Def Jam Recordings’ new artist, Kendra Jae, made a stop at Howard University on her first promotional tour. The artist is most widely known for her song, “Seesaw,” featuring rapper Saweetie.
On Oct. 19, Jae had a meet-and-greet event with students on the Yard. During her time on campus, she remembered performing as a backup dancer in the 2019 Yardfest for Saweetie, and now, two years later, coming back to Howard as a solo artist. She expressed gratitude when asked about it.
“For me it’s a testimony to my hard work and dedication. I set my mind on something, and I saw the transition to be here in two years. So to be back here is nostalgic. It feels amazing. I hope to keep coming back in years to come,” Kendra said.
Many popular female artists have come out of Def Jam Recordings, like Rihanna, Teyana Taylor and Kaash Paige. But only a few have started off their careers as dancers. Being a backup dancer to Drake, Beyonce and Saweetie, Jae felt she was destined for greatness.
“For the Beyonce tour to be my introduction to the dance industry, I knew I was destined for bigger things. It’s not every day that you see a professional dancer transition in the way that I transitioned. I want to pride myself on everything that is meant to be, and in divine timing what you are supposed to be doing will fall into your lap with hard work.”
While some people bonded with their parents over sports or other extracurricular activities, Kendra and her dad bonded over a shared love for music. Jae shared that she felt going from audition to audition helped create her work ethic, and that her drive to dream big motivates her to make more content.
Jae’s new single, “BIG,” dropped on Oct. 22. She said that she hopes to project her brand, WIFEY, through her music and inspire young women. Jae wants to bring feeling back into music using her brand, and expressed that Aaliyah, Janet Jackson and J-Lo are just a of the few artists that influenced her in the creation of WIFEY.
“The wifey type to me is charismatic, she’s confident, independent, bossy, sexy, untouchable and she’s the one that every man wants, not just for a night, but for life because of what she brings to the table,” Jae said.
In her final moments on campus, Jae expressed that her music career is far from over and hinted at future collaborations with a young, vibrant personality.
Copy edited by: N’dia Webb