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Kendra Jae Press Conference with Universal Music Group

Kendrae Jae recently signed with Universal Music Group's 10:22PM label. Coming out of Sacramento she has been on tour with Beyoncé, Drake and Migos as a dancer but started releasing her own music in 2020. She joined Universal Music Group for a press conference, in promotion of her new single 'BIG', where I got to ask her a couple of questions about her features and inspirations.

unrivalled.hip-hop: What collaboration have you found most valuable in terms of what you as an artist have gained from the expertise of your collaborator?

I'm obviously 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 experiences into the music and trying to build a name. The Kendra Jae brand stand alone and whoever fits the vision and fits the mould and can elevate what I see for myself for sure. But everything in terms of collaboration... you know the collaboration that I had with Saweetie came very organic which is how I tend to like things. You know that was a real-life friend of mine who believed in the music and jumped on the record so yeah as of right now that's really not the focus. But building a solid name... moulding the Kendra Jae name to be able to stand alone is more of my priority right now.

unrivalled.hip-hop: What artists have been your greatest inspiration into the music that you make yourself?

I love that one. So I say inspired by many but influenced by just a few. Aaliyah is the first that comes to mind. 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. You know her tom-boy swag is definitely something that I find myself being inspired by. And then just how she took R&B melodies and then got on Hip-Hop beats. I feel like right now in the industry you know 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 focussed on 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. Kind of that see-saw flow where it's melodic but it's rhythmic and then in 'BIG' showing a little diversity by getting my flow off. So I'm really trying to land somewhere in the middle, I feel like Aaliyah represented that. But I can say Janet for sure was an influence, she was such a powerhouse. I think she was one of the first artists to really take her dance background and become a superstar, a megastar. So yeah, those are the top two for me, Aaliyah and Janet [Jackson].

Thank you to Universal Music Group for the invitation to join their press conference and to Kendra Jae for taking the time to answer my questions. Kendra is definitely a new force in Hip-Hop and with her new project on the way you'll certainly want to keep an eye out for her!

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