Monday, July 28, 2014

Exclusive Interview with Songstress Arika Kane- Arika Kane Unveiled

by Lenell King
On the verge of her third album, Thru The Veil and a critically acclaimed new single, It's There with R&B legend, Brian McKnight, Arika Kane  takes off the veil and opens up about  the true meaning behind her name and what inspires her to write.

LENELL:  First of all, I'm really enjoying the new single with R&B legend, Brian McKnight. Congratulations.  How did that come about?
ARIKA: It was definitely a gift and a blessing. It was through a relationship someone on with my label had with somebody they worked with in the past. The idea was brought to the table because Brian McKnight was working on a new album and I was also working on a new album; it just naturally came together.  Once we decided that we were going to do a ballad, thirty days later we were in the studio recording it and it was very organic. It was one of the best sessions that I ever had. Working with Brian McKnight was so cool for me.  It was great.

LENELL: Did he mentor you by giving you some tips on what it takes to be a great songwriter?
ARIKA: He definitely talked a little bit about the industry and some of the trials and tribulations.   I definitely will remember the tips he gave me because he is so talented and amazing.

LENELL: Before we go further in the interview I’m sure that this is something that many people have asked you before…  Your name, Arika Kane, is that based off the infamous Susan Lucci character from All My Children?
ARIKA: Well yes and no.  Yes, because more people are familiar with the character on All My Children. However, no because it became a nickname of mine not directly connected with Susan Lucci.  When I’m in the studio, I turn into Arika Kane.  I’m just so passionate and so serious about what I do that it became a nickname and it just felt normal and it felt right. So, yes and no.

LENELL:  You have such a soulful sound that you really don’t hear from a person who lives in Connecticut. What is the music scene like there?
ARIKA: Well, the music scene is like any small town.  You create what you want and make it happen.  I have the best of both worlds because as a child my parents were always playing music whether it was in the house or while traveling. Music was always in my heart.  One day I actually decided to go into the big world to pursue it.  Soul to me is a feeling. At the BET awards Lionel Ritchie said,  “It’s a feeling and it’s something that comes within and you can’t explain it.  There are no limitations or boundaries.”  I think the greatest artists do have that and they are able to carry that throughout their music.  I hope to do that.

LENELL: Being that your parents were musicians and it seems that you are from a musical family was it a natural transition for you or do you think it was kind of forced on you?  For example, I read an article on Janet Jackson where she felt she was forced into music by her father when acting was what she loved most.
ARIKA: It’s funny because once I learned I had these gifts as a child, I loved it. I was singing all the time, but when I became a teenager I rebelled. I felt like I was not going to pursue something that  my parents wanted for me.   I’m not going to do it just because they want it for me.  I went through that phase for sure.  My mom and dad are pretty smart and backed off.  Once they did I said to myself, “Wait a minute! Why aren’t they pushing me?” Their plan worked and I got real serious after high school and then it became a natural transition once I got through my rebellious stage.

LENELL:  You made your debut in 2009 with your self-titled album.  How did you get discovered?
ARIKA: It was a lot of connecting and networking. I was just putting myself out there at different open mics to network with other songwriters and producers.  I moved to Southern Connecticut in 2006. In 2008, I was signed to my current label, BSE Recordings. It’s funny because they were looking to sign a female artist at that time and they already had someone that they were going to sign. The producer that I was working with at the time introduced me to the label.   The artist they were looking to sign was on the west coast.  The producer I was working with told the label, “You don’t need to go to the west coast; you have this talent right here in your backyard.
I signed with BSE Recordings in 2008.  It was an independent label.  I knew being on an independent label meant that I would have the freedom to use my creativity and be free with my choices. As an artist, that was really exciting for me.

LENELL:  On your website there is a quote that states “Music is the Bedrock of my existence”.  What inspires you?  As a songwriter, how do you prepare to write?  Is it personal or is it emotional?
ARIKA: It’s different every single time. Sometimes it’s just exciting and I’m overwhelmed with the excitement of it all. Writing is my favorite part of being an artist. That’s when it’s so intimate and personal.  It’s like painting a picture that no one has seen yet; not even the label or other writers on the label.  Those moments to me are very, very exciting. As far as the lyrical side to my music, that’s definitely where the emotions come pouring out. That’s where it happens for sure.

LENELL: You’ve had a nice run with successful singles like, Here with Me and Becuz I Love you. One of your songs, Make it, made it onto one of my favorite reality shows, Hollywood Exes. How did that collaboration come about?
ARIKA: It was another gift and blessing. You can only think of it that way.  The creative department from VH1  reached out to us and said that they enjoyed my album and wanted to know if they could use some of the songs as features.  “Of course”, I said.  “Sign me up!”  Sometimes you work so hard and you think it never pays off, but then you sit back and it’s like ‘oh my gosh’ I’m so glad that this happened.
Here With Me was chosen as  a feature on Love and Hip Hop’s first season and that was before Make It.  It was really like an overnight fan base. It was an instant hit; the response was like saying, ‘This is my jam for the next five years.’  It was so cool to gain a fan base from that show and VH1. Then they chose Make It, which is also on my first album as the theme song for Hollywood Exes and that was just the icing on the cake.

 LENELL: Outside of music what other hobbies do you partake in that your fans would be surprised to know about?
ARIKA: I was just thinking about that. I like to go to tag sales. I have a thing for nostalgic items and investment items.  I love antiques and unique pieces. That’s something that I was actually doing this weekend.

LENELL: We are in the midst of summer and there are tons of concerts and festivals coming up in every city across America. What do you have coming up?  
ARIKA: Well I am drenched in my album right now. I am almost at the end of finishing up recording my third album which is titled, Thru The Veil and it’s going to be the monster of my albums.  I’m so excited for my fans to hear all these creations. It was a lot of hard work on my part that went into this album.  My next single from that album to be released is called, Throw It All The Way.

LENELL: What’s the story behind Thru The Veil?
ARIKA: It’s about me, but I like to feel that I’ve incorporated the world as well. The concept basically started from where I have been and the journey where I find myself now in my career. In my last album, Substance, I was at a place where I felt that I was up against everything. I was fighting everything and battling to be seen.  I wanted to be visible and just be where I wanted to be. The funny thing is that now that I’m here with my third album I realize I am exactly where I want to be. My career is unique and I’m choosing to be seen. I’m standing in my success and that’s really what Thru The Veil is all about.

 We look forward to hearing Arika’s singles that will hit the airwaves just in time to finish the summer fun.  The entire album is due to be out in September.  You can tell Arika  how much you like her music through

No comments:

Post a Comment