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June 27, 2022

Interview with Erika Ender

We had the pleasure of interviewing Erika Ender over Zoom video.

Panamanian singer, songwriter, producer, communicator, and philanthropist Erika Ender is celebrating 30 years in the business by sharing a video for her breath-taking version of...


We had the pleasure of interviewing Erika Ender over Zoom video.

Panamanian singer, songwriter, producer, communicator, and philanthropist Erika Ender is celebrating 30 years in the business by sharing a video for her breath-taking version of “Abrázame,” a song from her ambitious MP3-45 album. The visual functions as a salute of her past while looking into the future, as we see her vision of a romantic vintage era delivered in her unique style.

Originally by Julio Iglesias, Ender picked “Abrázame” as one of the three cover versions that makes up the Side B portion of her album MP3-45; produced by Moogie Canazio, this selection is a way of acknowledging some of the music that made an impact on her as a young person. Although Ender has excelled as a songwriter for most of her career, we now focus on her performing abilities which are just as impressive, taking the broken-hearted feelings of the lyrics and delivering them with poise and subtleness. Of her choice, Ender says, “When I was about two years old, I used to refer to Julio Iglesias as ‘Mi Novio’. I wasn’t supposed to be playing vinyl records myself, because I would scratch them—but I did anyway.” Her admiration for the crooner shines through on her version.

Erika Ender is an artist that is hard to pigeonhole yet there’s one thing that shines through all her different facets—her big-hearted emotions. As a songwriter, she has more than 200 albums under her belt and more than 40 top singles; perhaps her biggest achievement was co-writing “Despacito,” the chart-smashing hit that managed to stay a record number 16 weeks on the number one spot of the Billboard Hot 100, earning Ender awards, accolades, and nominations to some of the biggest recognitions from the industry, including Latin Grammys for Record of the Year and Song of the Year, as well as nominations at the 2018 Grammys, making her the only Latina woman to be nominated for Record and Song of the Year. She has also written hit singles for the likes of Marc Anthony, Jenni Rivera, Los Tigres Del Norte, Chayanne, and many others. As a solo artist, she has been releasing albums since 2007’s Ábreme La Puerta, making the top of the Billboard Latin charts with some of her own hits.

Released in 2020, MP3-45 is composed of six original songs and three covers. Along with “Abrázame,” there’s also “When I Fall In Love” by Nat King Cole and “Só Louco” by Gal Costa. With this, Erika Ender delivers a part of her history with a hint of what’s to come.

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Transcript

Hello! It is Adam. Welcome back to bringing it backwards. A podcast where both legendary and rising artists tell their own personal stories of how they achieve stardom. On this episode, we had the incredible opportunity to speak with Erika ender. Over zoom video. Erica has written so many songs has so many Ords. She's written probably the biggest song on the planet to this day called <inaudible>, but she was kind enough to hang out with us and tell us her entire life story. As a musician, celebrating 30 years as an artist this year, born and raised in Panama, always surrounded by music was performing at an early age, singing at an early age. 4 (2m 7s): She could pick up notes on the piano at a very early age. Her godmother taught her some chords on guitar. So she started playing guitar at an early age before the age of 18, she was discovered and put on television in Panama. She did this for a handful of years, ended up getting robbed, losing that job, getting robbed. So at this point it has absolutely nothing. She decides to, you know, take the jump, move to Miami and try to make music happen. After a couple of years living in Miami, she finally gets a couple of breaks. Has some of her songs recorded. She tells us about having to send her songs as he ender. Instead of Erica, this was hard to get in the doors with people as a woman, she would have males sing on her demos so she could pitch the song as a male vocalist. 4 (2m 55s): We heard about her winning her first Grammy award, a crazy story that went along with that to writing desperate Ceto and honestly changing the world with that song. It has nearly 8 billion views on YouTube alone, but the song changed the world and she tells us all about that. And her brand new EAP, which is called MP3 45, where she did three original songs on one side. And then the other side were three cover songs. She's never recorded a cover song, only original material until this record. So she talks to us about that as well. You can watch the interview with Erika ender on our Facebook page and YouTube channel at bringing it backwards. 4 (3m 35s): It would be so amazing if you subscribe to our channel like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Tik TOK at bringing back pod. And if you are listening to this on Spotify, apple music, Google podcasts, it would be amazing if you follow us there as well, and hook us up with a five star review. 5 (3m 53s): We'd appreciate your support. If you follow and subscribe to our podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts, 4 (3m 59s): We're bringing it backwards with Erika Ander by names, Adam. And this is about you and your journey and music. And we'll talk about the, the new or new record you have out and the cover songs that are on that as well. And I just can't wait to hear your story. 6 (4m 15s): All right. Let's do it. 4 (4m 17s): Cool. So born and raised in Panama, is that what I read 6 (4m 20s): Born and raised in Panama, my dad was, you know, born and raised in the canal zone of Panama, which was American territory until 1999, December, 1999. So he was born and raised there. And then he went to New York, did his high school, went to Brazil, med my mom. They, you know, they studied medicine together. He brought her to Panama. So then I, I was born and raised mostly in Panama. 