We can't believe we got to speak to the incredibly talented Singer/ Songwriter Kendra Chantelle! She shares with us on her latest Single "I Still Believe", the music industry in 2020, words of wisdom from an artist to the artist who's reading this and who got this cool girl to lose it!
Hi Kendra!! Let us start off by telling you that we LOVED your season on American Idol and are SO honored to be interviewing you! Please tell us about your newest single "I Still Believe" and share with our readers what went into the curation of the song because it's AMAZING!
Hey ya'll! Oh my goodness, that feels like a lifetime ago I was on American Idol, thank you so much! I am so thrilled to be chatting with you today. Thanks for the kind words surrounding my latest single " I Still Believe"! I wrote this song with my long time friend, Brad Sample, who ended up co-producing my album and it has been so amazing to hear how many people resonate with the message. We wrote it because we were both in a place where we were feeling pretty battered in our music careers but we also just couldn't give up. We each felt like we had this stubborn, blind faith that couldn't be shaken so "I Still Believe" was born! It actually ended up making me feel encouraged enough to make a record too- so thankful for that one!
Has there anyone that you’ve ever been starstruck over when you had the chance to meet them?
I would like to say I'm too cool to be starstruck, but when I got to meet Steven Tyler from Aerosmith, I almost lost it!!! He has been a favorite of mine since I was a very little girl and he was one of the judges on my season of American Idol and I got to be around him quite a bit through that process but was never able to stop giggling or freaking out any time he was around. What a legend!!!
Can you describe the music business in three words right now? Is there anything you would change?
Hmmm the music business in 3 words right now... evolving, inventive and diverse. I think we are at such an interesting point in music where in order to "survive" if you will, you must evolve and you almost have to reinvent the wheel (especially during 2020 with COVID changing so much about shows, etc) and because of the rise in social media platforms exposing us to talent we wouldn't have found otherwise, we have an incredibly diverse musical world right now, more than ever! I don't know that I would change a thing. Until the last few years, the only way you could release music was to get a label to believe your music was worthy of getting released. Now, thanks to tunecore, distrokid, symphonic, etc. anyone can create music and get it out to the world. There is SO much more freedom in that! I tend to not fit in any of the boxes the main musical companies use to classify and categorize music, so I love that I get to just create freely and not have to filter or water it down to make sure it gets released.
What’s one thing your fans don’t know about your career?
I think people may be surprised to hear that I have auditioned for and been turned down by "The Voice" a few times. I have never publicized it because it never panned out, so why go there, but as a more mature artist and now as a vocal coach I actually think it's powerful to be confident enough in my skill set to be ok with someone saying "no" to it. I spent so much of my younger artistry wrapped up in being incredibly critical and focusing on every flaw and seeking validation, but now I have reached a point with my voice and my songs and myself where I truly feel like I can accept it all- the good and the bad- because it's genuinely me! It is so liberating to feel like even if everyone in the world said my singing or my music wasn't their cup of tea, I would be happy knowing I was turned down for being 100% myself. I also think hindsight is 2020 and I would much rather be releasing songs I created than singing covers in another competition style tv show- been there, done that!!
What piece of advice can you leave our readers when it comes to being an artist?
My advice to anyone following their artistry is - know your WHY. Know why you create, know why you want this, know why your message is important to you, know why you have this desire to create and never forget to focus on the why. The how, the when, the where, the who- they're all going to change, a LOT. But don't forget your why! It will remind you of all that matters and bring you back to you.
Where can they listen to "I Still Believe" and all your new projects because you're incredible!!
Please check out my latest single "I Still Believe" on Spotify, apple music, tidal- anywhere you can buy or stream music! I have a link tree to all those in my instagram bio @KendraChantelle Thank you!!
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