By Christine Freycinet
Upcoming singer and model Keierica Howard is on her way to stardom. She’s been singing since she was 3 years old. Keierica came from a town called Houma aka “The Swamp,” Louisiana and moved to Atlanta to further her career and show the world her true talent. This past weekend, she performed at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas. She will appear this Tuesday on Philadelphia’s Fox29’s “The Q Show” and is scheduled to perform at an upcoming Live Nation concert in Philly this summer.
How was it growing up in Louisiana, what were you doing before you moved to Atlanta?
My hometown is called Houma and it’s 45 minutes away from New Orleans.
I played Volleyball all my life, and I was a part of a Christian dance group. That’s where most of my upbringing came from, it was really spiritual. My mother was always in church, and that’s where I started singing. But some of my family members tell me that I started singing on a porch when I was only 3 years old. They say I was either singing ‘Candy Rain’ or ‘Candy Girl.’ I actually remember being able to carry a note at the age of 9. That’s the age where I started singing in front of people at church. It was fun growing up there, they call it “the swamp.” It’s right by the bayou, it’s not like a city, it’s really country. We always made the best of it, living out in Louisiana. I get home sick all of the time. But I get Atlanta sick when I come home to Louisiana.
Who or what inspired you to become an artist?
I have Many inspirations. My mother is the biggest motivator of course. Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston inspired me the most when I was younger, I was crazy about them. Then along came Beyoncé and Destiny’s Child. I would hit the rewind button on the CD player so that I can write down the lyrics to their songs. That’s how I remembered the words to the songs. I remember having one of Mariah’s tapes, I’d watch them over and over. But my very first love was Michael Jackson. Michael was my man, my cousins used to tease me about that. When I was 5 years old, my cousin put together different clips of Michael into one tape, such as the Moon Walking movie and the Jackson 5 movie. When he died, I cried every single night for two weeks straight. I felt like I knew him. He touched so many people and he’s still touching people.
If you could collab with any artist… present or past, who would it be and why?
It would absolutely would be Michael Jackson, that would be an experience where I wouldn’t even know what to do with myself to be honest. I love Migos, I love Future, Beyonce, and I love Drake. I like them because they’re creative , I love Future’s mindset and melody. I also love Party Next Door and Chris Brown. They have creative minds and they are always true to who they are. I just love that about them.
How does it feel to know that you’re going to be performing at the SXSW festival? (Interview prior to SXSW)
I’m a little nervous and excited as hell. Honestly, this was one of my biggest goals for the year. I swear to God, the lord just popped up and was like, “here you go.” I’m beyond humbled, I’m so happy and I appreciate everything. I’m just really anxious. In December, I was trying to figure out how I can perform at this festival. Eventually, I gave up and was like whatever. But God is good. You have to be strong with your faith and believe in yourself even if nobody else does. You have to believe and have faith.
How is it living here in Atlanta? And do you think you have more of an advantage or more opportunity now that you’re here?
Yes, I do have more of an advantage, Atlanta is over exaggerated. Everybody in Atlanta does something, or they think they’re doing something to be honest. There’s people that I know here that I can count on. But there is a lot going on out here, so you have to be careful. I think that everything happens for a reason. The opportunities are here, you just have to find them. Although I’ve met a few celebrities, you can’t expect for them to put you on and make you famous, you have to put yourself on.
What inspired you to become a model?
Since I was 12 years old, I’ve been taking acting and modeling classes. I had already noticed that I could sing, so I decided to do modeling as well. I’ve been in competitions for modeling. I actually went to a modeling school, I’m also 5’11, so modeling definitely goes hand in hand with my music career.
I know you’re an R&B artist that has a little bit of pop appeal. Are the songs that you write from life experiences or are they fantasy songs?
I have a team of people who produce everything for me. Every song that I sing comes from something I’ve been through. I pretty much tell them what’s going on in my life and they turn it into a song. None of my songs come out of thin air, they come from an experience. Sometimes the songs are a bit funny, and other times they’re deep. From relationships to break ups, every song has a meaning. Every time I hear one of my songs it takes me to whatever place I was feeling at that time.
What was the best advice that you’ve gotten and what advice would you give to an upcoming artist?
The best advice would be from my mom. She would tell me, “don’t stop, just keep going.” And the best advice that I give myself is that at the end of the day, I have anybody to blame but myself if I don’t make it. I hold myself accountable for every situation that I’m in. The advice I would give to someone would be to always keep God first, talk to him. You should find a quiet place to talk to him and try to listen. God is in us at the end of the day. Once you realize that, you control everything about your life and then everything becomes piece of cake.
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