4 (4m 47s): Wow. Your parents are doctors then 6 (4m 49s): Their parents are doctors. 4 (4m 51s): Yeah, that's so cool. And then, so I mean, being so musical, like how did that land into your life? Did you come from like, were your parents musical at all? 6 (5m 0s): Well, you know that my grandma and my mom's side was an oppressing room. My dad wanted to be like Frank Sinatra thing. I can listen to a Frank St address song without thinking about my dad. So he grew up listening to a lot of music and they fell in love with each other, singing to each other. That's how they learned to speak, you know, Spanish and English, my mom and Portuguese, my dad, there were teaching. Interesting. So my house, my house was always filled with music and I grew up listening to a lot of things from my mom's side. Like a lot of Brazilian music, boats. I know last somebo, even a little bit of a DPF cause my mom comes from a French Portuguese background. 6 (5m 43s): And then on my dad's side, all the American, you know, music, a lot of big men, Nat king Cole put a lot also of Latino music, you know, from, from those times, from the vinyl times. 4 (5m 56s): Wow. Wow. And were you singing at a very early age? Like how did you get into music or piano? How did you start off? 6 (6m 3s): I started, you know, I, I was my, I don't know how you call that. We call it and BD go like, when you, when you, when you have it from, since you're little, I would listen to the notes and I would go to a piano and find the notes and start doing it like 4 (6m 17s): Pitch pretty much, 6 (6m 21s): You know, I was very musical. So then, then my grandma, I mean, my aunt that is also my godmother, my mom's sister, she taught me my first chords in the guitar. So I would just like play a little bit of everything. And then later on I had some classes. 4 (6m 38s): Interesting. Okay. So it was all a little bit of everything. Piano. You could hear something, go to the piano and then find the notes on the piano and then eventually learned chords on guitar. 6 (6m 46s): Exactly. I don't consider myself a great musician, but I play enough to make my songs and to, you know, perform or whatever I need. I, I really, you know, praise people that really live out of practicing an instrument. I mostly, I would say I'm a storyteller. I still music and lyrics. 4 (7m 4s): I was going to say, you probably consider yourself more of a songwriter then just using those as like an vehicle to, to write the music that you write 6 (7m 12s): Exactly. 4 (7m 14s): Were you always a storyteller, like where you writing from a very early age as well? Like was that senior 6 (7m 19s): This weekend? If there's a, there's a TV special coming out that tells my whole story and that I got to remember it. Remember right now I'm celebrating 30 years of career. Right. So I was seeing just yesterday, I was seeing that, that segment of the show where I was like with my little, you know, fluffy hair. Cause I ha I got curls and going to Brazil when I was like nine. And that's exactly when I started writing my first songs. Cause I would have all my family from my mom's side in Brazil, we would go like for three months I would spend my vacations there. And then I would like be with my cousins and everything, my grandparents, my uncles, aunts, everything. 6 (8m 2s): And then I would come back with the stories of what I lived during the vacations. So that was kind of like putting melody and music together from an early age. I wouldn't call myself a songwriter, but I would kind of like telling stories through music since I was like nine. 4 (8m 17s): Wow. And with like, when did you start showing the songs? Like when did it become apparent that you're like, oh, these are actually like songs and I should continue doing what I'm doing. Okay. 6 (8m 28s): Since that moment, because that would go straight to my parents. Listen, since I was very little, I was like two, when I would go to my family and my grandparents and everyone like, Hey, I have a new show today. Can you please gather your 4 (8m 42s): Entertaining? 6 (8m 43s): I was very professional since day one. Like I was sitting in front of my mirror the whole week with my music. I, I, I never asked for, I mean, I've my probably I did know, ask for certain dolls, but they all had to like either dance thing, do something, you know, does something artistically. And I would mostly ask for Curry Okies and microphones and everything. So I would go like, Hey, I have a new show for this week. So the whole company was waiting for me to, you know, perform every week. And also at school I would go like, Hey teacher, can I pass? You know, to the front? Cause I've been rehearsing for the whole week. I was very much like that. 4 (9m 20s): Oh wow. You're very ambitious. Yeah. That's cool that you would go at school too. I mean just go up and be like, I'm going to perform for my whole class, which I seriously think is the most, like when I hear stories of artists saying like their first performances were at school, talent shows and things like that, I'm thinking like that could possibly be the most terrifying thing ever if you're playing a coffee shop to 20 people, you're never going to see again versus playing your whole peer group and kids. You're going to have to continue seeing every day at school. Like that just seems like such a different level of vulnerability really. 6 (9m 55s): Well, I don't know what happened to me when they made me, but I had no shame at all. 4 (10m 1s): For 6 (10m 1s): Me, the terrifying thing would be to just, you know, stand still. I was like, Hey, I got something going on. And then it was fun for everyone to see. So they would allow me to do everything. You know, I wouldn't even even take my mom's boys to call the, took all the shows. Like let's say like kind of like a system of streets of Panama and things like that. And we had like a show called <inaudible>. I would call everywhere to, you know, book the appointments and go there and perform for the shows. And my mom was like, you have to ask for permission first. And I'm like, I am my own manager. Where are you talking about? 