Kendra Jae is a rising Hip Hop and R&B singer who signed with 10:22PM in partnership with Def Jam Recordings this year. She has worked alongside Beyonce, Drake and Saweetie just to name. She was the youngest dancer on Beyoncé’s historic 2016 Formation World Tour, and then on Drake’s 2018 Aubrey and the Three Migos World Tour.
Her “BIG” music video is out now in advance of debut EP slated for the first quarter of 2022.We had a chance to participate in Kendra Jae’s press conference hosted by 1824 and here are some really cool things we learned about Kendra Jae and her career thus far.
Moderator: What collaborations have you found most valuable as an artist?
Kendra Jae: I’m new to collaborating with people, the Saweetie feature is the only feature I have right now as I’m still in the studio solidifying my project. I want to be very specific with who I do collaborate with. As a new artist I know the impact that features and collaborations can have on giving me the push that I need but right now my main focus is not that, my main focus is taking the experience that I had as a dancer, putting my real-life experience into the music and trying to build a name, the Kendra Jae brand standalone and whoever fits the vision and fits the mold, that can elevate what I see for myself for sure. But everything in terms of collaboration, the collaboration I had with Saweetie came very organic which is how I tend to like things. That is a real-life friend of mine who believed in the music and jumped on the record so yea as of right now that’s really not the focus. Building a solid name, molding the Kendra Jae name to be able to stand alone is more of my priority right now.
Moderator: What artists have been you’re greatest inspiration to the music you make yourself?
Kendra Jae: So I say inspired by many but influenced by just a few. Aaliyah is the first that comes to mind you know the way Aaliyah carried herself to me was so refreshing. She was very tasteful, she was classy but she had this undeniable sex appeal about her that wasn’t try hard she didn’t try to have it she just had it. Her tom boy swag is definitely something that I find myself being inspired by. And then just kind of like how she took R&B melodies and got on hip-hop beats. I feel like right now in the industry women are killing it. We got our R&B girls that kill it. They’re vocalists that do their thing we have our hip-hop girls, the rappers but I’m really focused carving my own lane somewhere in the middle where I come from a dance background so I can get on these records, these rhythmic records and do my thing but you know kind of that ‘Seesaw’ flow where its like melodic but it’s rhythmic. Then in ‘BIG’ kind of showed a little diversity I’m just really trying to land somewhere in the middle. I feel like Aaliyah represented that but I could say Janet for sure was an influence. She was such a powerhouse and I think she was like one of the first artist to really successfully take her dance background and become a superstar, a megastar so yeah those are like top two for me, Aaliyah and Janet.
Moderator: What do you think it takes for a woman to be strong and succeed in the industry today?
Kendra Jae: I think it’s really about knowing who you are, knowing who you are as a woman, knowing who you are as an artist, knowing not only that but how you want people to perceive you because social media is very polished. It feels like you know you can have a mask on so kind of just making sure that everything that you put out, everything that you stand for is with intention. I think that’s definitely something that I learned in my dance experience having been in the rooms with some amazing artists that have really curated a name and a brand for themselves. So when it comes to me personally and advice I give to someone that’s looking to kind of transition or just a new artist female, because females whether men want to admit it or not, have it more difficult where you are constantly compared. Social media its body its this its that its so much coming at you but when you just kind of understand who you are and what you stand for and how you want to be represented and do everything with intention you know I think that creates a world where you can coexist and transition and be successful with peace.
Moderator: I love your music video ‘BIG’ and the song as well and I wanted to know is there going to be a similar theme for your debut EP that’s coming out soon?
Kendra Jae: No probably not in the same world. I think ‘Big’ was a standalone world that we wanted to create just it being more of an ambitious record, you know kind of talking my shit a little bit. But I think everything coming with the EP is going to be fresh yea so I can’t wait till I can talk more about it. I think as a new artist something I’ve always told myself is you have to earn a body of work, you have to earn a project, have to make people even care enough to want to hear you on 6 to 8 songs. So right now the focus is just like making sure that tracklist is incredible. I definitely do have the creative and everything behind it I think you guys will enjoy it but as for like the worlds being intertwined not so much. ‘Big’ was kind of a standalone original visual that we wanted to create
Moderator: I read a quote and you said ‘when you listen to me I want you to get an escape to feel connected and to be heard,’ so I was kind of curious with that being your heart and vision for your music, who’s music makes you feel that way?
Kendra Jae: Honestly I don’t know that I can answer that and I think that that’s why it’s important for me to be that. I feel like I find bits and pieces of different people that I connect with, that I resonate with but you know we have the hot girls, we’ve got the icy girls, we’ve got the city girls. We got all these different you know women that are killing the game but I just want to represent for women like myself. You know on Saweetie’s project I was most likely to flip a broken heart to a bag and I feel like that’s a very specific kind of lane, a specific kind of woman. If you have read any of my press releases you know that I pride myself on being like wifey and so you know that brand that I’m kind of building for myself. The down ass women that are charismatic and confident and bossy independent, like that is who I want to speak to, the me’s of the world.
Kendra Jae’s latest single ‘BIG’ is out now! Press Play.