Interview: EROCKFOR – “When in doubt, do”

Montreal singer-songwriter Erockfor unveils her brand-new single/music video, “I Don’t Want You Back,” the second track from her forthcoming debut album, Phoenix, slated to drop in October 2021.

Inspired by marital infidelity, “I Don’t Want You Back” is about both empowerment and dignity.

Erockfor explains, “I find that ‘exes always come back’ is a common refrain, but more often than not, we shouldn’t take them back. This song is the next step in my evolution, so to speak. I realized I deserved better and wanted to look ahead without taking steps back. I sing, ‘once I’m gone, I’m past tense’ as my commitment to moving forward. I’m hoping that it becomes a summer anthem. Play this when your ex calls you wanting to get back together. Some things should remain in the past.”

After living and working in Seoul for six years, Erockfor returned to Montreal to work on her upcoming album, which blends elements of jazz, pop, soul, and Afrobeats into lush music.

Multi-talented, Erock for is not only a dazzling musical talent, but a burlesque performer, actress, and published poet. As the release date for Phoenix approaches, Erockfor will release a new single every month.

CelebMix caught up with Erockfor to talk about her impending album and the inspiration for “I Don’t Want You Back.”

What three things can’t you live without?

Only things? My smartphone, my camera, and my microphone.

What inspired your new single, “I Don’t Want You Back?”

I remember the lyrics came to me one day two or three summers ago while I was in the shower. I loved how it sounded, so I sang what I had again and again so I wouldn’t forget it (I recorded a voice note right after hopping out of the shower). I think we’ve all helped a friend or been helped through a breakup. Sometimes, we just need that extra reminder to move forward instead of jumping back into an old relationship because of familiarity. Now, I’m not saying exes should never get back together. But it requires some work.

What do you want people to take away from the song?

This song is for everyone who loves grooving to a dope beat. But, more importantly, I hope everyone feels that energy of freedom I’m trying to convey. We’re all spirits. We bump into each other. We learn. We move on. We don’t need to hold onto situations that no longer serve us.

You have a new album coming in October, entitled Phoenix. What can you share about the album?

This album represents the journey between the time I came to a woman on my bed and now. Between then and now, I’ve grown a lot: I moved to Korea, became a showgirl and jazz performer, and gained so much confidence. The first song on the album talks about my failed marriage (the second song focuses on moving on from it). From there, each song focuses on a chakra to represent the healing that took place. The third song on the album is called ‘Root.’ The fourth one is called ‘Sacral,’ and so on and so forth. A true rebirth took place, and I’m super excited to see how these songs will be felt and received.

How did you get started in music? What’s the backstory there?

I’ve always sung. My mom tells me I told her at the age of 3 that I would be in that box one day (that box being the television). I didn’t exactly know how since I was so shy, but I knew it was inevitable. I was in choirs as a kid, and I’ve always written music. I started singing professionally a few years after I moved to Korea. I decided it was time to invest in what I loved doing the most. And by that time, after performing in burlesque shows and teaching kids, I’d shed my shyness.

Which musicians/vocalists influenced you the most?

I love Billie Holiday, Macy Gray and Nina Simone. Their voices communicate so much emotion, and they’re so unique and recognizable. I hope one day people can hear me on the radio and be like “Oh, that’s Erockfor.”

Which artists in your opinion are killing it right now?

Doja Cat is killing it right now. I love how she plays with her voice, and she definitely knows how to write a hit. Aiza is a Montreal artist, and her voice is so special. I’ve seen her perform a few times. Her stage presence is out of this world. I also have to give a shout out to Chiiild, another Montreal artist. I love his music!

What are the music scenes like in Seoul and Montreal?

I can’t speak much about the Montreal scene. I left seven years ago, and I’m rediscovering it. I do know there are lots of talented artists there. As for Seoul, jazz is quite popular there. I’ve performed in many jazz bars (I was booked and busy until Covid hit). In terms of the foreigner music scene, there are so many amazing musicians that I’ve had the chance to perform with. From my experience, Korean audience members show a lot of love. If they like you, they REALLY like you, and they’ll let you know.

Do you have a guilty music and/or entertainment pleasure?

There is no guilt surrounding it, lol, but I do enjoy watching burlesque routines and watching Korean movies.

Why do you make music?

Singing brings me so much joy, and I love connecting with audience members through song. Also, it’s been my dream for so long, and I’m proud of myself that I’m finally putting my stuff out there. I’m on a mission to show people that it’s never too late to start. When in doubt, do. That’s my motto.

Looking ahead, what’s next?

I would love to start performing in Montreal in the fall. I’ll be busy pitching myself. Besides that, after this album, I will continue working on more projects, because I can’t picture myself not working on music at this point.

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Written by Randy

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.