4 (10m 36s): That's so cool. That is so cool. That's brilliant. I've heard people say that too. Like they'll make a fake email address. And like, so they're like the manager, but the do it on the phone. Hey, I'm Erica Andrew's manager. And I was wondering if you can book her at your gig. 6 (10m 53s): Exactly. Well, later on in life, I had to do that when I didn't have the budget to like actually pay someone to be a hundred percent of the time, my assistant or something, I would be Marcella and then I would do my own for sure. 4 (11m 8s): Oh, that is so funny. That is so cool. When like going through school and stuff, are you playing? Obviously you're performing. So were you in the orchestra or choir or anything like that? And then did you get into going to school for that as well? 6 (11m 22s): You have no idea how I was yelling every time that we were rehearsing for the, for the background, like, Hey teacher, hear me. She never picked me for the, for the, for the courts ever. 4 (11m 32s): Really? 6 (11m 33s): No, which was great because that gave me more time to rehearse for my own shows. 4 (11m 37s): I was still looking back into that. Teacher's probably like, what was I doing? I should reconsider my career. 6 (11m 46s): You never picked me. I wonder what she's thinking right now. 4 (11m 50s): Maybe she's reconsidering what she's doing with her life. Like how did I miss this? Yeah. Oh, wow. So did you guys end up going to then to college or anything for school? 6 (12m 1s): I'm sorry. 4 (12m 2s): Did you attend like college for music as well or no. 6 (12m 5s): Well, you know that impediment, we didn't have performing arts or music back then. So I wanted to come to Miami and make my, you know, my career out of performing arts. And then my parents were like, no, you know, the world is going crazy. Imagine now. So what I did was the, you know, the closest one, which was mass communications. That's what I studied while I was still writing and, you know, and performing, I wasn't TV for a long time in my country as well. You know, that I was singing at a summit of presidents, central American presidents in Panama. And then the PA just went off the track because back then you were singing to a track. 4 (12m 46s): Right. 6 (12m 47s): I was singing to a track and then to track just, you know, stopped. And I had to start entertaining people. And there was a TV producer there. I was a minor still. And he goes to my dad like, Hey, she has talent. Like I would like to cast her for TV. So TV was a total accident in my life that I blessed a lot. Cause it taught me a lot, but it came out of that thing that happened. So right after I started like entertaining people. And then when the music came back big, you know, they gave me a round of applause, like a standing ovation. That was very cute. I think that since I was, I was so shameless that I would just be as enthusiastic and spontaneous as possible. 6 (13m 28s): So people would connect to that. Yeah. 4 (13m 30s): Yeah. They're probably like, wow, like she really enjoys what she's doing or you know, like just the fact that you have that most vulnerability to get up there and be like, I'm just going to be me. Yeah. People connect with that for sure. 6 (13m 43s): That's the word, you know, like authenticity, no pulses or no, I didn't freak out. I'm like, oh, this happens to anyway. So Like, yeah, that's kind of like call the attention of his people. And then I started working on TV while I was, you know, writing and singing, but Panama didn't have that platform for, you know, for people that wants to do pop music or, you know, any kind of music to internationalize from there. So I had to, I knew since I was a little girl that if, if that wouldn't change while I was growing up, I would have to, I would have to move somewhere. And then when I was very little, like a nine, I would tell my mom like, Hey, you see how everybody is singing conga. 6 (14m 28s): That song that Gloria Estefan is performing throughout the world. I want the world to sing my song stew. I told my mom, 4 (14m 35s): Wow, no, they are obviously 6 (14m 39s): <inaudible> how are you going to make a living out of music? And I'm like, I'm probably going to have to go. Cause we kind of, it doesn't have the means, but I don't know. I mean, she knew that I was very determined, but at the moment that it, when I was like 22, she really got shocked. Like, oh my gosh, she's really doing it. You know? 4 (14m 57s): And did you, is that when he moved to Miami or? 6 (15m 0s): Okay. Okay. 4 (15m 2s): So you moved to Miami with just a passion and a handful of songs. And then how does like the ball start rolling for you? 6 (15m 10s): Oh my God. I thought that that show that I did would open some doors, which didn't really happen. I got to meet some people that I got to interview and everything, but then when you're knocking on doors, not everybody opens them for you. Right. Didn't have to start all over again. And I was pretty well known in Penn because I had this primetime show that was three hours every Saturday. 4 (15m 29s): Wow. 6 (15m 31s): Yeah. I mean, I got, I got fired out of that show because two TV channels merged and they had to fire like 300,000, 300,300 people. 4 (15m 42s): No, I, I come from radio communications. I know exactly how all that stuff works. When I saw that you had a degree in mass communication, it's like, oh, that's cool. Let's put a date, but yeah. Okay. I totally get that. Yeah. May merge. And then they find who makes the most money or who they can re you know, hire a cheaper person. It's just, yeah. That's just the nature of the beast when it comes to that industry. But yeah. 6 (16m 4s): And then they have the union. So, and I wasn't part of the union yet. Cause I had to be, you know, from, as I, I started as a minor, as I told you. Yeah. So then I turned 18 on TV and then, you know, as time was passing by, they, they say like, Hey, you really, you know, you've given so much to this channel because it was not only what I was doing, performing, you know, in front of the cameras. But I was also producing, writing, doing a lot of stuff. And they're like, we don't want to lose you, but we have to fire you due to what's happening right now. Can we hire you again with through professional services, just for you to do this. And I was like, you know, I think this is a right moment for me to get this money that I'm getting out of, you know, out of this, how do you call it? 6 (16m 49s): We call it <inaudible> in Spanish. Like when they terminate you. 4 (16m 54s): Oh yeah. Like a severance package type deal, like a set like that are going to just give you some money and be like, okay, sorry, you know, here's some money so you can live for the next month or two or whatever it is. Okay. Yeah. Like a severance. 