywhere as long as it’s forward’
4. Ok, now...who are YOU as an artist? What is your story?
I’m a singer, a dancer, an athlete, all of which makes me the performer I am today. The rush I get when absorbing a beat is what really fuels both my singing, my dancing, and another passion of mine, running. I was born in Palermo, Italy, but my story really starts when I moved out at twelve years old to pursue the arts in a renowned French ballet Academy in Cannes. There I perfected my training in music and professional ballet, and learned to live on my own as my family remained in Italy. I then continued my training in Monte-Carlo and then Washington DC. In 2012 I graduated from the Kirov Academy of Ballet in DC, which then led me to NYC, where I kickstarted my music career.
5. Who are your musical influences and what genre of music would you say your style is?
I listen to a variety of styles, from Pop to Edm to Rap to Techno and Alternative Rock. This helps me expand my horizons on many more levels when it comes to the creation of my own music. At the moment I really jam to Zella Day, Dua Lipa, Camila Cabello, and Hippie Sabotage. I luke to call my style urban pop, because it’s a fusion of Pop music and influences from Rap, Trap, and edm.
6. What is the state of the music industry right now? Where is it going?
The music industry today is moving much faster than it used to. New talented artists are breaking into the music business from every part of the globe, and releasing records quicker than ever. But with so much going on today, people’s attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, which challenges the artist to work hard to maintain audience engagement.
7. How is your Art “your Religion”?
Singing is how I express my own personal power, and I like to think of music as a gateway to my true self. In fact, whether it’s performing on stage, writing a song that is more heart felt, or recording more commercial styles, I never cease to find out more about who I really am through my art, and when times get tough I always go back to it.
8. What are you truly creating with your music that changes the world, changes society?
As I mentioned earlier, I spent my childhood training and performing all around the world, but despite being mostly surrounded by open minded crowds, I still couldn’t help but feel the need to perform music that helps take a step forward towards freedom of the mind and of the body. This remains my goal throughout my artistic journey, which I’m planning to achieve not only through my music but also through the personal expression of what I believe in.
9. What is the spiritual, political or social message of your music?
With my music and way of dancing I aim to encourage self expression and self confidence. I stand for women empowerment and breaking away from old paradigms because to me there is nothing more important than finding your own voice and being comfortable in your own skin.
10. What do you really think it takes to make it in the music industry? Tell us 3 keys.
Music establishes a connection between the artist and his listeners so if you want to make an impact in this industry you can’t be afraid of being yourself, you can’t hold anything back, you have to give all of yourself, all in remaining humble. The keys to doing that are being fearless in your own craft and in your own body, being real with your audience, and of course maintaining your uniqueness because you can only make it as YOU.
11. Where do you see your career going in 2018?
2018 is bound to be a big year for me. I just had a big show in NYC's Mercury Lounge, and I’ll be announcing my next tour dates in just a few weeks. My new album is already in the works, and I’m also aiming to collaborate with more top producers and artists, as my single with Snoop Dogg was just the beginning. This month I also released the spring collection of my KB Sports Apparel, which I’m planning to expand internationally over the coming months.
12. Legacy: At the end of the day, how do you want your fans to remember you and your music?
As an artist I believe that the way you choose to present yourself and the energy you project into your work are two very important factors that determine how the audience is going to respond to you. This is why I strive to be the kind of performer that never stops evolving. I think of myself and my music as daring and free, but also real, encouraging self expression. I’m currently working on my next album, which will be more edm/trap oriented than ‘The Edge’, and am planning to further encourage breaking away from any standards limiting freedom of mind and self expression.
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