Alex: How would you describe your personal style?
Erika: I always wear body conscious clothes and I’m always thinking of curvy, curvy and sexy, sexy and woman, woman, woman. That’s just what I’m drawn to and what I’ve been known to wear.
Alex: If you could only wear one brand or designer for the rest of your life, who would it be?
Erika: Definitely Alexander McQueen.
Alex: What are your favorite places to shop, eat, and play in Chicago?
Erika: Let me tell ya! We stay at the Waldorf, which is like, the best hotel in the world! Right out front that door, is amazing shopping. Hermes, Barney’s…there’s the Adidas store. Everything is within walking distance, it’s fabulous. I love Chicago, I’ve never had a bad trip to Chicago. It’s just awesome…awesome people, awesome food. It’s an awesome city.
Alex: Where do you find your inspiration when creating a new song?
Erika: My album that’s coming out, the things that were happening to me at the time were a great influence on this album. Experiences, people, things that I’ve seen, places I’ve been. I take everything and put it into what I write about. If I get stuck, I walk away and take a break and then look at it.
Alex: Who are some of your favorite artists that you look up to?
Erika: I am a Madonna fan, I’m a Prince fan, I’m a Michael Jackson fan! Beyonce! All of the people that put on shows. I love the showman.
Alex: I read that you went to a performing arts high school?
Erika: Performing arts high schools was an amazing experience, and I wish that all young performers could go to a place where they could hone their skills and really figure out what they like, and do something they enjoy. That experience is incredible.
Alex: You collaborated with Flo Rida on “Get It Tonight.” What was it like working with him?
Erika: He was a cool guy. He’s a very big star, and was kind to me. I think “Get it Tonight” turned out great.
Alex: What’s the best experience you’ve had thus far in your career?
Erika: I don’t know if I’ve had one single moment sticks out, but I know some of the best experiences are when you’re on stage looking out at the audience and they’re singing the song. Or you get messages afterwards like ‘hey, you really brought a smile to my face, I loved the show.’ That’s really what it’s all about. It’s taking people on a journey. We all live in a reality where things possibly aren’t the best. But if you can go to a show and escape for an hour, hour and a half. That’s what it’s all about.
Alex: A lot of my readers are college age and trying to break into fashion, music, or some form of the arts. What would be your greatest piece of advice for them?
Erika: Two things: study your craft, and get a great mentor. Great mentors make careers, and they shape who you are as a young artist or a young professional. Be incredibly good at your technique, craft, whatever it may be. Make sure you know your craft, have your technique down, be flawless, and get a great mentor. Those two things are what I think are the most important. You have to know what you’re doing. You need a mentor to show you how things are done properly. Let me tell ya, nobody got to where they are without someone helping them in some way.