Emerging hip-hop and R&B star Kendra Jae knows exactly who she is.
Having already curated a successful career being the youngest dancer to tour with Beyoncé in 2016 on the Formation World Tour. Jae has also been a featured performer on Drake’s 2018 Aubrey and the Three Migos World Tour.
Suffice to say, she knows a thing or two about what it takes to make it in the business.
The Sacramento native, now signed with Universal Music Group’s 10:22 PM label in partnership with Def Jam Recordings, is making sure the industry knows her name. You’d think with big moves like that, she would have been at this for a while…but you’d be wrong. Kendra only started releasing her own music in 2020. Her fast-rising star is not only a testament to her natural talent, but to her heart, her wisdom, and hands-on work ethic.
That wisdom we just mentioned was apparent early on in a recent press conference with Kendra when she was asked a simple question about collaborations.
As a new artist on the scene, she says “I know the impact that collaborations would have in pushing me forward [in my career] but that’s not my main focus right now.” She went on to explain that while she is open to organic collaborations, much like her work with Saweety on the hit “Seesaw,” she knows the importance of creating a brand, a mold for herself and only making moves that align with and serve that purpose.
Jae has an impressive sense of self when speaking on her career, a perspective that is rare in an industry of ‘wannabe’ celebrities desperate to put their face and name anywhere that will take it. Kendra knows what she wants and she will only direct her energy to things that carry out the vision she has for herself.
Even more impressive is the fact that she refused to begin her own music career until she knew that.
She said, “I didn’t want to do music until I knew who I was as an artist.”
It is that mindset that is going to take Kendra Jae places that many other talented people will never go. Wisdom proceeds her choices, and in that regard, she cannot fail.
That brings us to her latest release, “Big.” At the risk of sounding cheesy, the song is definitely that, BIG. “I want the big wins on this big journey,” the Los Angeles-based artist shared in a press release. Riding catchy beats and dropping bars with all the cadence of the greats before her, Kendra makes a statement with this song. “‘BIG’ is going to make people realize I’m a real artist, and I cannot and will not be boxed in. My talents have no limits.”
From the studio to the music video, Jae was involved in every aspect of this project. “Everything that I do with the song stimulates from the day I was in the studio and the way I envision the record. From who’s on it to what the video looks like, I’m very hands-on.” Her vibe reads like a true artist, one who cares about her craft rather than those on the charts who would have used any medium to get to the top. She cares about the intricacies of what she does.
Take the “Big” music video, for example. “We created our own little world,” she said with a proud smile. “I was inspired by the movie “Concrete Cowboy.” Being from California, I’m not from that life but I wanted to find a way to bring black culture to the Kentucky Derby.”
Everything she does is strategic. She says “Being a newcomer in the game but having the resumé that I have, it’s important that everything I do screams originality.”
Watch the music video below and you’ll find that in spades.
Not surprisingly, Kendra has aspirations beyond the music industry. “I would love to branch out into fashion, the beauty industry, I’d love to touch TV screens, to be a business mogul.” However, that Kendra Jae wisdom that we’re obsessed with keeps her focused on the projects at hand. She expresses a strong conviction to put all of her heart and energy into music, being sure to make it into what she wants it to be before she would ever consider conquering the next venture. She’s a good steward, a generational thinker, and what she plans on building will be around for a long time.
Take notes, young men and women, Kendra Jae knows how to do this thing right. With integrity, discipline and good old-fashioned hard work. She’s a force to be reckoned with, in talent and in spirit.