Getting candid with Montreal-based artist Erockfor

Singer and burlesque performer Erokfor returns to Montreal with a new album on the way. Courtesy C Pantin Photography

Sharing confidence and courage through her new album

Afro-jazz artist Erockfor is releasing her upcoming album Phoenix this fall, which features her newly released single “Sacral.”

Her new album depicts her life’s transformation. Each song is about a chakra, with her final form coming to light at the end of the album. After moving between Korea and El Paso, Erockfor is finally back in her home city of Montreal to perform a recorded show and shoot a music video in September.

The Link sat down with Erockfor to further discuss details of her upcoming release. 

Answers have been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

1.  How did your music career get started?

It really started when I moved to Korea. I moved there seven years ago. I was working on music when I was in Montreal as well, but I didn’t really put in a lot of effort, and I didn’t take it as seriously, I guess. But then, I moved to Korea, and a few years in, I started a career as a burlesque performer.

2. What was working as a burlesque performer like? 

It was really cool. I was really shy, but once I did it, I got super confident and very comfortable on stage. I started singing in my burlesque routines and from there I was just like, “You know what? My childhood dream has always been to be a singer, so I’m going to really try to pursue this here.” I linked up with a pianist and just started performing gigs, and then I started releasing music. 

I want to give people the courage and confidence to explore. I just want people to feel good about themselves with my music. — Erokfor

3. What pushed you to move to Korea?

When I was in Montreal, I had a translation business, and it failed. I had to look for another source of income. I looked for some jobs in Montreal, but I just wasn’t finding anything related to my field, so I decided to teach abroad. It just happened really fast. At first I was teaching, and then I started singing.

4. What can we expect from your upcoming album Phoenix?

This album is all about transformation. The first song on the album is called “I Thought You Loved Me,” and that’s basically about the situation surrounding my divorce. After that, it’s “I Don’t Want You Back,” so I’m getting confident. I’m like, “I deserve better than that situation.”

From there, each song is about a chakra. We have root, we have sacral, we have solar plexus—there is a song for each chakra. Then at the end of the album, it’s my final form. So basically, I take you through that transformation. 

5. How have you evolved as an artist? 

I’ve changed so much since initially moving to Korea. My music really is to empower people. It’s to show people that change is possible, that transformation is possible and they can do so much more than what they think. I want to give people the courage and confidence to explore. I just want people to feel good about themselves with my music. 

“At the end of the album, it’s my final form. So basically, I take you through that transformation.” Courtesy C Pantin Photography

6. Have you kept up with burlesque, or have you shifted your focus more towards your music career?

I still consider myself a burlesque performer. I haven’t had a performance in a year, but I’m planning on doing more. In my next music video, there is going to be a burlesque performance. Burlesque is something that I want to keep. It was such a big moment for me in my life, and it’s changed my life in a huge way. I want to continue doing that, and continue getting better at it too. 

7. Most burlesque singers don’t use their own voice, most use voice-overs, but you do it all. How does the balance between singing and burlesque work for you?

Being a singer, that’s been my dream since I was a kid. Burlesque is a more recent development, and I really want to combine the two. It won’t work for every setting, but I want that setting to carry through in everything that I do. 

This article originally appeared in The Reorientation Issue, published September 7, 2021.