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Kerina Talks New Single, Performing for BBC, and More

Kerina's "Do Better" is out now!

By Meikhel PhilogenePublished about a year ago 8 min read

Kerina is a 22-year-old Alternative R&B singer-songwriter from Reading. Inspired early on from the likes of Toni Braxton , JoJo , Adrienne Houghton, Mariah Carey, Natasha Bedingfield, Anastacia, and Christina Aguilera, her musical journey began when she started to sing from the age of four. Kerina developed her love for music from singing in church/school choirs and classical training. From these traditional ways of singing, Kerina acquired the wide range of vocal capabilities that she continues to utilise through more modernised R&B, Pop and Afrobeat styles. Additionally to her lengthy performance experience, in her early teenage years, she developed a deep interest in Latin American music and icons such as Gloria Estefan and TINI, which encouraged her to learn Spanish at an intermediate level. At this point, it was the singer’s aim to fuse the language with the music that she loved. Therefore, she developed her raspy distinctive sound by fusing old school R&B, Pop, Classical, Afro and Latin American musical styles together. She will also study a Masters Degree in Law in order to better understand how the entertainment, media, and technological legal world is governed.

With her single, “Do Better,” out now, we took some time to hear more from Kerina. Read below to learn more about Kerina, the story behind her latest single, and what’s to come.

Hi Kerina! Let’s start with how did you get your artist name?

Kerina is my middle name. I went with it because I realized that when I perform and write music, I become an alter ego. I am able to say things that I wouldn’t usually be able to say and express feelings that aren’t able to be expressed. Therefore, I took on my middle name as opposed to my first name to create this pathway of musical liberation in a sense.

What city are you from and where are you based now?

I am actually from Reading which is about 30 minutes from London. I grew up in Reading and sung here/trained here from three until about sixteen years old. I then took a break for a couple of years and went to Brighton (University of Sussex) to study law. While I was in Brighton, my music started to become more recognized by people, and I was encouraged to submit my music to local radio stations and Spotify. I found my confidence again in Brighton, and I owe so much to the people of Brighton. Since graduating from Law School, I am based in Reading.

At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in music? How did you get started?

Since I was four, I knew that I wanted to pursue music in some capacity. My first taste of the training that goes into singing was in school choirs. I went to a Catholic School for thirteen years, and so the choirs were taken very seriously. We learned a lot of amazing music techniques from our choir masters. I think my ability to devise extensive harmonies and be gifted with ability to pitch accurately comes from growing up in choirs. That came so naturally to me. I also did the singing exams for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, in which I got to put my musical prowess to the test, which prepared me to sing well and under pressure. I think when I was thirteen, I decided one of my career paths would be music, but it wasn’t until I was twenty that I thought that I could actually make this possible and grow my fanbase.

Has your upbringing played a role in shaping who you are and defining your sound today? If so, how?

I definitely think so. Being catholic and having a mother who is a gifted pianist, I listened to a lot of Classical music. Although Classical music is sung with a different technique to R&B, I could apply the softness and feeling from Classical to R&B music. I was lucky enough to be a millennial baby, so I got the chance to witness Destiny’s Child, Toni Braxton, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, but the amazing R&B artists that came from my favorite TV networks such as Raven Symoné, Ariana Grande, and more. Having this exposure to these artist really allowed me to enjoy R&B music from such a young age and be able to create an R&B subsection that consists of colorful rhythms and harmonies with my sound.

How would you describe your sound to readers who may not be familiar with you?

My sound is chill R&B fused with some Neo-Soul. Think of Jorja Smith fused with Lily Allen who had a musical baby with Raye! I aim not to make music that is perfect, but music that people can relate to and music that makes people feel something. I aim to also release some happier and upbeat chill songs as well!

Do you have any hobbies outside of music? What do you do to stay creative?