6 (17m 5s): Exactly. So I got that, all of that. And I just went straight to Miami and started all over and then it was my savings. And the first month that I was living in Miami, I was staying at my aunt's house, bad one that taught me how to play my first 4 (17m 20s): Guitar. 6 (17m 22s): And then someone got, I mean, some, some guys got inside of my apartment that I was just married and the apartment that we got, that we were putting together for like nine months, this people came in and robbed everything. So I had nothing to go back to. 4 (17m 39s): Oh my gosh. That was in Miami. 6 (17m 41s): That was in Panama. 4 (17m 43s): Oh, in Panama. Okay. I 6 (17m 44s): Got married before I left 4 (17m 47s): Panama and then everything like that, must've so tragic. I mean, you come home and there's nothing there. 6 (17m 53s): It's like your savings, you know, disappear. You have nowhere to go back. And then I was like knocking on every door and nothing was opening. And of course I was a woman. I was super young. I wanted to be a songwriter in a world of men. It was not possible in the Latino world. They were telling me like, oh, beautiful songs, but they sound too feminine. So I started like coming up with ideas of how to send the songs for them to, you know, get in without that lack of vision than men had in that industry at the moment. And then that would be like E enter instead of Erica Ander and ask male friends to sing the demos so that they could go through for the song I was writing it. 6 (18m 37s): And then when they made it to certain projects, I was like, Hey, it's me. Oh, wow. In the back door to get in. Yeah. It was 20 something years ago. 4 (18m 47s): Yeah. But still, I mean, I mean, you still see that nowadays. I mean, obviously it's changed quite a bit, but like I've talked to other artists before. And the thing that I say is like, if I have a laptop with like garage band on it and I can come out and say, I'm a producer where I feel like females don't get the same respect when it comes to that. Like I can put together any garbage that I just came up with on garage band. I spent 15 minutes on it and it's like, I'm a producer. And I'm gonna use that as my whole thing pitch. And like, I feel like there's so much more to prove for women, unfortunately it's awful. But yeah, 6 (19m 23s): It's part of the culture. You know, I think that women were more, you know, in the house taking care of the kids, you know, taking care of the husband, taking care of everything, but then you understand, I don't know who invented that to tell you the truth. Cause women are capable. And I believe that any human being has to just pursue their dreams and be happy. Of course we have this motherly thing, then it's important because we get to unite people. We're empathetic. We, we, we, we're the glue that sticks everything together, which is beautiful as men are great also for, you know, hunting and being out there and bringing good things to the, to the house. And you know, until the table, I mean, physically we're different, but we do have a lot of capabilities, you know, that are, I mean, not free competing, but for sharing. 6 (20m 9s): And I, I, I did learn a lot from that path. It was not easy at all. I always tell people like, when do you hear like, oh my female songwriter, my female producer, my female engineer. That's not the usual. Right? So it's an industry of man. And, but I didn't want to see it at any point. I saw it as discrimination. I was trying to look the half full part of the glass. And I said, you know, maybe it's like a vision. They don't, they don't even, it's not that it's not something personal it's maybe that they were thought like that. I have to show them that whatever I bring to the table is going to benefit all. And that's what I started doing. 6 (20m 49s): So I started collaborating with men nowadays more than 80% of the songs that have been recorded in my career have been recorded by men. I am always the only girl in the studio girl around. I learned so much from men because you guys are so simple. Like, what do you think is what you do and what you say? And I love it because women are a little more dramatic sometimes, you know, sometimes she tells you like, Hey, just go. And they want you to stay. I learned a lot of codes from the men side, which helped me a lot in my life. And I learned that you can be a feminist without losing your, your feminine ways. 6 (21m 31s): And that what's important is to just bring good results and to understand that when we collaborate and we, we bring things that the benefit, everyone, everything turns out good for everyone. And, and then your name and your credibility goes up there, you know, displace 4 (21m 48s): For sure with, with that, like what was the first moment that kind of changed everything for you? I mean, if you were struggling, you're writing songs, you're having been singing songs to try to get a credit or are getting these rooms. Like, was there a moment when a song finally got cut or something big happened for you? And w when did that happen? 6 (22m 9s): Almost two years after I got here to tell you that it was very hard at the beginning, then I got robbed. As I told you that I was losing everything. I mean, my, my savings were like going out, you know, disappearing. And then I was like, you know, like doing everything I could, I started all over again. I did jingles. I did, I translated stuff from 40 days to Spanish. Portuguese saved me. I was the, like the, the voice of discovery kids for a while. 4 (22m 38s): Really. I 6 (22m 39s): Sack a bunch of, you know, brand commercials and everything in Portuguese at the beginning, cause fat Spanish, like Spanish was packed in my 4 (22m 49s): Right. 