Could Boca Raton produce another pop star?
In the wake of Ariana Grande’s rise to worldwide fame, a virtual unknown who also hails from Boca has just hit ninth on this week’s Billboard Dance Music chart.
With a song she co-wrote and sings, Kendra Erika, 23, finds herself in a top 10 that includes mega stars Sia, Ed Sheeran, Niall Horan and Britney Spears.
“It’s freaky,” said the singer, whose full name is Kendra Erika Fulmer. “That means that just about anyone who spends a couple hours in any club in this country is likely to hear my song.”
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The reasons, says Fulmer, is that the song, “Oasis,” has been remixed by seven DJs already, something that made it spread like wildfire.
Incidentally, Erika has yet to get a distribution deal and gets her song to the public through her own website plus Spotify and iTunes.
Like Grande, Erika is the daughter of upper-middle-class parents who were financially able to send her private St. Andrews for high school, then Lynn University for college. Mom Ingrid Fulmer is a high-profile commercial Realtor; Dad is Fred Fulmer, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer.
But while she majored in communication and international business, singing and writing her own music was always on Erika’s mind, she said.
At 10, she was tutored by a classical music coach from Berlin until Miami producers David and Jonathan Julca and music engineer Lazaro Rodriguez took her under their wings.
“I might be from Boca, but my music is really inspired by Miami,” says Erika, who sings several times each week at the Boca wine club Vino. “Those guys showed me how to write and produce and all of that.”
While her current success isn’t enough to pay her bills, Erika says, it could open the door to stardom.
Actually, Erika says she doesn’t know Grande and isn’t that keen to talk about the superstar. She is, Erika says, on her own original path.
When asked what it is about her hometown that makes fertile ground for young female talent, Erika says people there are receptive to and supportive of talent like her.
“I’ve got a lot of genuine support in Boca,” she said. “A lot of emotional support, which is the most important.”