I love to learn new languages! Spanish is a language that I grew up falling in love with, so I started to learn it at fourteen. I wouldn’t say that I am anywhere near fluent, but I have been able to speak with native speakers of the language which has been great! I also love to read romantic novels too! I guess that is where all the dramatism in my songs comes from!

Who are some of your main musical influences?

I listen to every genre of music except, of course, Rock and Metal, so my influences range from Michael Jackson to an amazing Brazilian singer called Vitao. My other influences include Toni Braxton, Adrienne Houghton (The Cheetah Girls), Kehlani, and Nathy Peluso.

What are some of your future music career goals?

As cliché as it sounds, my goal is to release music in which many people can DM me and tell me that I helped them through a period of their life because that is what has made me a fan of all my musical influences. I would love to also be able to make enough money to fund a full Spanish language album because those are the types of songs that I absolutely loved growing up. Lastly, I’d like to build more of a musical presence on TikTok, which will be hard, but I think with the right amount of effort, it should be possible soon!

Now onto your release, ‘Do Better.’ What inspired this song?

When I’ve been asked this before, I never know whether to say the true answer or one that won’t hurt feelings. However, if I could say, I had gotten into an argument with my boyfriend at the time and it was very clear that we were at the end of the road. I’d made a myriad of mistakes, but my point was that I didn’t feel supported and that he would take his friends’ side over mine, even though I was the one that he was dating, not his friend. It was almost like a polyamorous relationship: me, him, and his friend. I am someone who likes to have a lot of boundaries, and I think that my boyfriend did not put any between the friend and my relationship. I didn’t feel as though I was the priority any more, and all I wanted was just to be stuck up for (justifiably). I did try to put this to my boyfriend at the time, but he wouldn’t want to hear it at all. So, I wrote this song angrily the next day while it was still fresh in my mind.

What is ‘Do Better’ about in your own words?

It is about wanting to be the priority in your significant other's life and realizing that if that is not the case, then maybe it is best to move onto someone else that will hear what you want and be able to give that to you. It is recognizing that your standards are valid and unique to you, and if a guy cannot live up to that and this impacts your mental health, it is best to find another. There are elements of confusion in the song which is what I felt at the time in which you think how can I move on if I still have feelings? But ultimately, the song goes back to the main message which is to move on and 'do better.'

What is your favorite lyric in ‘Do Better’ and why?

'I’m the one who got you out of trouble, so maybe now it’s time for you to grovel.' This is my absolute favorite line because it shows that in relationships, we may make sacrifices and we put our absolute everything in to better the other person, but it won’t always be valued. It is a harsh reality. It is saying ‘despite everything that I have done for you, why can’t you do the things that I would need in order to better myself?’

What message do you hope fans take away from your music and from ‘Do Better?’

If there is an important need that you have in a relationship, communicate this with your significant other. If this is not respected or you are gaslighted, you must recognize that you can do better and that there will be someone else. You come first, always.

What’s one of your proudest moments of your music career so far?

1000% being asked to perform for the BBC at Maida Vale Studios with other upcoming R&B artists. This was my first performance in about six years, so I was extremely nervous, and you can hear it in my voice, but I felt that my music was finally being acknowledged on such a public platform. I also made a lot of connections that I am still in touch with whom have provided me with so much wisdom. Also, achieving 1,000 monthly listeners on Spotify has been a proud moment!

What would you say are the greatest lessons you’ve learned so far?

To treat people with kindness because you never know what they are going through. Also, to always be the person to listen to people when they are being vulnerable and opening up.

What’s next for you? Are you working on any upcoming projects, or do you have any upcoming shows that we should be on the lookout for?

I have an acoustic gig on 31st May in Brighton – South Lanes Studios. Also, I have a nostalgic 2000s R&B chill song in the pipeline, stay tuned!

Where can we follow you on social media?

Before you go, let's ask you something random. What is your favorite food?

My favorite food would have to be taquitos!

Thank you for the great interview; wish you much continued success!

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About the Creator

Meikhel Philogene




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