6 (22m 49s): Well, that's what saved me for a while, but it wasn't enough for me to make it like a good living. So, and everything that I had, I was putting in my demos and everything. And I got to meet some people from the industry that started like listening more to my songs and everything until I write the English version of <inaudible>, which is a song that was very famous in Latin America, they were doing the crossover. They even sang there. The group was named some by four. They sound within sync at the Grammys that, that I wrote. And then I go in, you know, I go straight to the HUD 100, I mean, via the mainstream hundred with that English version, which so many was, you know, looking for the, for the right one that really would kind of like portray the, the soul of the, the original song. 6 (23m 42s): And they didn't find the right one until I sent this one. Thank God I am there as Evander, not even arrogant hinder. And then no, but later on the prison of so many kinda knew who I was everything. And we started working together. But back there, like, then I'm sorry. I would say that that was the first break, but that song wasn't really mine. So I don't count it as a, some of that. I wrote that made, you know, a difference. So after that, then they left from Chaya and CHAM is like our, like a Ricky Martin for us in Latin America, he recorded a song that I co-wrote with <inaudible> that made it to the top 25 and they're yeah. 6 (24m 27s): Music As well. And then I, mama was a huge hit in Europe. So I think that that's the one that led me, you know, start saving a little bit, buying a new car in the U S buying my, putting the down payment for my house and everything. And then everything started all over it for me in that field. Because before that, and when I was doing everything that I'm telling you, like the voice of discovery kids, I got an agent and everything, and I got to present. How was a TV host for a year for discovery channel on this technology show? While I was recording my demos on everything still, you know, the first year was very tough. 6 (25m 7s): The second one I had this job where I was in front of the camera. So TV saved me once again. And then I kept, you know, recording my demos and everything. When I saw that, that a door open, then I left TV again. 4 (25m 20s): Okay. So it sounds like songwriting, obviously for you is huge. You write, you wrote these songs than other people were cutting them. Did you also were pursuing your artist project at the same time? 6 (25m 30s): Yes. You know that I started singing when I was 16. I told you the whole thing about the Americans on everything. So when I started singing formerly, I was like 16 and I pursued that career in my country and did whatever I could, you know, until I, I hit the ceiling there. Cause I told you there was no platform. So when I came here, I understood that in the big leagues singing was another thing you needed a big major company back then. You needed a lot of stuff that maybe today you don't need because you go straight to streaming. Right, right. Distribution companies back then, you didn't have that. So you had a lot of things that the music industry has also, there is corruption. There is everything, you know, my values didn't allow me to do a lot of stuff. 6 (26m 13s): So I kept, I stick to my values and I said, you know what? I'm just going to write for others until the moment comes. And then I kept writing the list of peoples, you know, started growing and in 2005, because Pembina was recorded in 2000. And then I got my first ask of a word that was super cute. Yes. And then in 2005, I come out with my own thing that I paid, you know, I paid for my own album. And then I started to ring server several places in Latin America. I got like number ones and pay all Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, my country, Panama, Spain. 6 (26m 54s): So I was doing it simultaneously, you know, cause I stopped for awhile and I was mostly writing for others until I released that international album. 4 (27m 3s): Okay. And then when you're kind of performing as your, your artist project, you're also writing still for other people where you just in sessions or what'd you write a song and be like, oh, like, you know, this really doesn't work for me, but I know I could probably pitch it to somebody else, 6 (27m 18s): You know? And usually I would write for myself what I need to express. And then when I would write for someone else, it's either something that I haven't kept in the catalog that I think that fits that person. Or mostly I sit down with the artist and I try to do something that is totally, you know, custom made. So it never was a big problem for me. And then when I'm in shows, I also do like medleys of the songs that other people have sang. And then I tell this story, so it's 4 (27m 45s): Oh, cool. That is cool. Yeah. Well I want to just skip ahead just cause I want to talk to you about your, your new stuff that you have coming that just came out with the MP3 45, but I'm curious with obviously desperate, desperate, desperate, sick. I can see best buy Ceto. That's like the biggest song ever. It was the biggest video on YouTube for a number of years. Like just looking at the stream. I mean the views on that video, there are more views on that music video than human beings living on this earth. Like 6 (28m 20s): That amazing. 