A Close Look at Erycka Ortiz's EP, Erycka
By Bridney C.
Erycka has cemented herself as a Pop-R&B music mainstay in the New London community with her newest self-titled release, Erycka. Her third project was released on April 17th,
spurring dozens of excited fan social media posts about her new release.
What fans noticed is the two versions of the cover art. On all streaming platforms, fans will notice the main cover art features Erycka stoically posing in a white collared blouse in front of a sky blue background.
"My best friend took the picture a year ago, and in the picture, I felt it really showed me. As a Trans woman, as a Black Latina, as an artist," says Erycka.
On her website, eryckamusic.com fans will notice a second album cover featuring her posing in a white top with her hands on her hips, which she refers to as her personal favorite. The photoshoot for the second album cover was shot on a Polaroid to match the nostalgic feeling and sound of her EP.
Listeners will hear an array of music that showcases Erycka's versatility such as soft, soothing ballads, R&B slow jams, and a new track titled "Nostalgia" that contains a groovy, heavy 80's sound perfect for anyone's next dance-pop playlist.
Erycka says she is proud of each song on the EP and considers them all to be her "babies." In an effort to promote the project, Erycka says she decided to create her official website and create stunning visuals for the project.
"Much thought went Into the process and rolled out. I wanted to explore new ways to engage with people and also build myself a little more while creating an enjoyable user-friendly experience," says Erycka.
According to her, there was a kind of vulnerability she never showed to her fans which required her to take the driver's seat. In the past, Erycka says her older music came from real-life experiences but was written from a distance.
"I experienced love and heartbreak for the first time, in real ways. I experienced a kind of transparency that I hadn’t before. I’ve grown so much as a person and I wanted to show some of that reflection in the music," says Erycka.
Aside from herself, Erycka worked with very few producers on her EP, but for the future promises to release new material with an all-new sound and direction. She expresses interest in working with producer, Supreme Justice, and singer, Houston Clark down the road.
The Sweet Scoop Media sat down with Erycka as she gave us a track-by-track breakdown of her new project, with insight into the background, inspiration, and production of each song.
Track #1: "Blue Monday"
Erycka: The inspiration came from a couple of things. I wrote it from the perspective of two people having strong feelings but the timing was off. One of us was damaged, but there’s a willingness to try and go for whatever that connection was. When writing I sometimes see visions in my head of what the song is or what I feel it could be. I saw a journey through the days of the week and that for me was 'I’m fucked up, and I have all these things going on, but at the end of the day I still want you.' I was someone who used to use substances to distract myself when I partied on weekends, but when Monday rolled around all my problems came rushing back. I felt it was a nice way to synthesize all those things, which is now "Blue Monday."
Track #2: "Sober"
Erycka: "Sober" was one of the songs I was a bit nervous to release but it challenged me on how open I was willing to be with others. This was a song to myself. I was deeply depressed and questioning what my purpose was. I started to use other substances besides alcohol to try and numb what I was feeling. There was a moment I had within myself during some reflection. I wanted to start practicing to choose me. If nothing else, my will to move forward had to be for myself. To let go of the invisible chains that held me down I had to accept my light and dark, and recognize I do have something to offer the world and myself.
Track #3: "Nostalgia"
Erycka: "Nostalgia" was the second to last song I wrote for this project. I never made a song with this particular sound before and I never thought I could. I was told my voice wasn’t good enough or loud enough and the day I made Nostalgia was a day I proved everyone wrong. I wanted everything down to how it was recorded to feel nostalgic as if it was released in the late ’80s or early ’90s. It’s a feel-good record, and I wanted to make a song that made others feel like they can escape reality for just a moment. This song to me feels like a celebration of my own queerness and freedom. The exploration of being young and unafraid. To be bold and push limits.
Track #4: "Aprils Interlude"
Erycka: "Aprils Interlude" was the last song I made for this record. It didn’t start out like an interlude, but the decision felt right. It’s short but straight to the point. It has overlaying sexual energy but underneath, it’s about someone who is feeling exposed. Someone who is very bare with their body, mind, and soul. It poses the question, if this is our moment would you take it? Or will you walk away? If I show up in my full dignity will you like what you see? If I allow you to experience me, sexually will you have had enough of me?
Track #5: "Poison"
Erycka: "Poison" almost never saw the light of day. I wrote it in 2019 during a time of intense healing. This song is really bare with raw lyrics. The song has many components to it that I’ll keep to myself but what I will share is, there was a point in my life I hurt others because I thought it was okay. There's a version of me that was angry and felt damaged and broken. I had yet to experience what healthy relationships looked like in all aspects such as sex, partners, friends and family. I had no regard for emotions because at that moment I wasn’t capable of feeling my own. It was a dark time for me, but necessary experience. I’ve learned a lot about myself, who I am, and what I’m capable of. I learned what true accountability was and really learned how to forgive myself. Something I think people have a hard time with is recognizing we are the villain in someone else’s story and there isn’t much you can do about that. You have to forgive yourself, be accountable to that time of your life, and the things you’ve done but you grow and evolve. It’s important to embrace all of the 'bad' so that way you can welcome the good with open arms without guilt or shame.
Track #6: "Star Crossed Lovers"
Erycka: "Star Crossed Lovers" was the first song that I knew I wanted to share from the project as a promotional single. It showcased my vocal ability and gave a perspective of my artistic vision. Star Crossed Lovers was just a moment I experienced with another human being. I thought I had found my ‘twin flame,’ but I felt that I had to endure being mistreated for the sake of love and for the sake of commitment. There was some distance in-between where we lived our lives and I wanted to write a creative way to explain the saying of 'distance makes the heart grow founder.' Even with all of the space and distance, I thought they were my person, that experiencing them was a safe space, and also my karma from my own mistakes I’ve made in the past. I thought this was my love story, the one I would have to tell... but we grew, moved on, and found better.
Track #7: "Drive (feat. AnUrbanNerd)"
More information on "Drive" can be found here.
The EP, Erycka is an expertly curated and timeless release that addresses love, loss, and sex for the mature, unapologetic individual. “This was a year in the making, a lot of life happened and being in so many different positions made me see life a little differently which affected my art,” Erycka says. "The ability to feel is a gift, to create music people can relate to and identify with is not something I take lightly. I value honesty and I wouldn’t be honoring that if my music wasn’t real and honest."