1. Let’s start at the beginning, at what age did you start singing?
*Apparently I was humming and singing before I was even talking so singing has been something that has been a part of me since the beginning. I started singing and performing probably since the age of 4 when my cousins and I would put on shows at family get-togethers performing Madonna and Michael Jackson songs and even recording and performing our own songs.
2. Does your family have a musical background?
- People are always surprised but no not really! My grandma did a lot of performing and singing in church productions and her father loved to sing too but nothing professionally. My father also thinks he’s the next Frank Sinatra and sings loud and proud but not so much ?
3. At what age did you know that singing and performing was something you wanted to do professionally?
*Since I was 12 years old I knew I wanted to be a recording artist and I have never looked back. I cannot imagine ever doing anything else because singing, making music, and performing is my passion. For years and years I’ve listened to people telling me I need to have something to fall back on, but to me that signifies you gearing yourself up for failure, and for me, failure is not an option.
4. Who are some of the singers that you would say have had a major influence on you?
*Whitney Houston has been the biggest influence on me. “I Will Always Love You” was my signature song to sing at all of these talent competitions I did growing up and my first demo I recorded at 16 that started to get me noticed. Whitney, Mariah Carey, Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Regine Velasquez. All of the “diva” vocalists were my voice teachers growing up. I would listen to them over and over and try to emulate them, and ultimately, I created my own sound through that.
5. Your sound and image has changed since you initially came on the scene. Was the cause for the change a reflection of personal growth and taste in music, or just the desire to try something new?
- Up until this point, I have worked so hard to prove myself as a vocalist and I have always been singing other peoples’ songs. Last fall, I got to sing “And I’m Telling You I’m Not Going” in concert with David Foster in Chicago, which was an absolute turning point for me. It was my biggest break to date, an absolutely amazing experience and was the catalyst for me moving from Chicago to Los Angeles. It also made me realize that I wanted to differentiate myself as an artist rather than just a vocalist. With this brand new material that I wrote with the incredibly talented Peter Stengaard, I was finally able to express myself and my ideas. The tone and messages of the music are bold, powerful, and really about taking charge of who you are and of your future. That’s the point I’m at in my life. This is my moment and I feel confident and ready to take on the world! That’s why I decided to change my name to Erika Fatale. It’s still me, Erika, but a little more aggressive.
6. If I were to ask 4 of your closest friends to describe you in one word, what do you think they would say?
- Driven! Despite every obstacle that has been in my way, I’ve never stopped being passionate about music and my dream has never faltered. Luckily I have some great family and friends who have always supported me and believed in me and are rooting me on from Chicago.
7. If you had the power to change one thing in the world what would it be and why?
*There is just so much hatred and negativity in the world and it does nothing but eat away at you like the plague. Rather than educate ourselves about something we don’t understand, we tend to attack it. Gay rights, Islamophobia, racism, even down to the media and the whole tabloid culture. We’re always in attack mode. Luckily there are still some forms of expression like music that can bring us all together and I’m happy that my profession is a means to a better end.
8. What are your views on music licensing and the benefits it can provide an indie artist?
*Music licensing has empowered indie artists in many respects. It has the benefits of offering both financial and promotional reward. It allows indie artist to enter the music marketplace without the backing of a label. Also, it allows for greater musical diversity by allowing a wide range of artists to place their music in TV and Film.
9. What’s currently in your iPOD?
*I’ve been listening to a lot of soul music lately, really getting back into Stevie Wonder’s amazing “Songs in the Key of Life,” Aretha Franklin, and Donny Hathaway. Also, a lot of Beyonce as I gear up for my upcoming live shows because I think she’s an amazing performer.
10. If people want to keep up with all things happening with you, how can they do that?
*The best way would be by joining the Erika Fatale Facebook page which you can do here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Erika-Fatale/157021060975071 Also, through myspace and twitter since we are always updating them with the latest news: myspace.com/erikafatale twitter.com/erikafatale.
*I’m excited to start performing the new material live with the premiere performance taking place in Los Angeles at the Whiskey A Go-Go Nov. 4th at 7pm. For those living in the LA area, you can check out the latest performance dates on my myspace page, and for those who do not, we will be posting videos of the performances as soon as we can. Thanks so much to Antoine and Music Dealers for choosing me to be a part of the Artist Spotlight!