4 (28m 21s): Isn't that like mind blowing. Yeah. Like when that song, when you, you write the song, obviously, you know, it's a great song, but how like when, how do you start seeing like everybody in the world being like, this is like the best, like the greatest thong, 6 (28m 38s): You know, that we wrote that song a year and a half before I got me launched. It was like September, 2000, less than a year one. Let me see almost two years. Yeah. September, 2015. And that was made out of a guitar add phone suits, you know, house. He had this idea for some morning. He was like, Hey, I have this idea that we'll be up that where I'm splitting the syllables of the word Despacito, which already means slowly, you know? Right. And then he said to me, that person Lang like this spot, what do you think about this Aragon? He goes like this <inaudible> and then an employee, the Rico. And he says like, I want to say something like, you know, Cato said, Luna play in Puerto Rico. 6 (29m 21s): Like I want to make it a, want to make out in, in Puerto Rico, you know, then the beach. And then I responded rhyming, like <inaudible> until the waves scream IMB, the, which is, which is a slang bay happier. Right. And then we started laughing out of that. I said like, I love the idea. I think it's amazing. And then he kind of like had the phrasing, but the notes would were going somewhere else. We're lower notes. So we started changing that melody up. So it became a little more, a little happier on the hook. And we started doing the whole thing from scratch out of a guitar, no beats, no producer, nothing super organic. 6 (30m 2s): That song came, you know, came out like in three hours, we did it like from three to six at six. And I was already going to my house when we were writing it. We were like, reviving it, you know, it was flowing. So, but nothing. So I'm going to have to go. Maybe I'll win for him. And he goes crazy a little bit for him. So then it was very natural. Yes. We were feeling like we had a big thing in our hands, but usually Adam, when you go into a studio and you have zero and things start flowing, you always feel the same thing because it's beautiful to walk in and have zero walkout and have a work of art. 6 (30m 46s): That would be like the soundtrack of so many people's lives. So that same feeling you've had before. I can't tell you like, oh, I know that this song is going to break all records. No, we put all of our energy there. We knew that we had a hit, but we've had that, you know, that feeling before and it has happened not as huge, but it has happened. What we can never imagine that it would make a difference in the world in such a way that Spanish would, you know, make it to mainstream. Because usually I was, I was pursuing that. So since I was watching conga, but I thought that I would have to write it in English, maybe with some Latin rhythms, but in English. 6 (31m 29s): And now you go to Australia, you go to at the Emirates, you go anywhere in the world and then you hear it, Rosalia, Balvin, Maluma after that. So, which is a huge, you know, a huge blessing that very same day that it came out, which was January 13th at the end of the day, when he calls me like, Hey, we have, he called me like four hours after everyone's lunch. And he's like, Hey, congratulations, my friend, we're number one in 14 countries. And I'm like, oh my God, good resolutions. You know, I need to go in to regulate you. You're the one defending the song. And then by the end of the day, I'm getting hashtags. Cause people, you know, in the industry and everything knows most people. 6 (32m 12s): So they knew that I, that I co-wrote the song. And then I started seeing hashtags of people around the industry and of other fingers. Other singles started singing the song the same day. And they were like, you know, pulling the lyrics of the song the very same day and doing their own versions and everything. So we'd became viral like this. And then it was a snowball that never, never stopped. Yeah. 4 (32m 37s): Yeah. I can't, it's insane to see how, I mean, like I said, the song is obviously incredible, but to see how massive it got and just like to the point where like, you know, Justin Bieber's featuring on it, like, and then he's just like keeps going. Like it's already massive. And then it just keeps going and going and going and going. And it's like the biggest song in the world, 6 (32m 57s): Adam, and the way it happened because we were, we were already working in the English lyrics of the song and then universal was proposing to people to fancy. So they could do that version. And out of nowhere, Justin Bieber hears a song in Columbia and he calls to say that he wants to record it. I mean, it was like, everything just got perfectly aligned. 4 (33m 18s): Yeah. I mean, well, your guys' version has the what's really cool. I think is that your, the version that you, you all did first is the one that has the incredible music, video views and all of that, like his version obviously is does, but it's like yours is that nearly 8 billion people have watched the video and then the beaver one, not that it's not great. It's like 22 million, which is still insane. Right. But it's like the fact that the one that you guys originally create it wasn't like the song was there and then Justin Bieber gets on it and then it goes big. It was like, the song was already the biggest thing ever. And then he wants to get into part of it because it's art. I mean, it's already a thing. Right. 6 (33m 57s): We also have to give it to him that, I mean, the fact that he took a so fast, he took the song so fast to number one and it kept there for 16 weeks, I think then when he jumps in, because he jumps in like in April. So it was, looks like a second launching of the song. We were already number one, like in, in UK, which supposedly never a Spanish song. It made it to the number one in the UK. 4 (34m 23s): That's crazy, 6 (34m 24s): Like for 10 weeks. And then in, in, in Italy we were number one, like for three months, some crazy stuff like that. And then when he jumps in, we were already like, I think in number 30, something or 40 in the top 100 going all the way up. But when he sings it from in a week, it goes from like the forties to number nine, then next week to number three. And then it stays in number one for 16 weeks and ties up Mariah Carey song and boys to men. So I do think that the, the, the fact that he jumped in, even if the song was being a phenomenon really made it, it really made a difference on the mainstream world, especially in the U S so I think that's so, and it's so beautiful that he decided to record it mostly in Spanish. 4 (35m 12s): Right. I know. That's so cool. 6 (35m 15s): Mark. A trending. 4 (35m 16s): Yeah. It's amazing. It's so, so amazing. And the fact that you're celebrating 30 years as an artist, like, that's so cool, like congratulations on that. And you put out the MP3 45, that's the most recent record. Correct. And you did a few covers on it and a music video you just released, like, tell me about that. Like, you know, coming to 30 years as a career then, is it like, okay, I want to use these songs and I'm going to do these three covers. Like, where was your mind at that point? 6 (35m 43s): It's the first time that I'm ever recording a song that I didn't write to tell you the truth? Cause my, yeah, my song writing is like my way of expressing when you're a singer songwriter, you have things to say, but then since this was my 30th anniversary, you stop. And you think like, Hey, what made me? It's not only the experiences. It's not only, you know, the songs you have done. It's not only the awards and the people that have trusted your, you know, your stories or your talent is the people that isn't your hard drive, you know, in the back in the back of your brain and deep inside your heart, that I really believe that makes someone. And when I was little, I was telling you, I was so exposed to so many kinds of artists and music in general, that I stepped in to say, you know what? 6 (36m 32s): I would love to make something that honors those vinyl records to here when I was little, that really made me without me knowing, you know, that that teaches, that taught me to, you know, to write this certain way or to maybe create melodies in a certain way. You know, I, I, I really think that Bill's singers and those songs shaped me in a way. So then I said, you know what, I'm going to do this, all them called MP3 45 BMP three side is the ACE side because it went out in digital and in vinyl as well. And I said, it's the two, Erica's the Erica that is, you know, Alvin guard that doesn't care that goes, you know, in front of everyone and says like, Hey, I have something to show you here. 6 (37m 18s): But the classic Erica that also, you know, praises every single instrument, the time that every musician takes to practice it, the big, bad era, like everything. So I did the, the, a side that was the MP3 side out of the songs that I wrote for this album. And then the B side, which is the songs that I honor, that made me in some way. 4 (37m 42s): And then it comes back to the 40 fives from the vinyl and back in yeah, the RPMs. Wow. 6 (37m 49s): So then the, right now we already did like all the, you know, the videos and all the promotion for the, the songs that I, that I've written as a songwriter singer songwriter. And now we're starting with the Erika that goes back to the divas that I used to admire when I was little. So I switched to an old Hollywood look. 4 (38m 7s): Oh, so that's what the video is for a resume. Okay. You're on the stage and it, yeah, it's that old Hollywood feel like if you're at a nightclub 6 (38m 16s): Exactly old Hollywood feel. And then I sang a certain, you know, classic songs that really made a difference in my life and that have anecdotes behind. So I'm going to, this one that we're using right now is in Spanish. I would ask him if that was originally performed and written by Hulu, but then we're also going to do so. Local is from <inaudible> from Brazil, that the singer was adult cost that she had like this big hair on. I w when I was little, I was like, she has big hair and she is fine because I had big hair on. I got fully cool. And then we're going to, I'm going to sing also when I fall in love from that in Cole, you know, other songs that really marked me in some way, and I want to, you know, live that fantasy of being one of those 50 Stevens. 4 (39m 3s): I love that I'm 6 (39m 4s): Honoring bad. 4 (39m 6s): Are you doing video? You're going to do videos for the other two as well. 6 (39m 9s): Yes, we already did. 4 (39m 10s): Now. You did. Okay. Very, very cool. I love it. I love the video you did for a resume. That's the one I've seen so far and it's like, yeah, it's so cool. It's all it's shot in black and white. And you know, the way that you you're just like onstage. And it just has that like total old Hollywood in a nightclub, you know, little candles on the table type look to it. I don't know. It's so cool. 6 (39m 33s): Yeah, yeah, yeah. For sure. I'm super excited about it. And we reported it part of it. I have a story to tell you, 4 (39m 41s): It's 6 (39m 42s): Mostly in Brazil because I want it to sound jazzy. I want it to sound like global, but with a touch of Brazil, because my family's from Brazil, as I told you, I touch up Latin. I touch up Brazil, but I'm also like global, right? So we recorded part of it in Brazil. Then we recorded in Capitol records in LA. And you believe that the day that I'm recording, when I fall in love the person in the studio out of six studio, six different studios, Stephanie like, Hey, do you know that he recorded the song originally? This studio 4 (40m 13s): Really 6 (40m 15s): Pray remembering my dad, when my, my dad would play that song for me, you know, really, I want to see it. So it took me to the back, you know, to the, to the back room where they have like the, I don't know how to call the, this, this blessing, this, I don't know how to say that. 4 (40m 32s): Like awards and stuff, 6 (40m 35s): Like the actual, 4 (40m 36s): Oh, the tape, like the tape. Okay. 6 (40m 41s): And then I go back there and I see that, you know, the tracking of the songs that were recorded in that very same studio. And I go like, oh my God, thank you for the energy and the magic. And thank you for the memories. 4 (40m 54s): That's so cool. That is so cool. That's awesome. And then I think they have his mic there, right? That he recorded that song on. I it's probably in some glass, I've just heard somebody tells me about that. Like, that's like some Relic in that building. 6 (41m 8s): Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's such a, I mean, a special energy, you know, how many people pass by there, by there. And it's such amazing records. Music meets that so much. 4 (41m 18s): Yes, I totally agree. And are you still writing songs? I would imagine 6 (41m 22s): I am still writing songs right now. I have two singles that are out there in the Latino market. The theaters and north bay right now has a song called can <inaudible>. They, weren't the ones that practically handed me my first Grammy. Wow. You know, the regional Mexican, but it's a very, Machel John Ruh. You know, usually someone that is a woman would not write for men in that genre and especially a woman that is not Mexican. So it was a beautiful moment when they got to pick this song that I co-wrote as well with money, Ken and Manu, and it won a Grammy. It was my first Grammy and my first Grammy, wasn't the most difficult, you know, John rhe that I could have won it in, in the Latino world. 6 (42m 11s): So 4 (42m 11s): Now the actual moment, like, oh my 6 (42m 14s): God. And four days before I had appendicitis. So I almost didn't make it to the Grammys. I had a lot of stories to tell him, 4 (42m 22s): Oh my that's crazy. Wow. 6 (42m 28s): I was so motivated because you know, that we were with that Panama was with this huge scandal of the Panama papers. And, you know, I have such a beautiful country. We all, you know, have beautiful countries, but sometimes some news might not be the best ones. And we all have very good in her bed. So when that happens, I was like, no, I'm waiting this Grammy. And I'm bringing on the Genoa happy day to my people. Cause their moral was like down there. And then when the doctor tells me like, no, Erica, you can travel. You can't, you can go on a plane. And I'm like, I was in LA and I go like, okay, we're driving, I'm hiring, you know, a driver, but I'm going and I've made it. I mean, I want it. 4 (43m 8s): Oh my gosh. So you drove all the way down to the Grammy awards from LA, like, okay, I can't fly. I'm just gonna, I'll just drive down there. Okay. 6 (43m 17s): I wasn't in LA and it wasn't Vegas. So it was, 4 (43m 20s): It wasn't that far. Okay. 6 (43m 22s): But the bad thing was that he told me like, Hey, you have to out of the, I don't know if you call it <inaudible> laparoscopy 4 (43m 31s): Surgery. Surgery. Yeah, 6 (43m 33s): Exactly. So, you know, they feel you with air and everything and it's deli good covering after that because your, your veins could get like a club or whatever. 4 (43m 42s): Yeah. They can clot up. Yeah. That's what happened. My Mia, my brother-in-law recently had that done, unfortunately, but yeah. 6 (43m 48s): So he told me like, you can be, you know, standing steel for so long. You're gonna, you're gonna let the driver drive you for 45 minutes and then you have to stop and walk rather 15 until you make it. So it took us forever, but we got there. 4 (44m 3s): Well, I'm from San Diego, so I'm know that drive to Vegas quite well. And it's like, you probably had a lot of time where you're just stuck on the freeway. Anyway, you can just get out and walk around in the desert and come back. Probably car hadn't even moved yet. Yeah. It's the 15 gets stuck there for ever it's like the war 6 (44m 23s): And it was so worth it. 4 (44m 25s): Wow. I mean, how cool to win that and just, yeah, that had to be such a big moment, obviously in your life. That's so amazing. 6 (44m 33s): It was for sure. It was right now. There they are. They have this single, but it's out there also the new album of up baby. I know that maybe you're not familiar with this artist, but she, she was the one that recorded some of mine that was very, very famous, famous. It was like 52 weeks in the top five. Wow. We were awarded like two years in a row out of that song and that she just released an album as well, where she has another son of mine, tikis as well. Like this data, that north, they have like three and then I'm working with people in Nashville. I'm going a lot to Nashville. 4 (45m 9s): That's where I live now. Oh my God. Cool. Yeah. I moved from San Diego. No, that is so awesome. 6 (45m 17s): I'm going every other month in Nashville and writing stories as I, you know, the way I love it. And then so, you know, back and forth from LA as well, because especially to open new doors and I want to use them as well and make sure that we can, you know, connect another generous. And then I'm doing things with you up here and there everywhere. 4 (45m 36s): Very cool. That is so awesome. Well, congratulations, obviously on the longevity of your career and like everything you've done is so impressive and I just, I'm just, yeah, I love what you're doing. Obviously I love the video you put out for a resume and just so cool. Thank you so much for your time. I really, really appreciate it. 6 (45m 54s): Thank you for your time. It was a great conversation though. If you're like an interview. 4 (45m 59s): Oh, that's good. That's what I love. That was the point. I do have one quick question that might feel interviewee, but I want to know if you have any advice for aspiring artists. 6 (46m 10s): Of course. That's why, you know, that w that's the main reason why I like to tell the whole story, because sometimes you watch TV and or whatever nowadays streaming you see the stories of people and you think that they were already made and it's not like that. And I love telling people like, Hey, I got robbed. I lost my uterus. I've been divorced twice. Like I have, you know, I I've, I've had times where I had no money at all, but I didn't let my faith, you know, disappear. I kept, you know, my values, my will, I trusted my talent. I was making sure that authenticity was always there, which I think it's a key, especially nowadays when we live such as in a, such, such a superficial world. 6 (46m 58s): And I think that it's important for people to see that, you know, you have, you have blood, you have bones, you're, you're regular human being that with determination and strength can get wherever you want. And what I do believe is very important is for you to never lose your essence, your values, because then you can get less in a material world. And what I really think that makes a difference is when the essence connects with the rest of the world. So just keep it up. Even the most difficult times, you know, can teach you great lessons. And if you keep going forward and evolving, evolving, and learning and mastering your craft, you can make it for sure.

Erika Ender

Singer, Songwriter, Author, Communicator, Philanthropist, Producer

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fdog49sj3w2k1go/EEREELENG2022.mov?dl=0