“Érika Ender From Panama” made history as the first Panamanian woman to win a Latin Grammy.
Ender, was nominated for her song "Ataúd", from Los Tigres del Norte, as “Best Mexican Regional Song”, with collaboration of Manu Moreno and Mónica Vélez.
She reacted by the prize and wrote in her twitter account: “We won the #LatinGrammy!!!!#BestMexicanRegionalSong #Ataúd I Love you Panama!!!”
The other nominee Omar Alfanno, who was nominated for composing the best Tropical Song, "Vine a buscarte", of the singer Fonseca , in collaboration with the Colombian singer, Yadam González.
Last night at the Gala to honor the person of the year, the Puerto Rican singer, Marc Anthony, they gathered and proud shared this picture with their nominee medal.
Exclusive interview with Panama Today
"I slipped through the first positions of the Mexican Regional Music", Erika confessed in an exclusive interview with Panama Today.
Ender was named one of the most powerful women, according to People en Español goes from WRITER, COMPOSER, SINGER & GODMOTHER TO THE #1 MEXICAN REGIONAL MUSIC. Erika Ender in a close and personal interview with Panama Today tell us about her new amazing accomplishment and the beginning of her successful career that lead her to the recent nomination with her song ATAUD, from Los Tigres del Norte as “Best Mexican Regional Song”, with the collaboration of Manu Moreno and Mónica Vélez.
Ender is living her own history in the making for being the only Panamanian woman to achieve this nomination and one of the few Latinas to be one of the most recognized and claimed composers, singer-songwriter in the international music industry, actress, producer and Latin-American celebrity. With a very successful career of 23 years, 17 of them working internationally, Erika has more than 160 records edited with her songs with the voice of the biggest music stars and is the recipient of many awards, nominations and recognitions.
What you never expected?
"I never expected to be at the top of the Mexican Regional Music Lists, is not normal that someone who does not belong to this genre could slip through this way, I didn´t even know that I could do that, I didn´t grow up listening to the Mexican regional music, and now we are on the top of the lists, this nomination means a lot to me, I am very grateful”.
Her song "ATAUD" from Los Tigres del Norte, with only few weeks in the Mexican market was already #1 in Mexico and on the top numbers of the Billboard and other Latin Music Lists.
“ Versatility is a natural talent for me, I want to challenge myself to compose songs to the whole world. I also had the opportunity to create the English version of the song A puro dolor from Omar Alfano, that also reached the top American music lists back then. People didn’t expect that also as a Brazilian (from my mother side), I could compose and write in English too, like my hair I would like to use all the space…” (she laughs). Thanks to the diversity I grew up with, being born and raised in Panama, from a Brazilian mother and a Panamanian American father, living in the United States has make me very multicultural”.
What is the song you love the most as a composer?
Like most mothers they can’t choose a favorite between any of their children, I can’t choose only one song, but Chayane’s song Candela changed my life, thanks to its success and its royalties, I realized that I could make a living with music and I bought my house and my car in the United States.
Your craziest Dream…
To live in another planet, or visit other part of the universe more advanced and bring the knowledge to earth.
Your favorite people…
Jesus, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Juana de Arco, they came to change internally leaving an imprint in other people in order to change the world.
What you hate the most…
Lies, hypocrisy, injustice, that ego could be more powerful than love.
What do you expect from life?
Life taught me to give without expecting anything in return; the universe gives back to you in so many ways.
What are you passionate about?
Music, nature, animals, children, their innocence and the way they see and experience life. But music is what I am more passionate about, that universal language that makes you live and feel differently. I can compose music that talks about love, heartbreaks, or social issues like “El lugar que me vio nacer”( The place that saw me being born), is a song dedicated to the expats. Music has that power to touch hearts, music is the motor that makes me wake up every morning. My mission is to make a difference with my music, it doesn’t matter in what language and what part of the world.
What is your daily routine?
I wake up and the first thing I do is to give thanks, meditate, yoga, have a shower and start as the Erika song-writer, singer, producer, TV host or social work with my non profit foundation.
What you accomplished that you never thought you could?
I never thought I could not do something, old souls have a mission through their talent, fear is trying to bring shadows along your path, but I never give up. I am living in L.A because I already accomplished my goal in Miami and I want to keep growing as an artist.
What artist gave you the biggest lesson?
Gloria Trevi, it does not matter how low you can get in front of the public opinion, you can always stand up stronger. She used what happened to her to push her forward to fly higher and I think that is very laudable.
What image comes to you when you hear the word PANAMA?
My house, my father tough me to love my country since I was little, as Panamanian American. My romance with Panama started since I was a child, I learned the folklore, you need to know where you come from in order to know where are you going.
When I was 15 years old, I wrote a poetry titled “Dedicated to my lost flag”, in homage to the original Panamanian Flag stolen during the American invasion, that fact made a big impact on me. My literature teacher without my knowledge sent it to a national school contest and I won. I write poetry and songs since I was 9 years old, thanks to that prize made me keep writing and that poetry is read in the national parades. A year later someone returned the flag under confessional secret and I want to believe that thanks to a chain reaction. Everything that we do has an impact in others and maybe unconsciously my poetry touched the heart of the person who stole the flag and made him returned it. In that moment I realized that what I write in paper and say on a microphone can impact someone else and I had to do it with a positive message.
How you started with your music?
My first single also was created from a poetry that I wrote called ¿Has estado en Panamá? (Have you been in Panama?) that also won in another poetry contest, thanks to my classmate who sent it and my father added an improvised melody and turned into my first album, where I am in the cover dressed up like a Pollera, the traditional folklore dress of Panama, and was used at the official opening at the Worldwide Expo 92 in Sevilla representing Panama, and at the 5th centennial of the discovery of America.
I started my career thanks to the big influence of the goodness of my country, its culture, traditions, its flag , that is why I always dress with a lot of tribal accessories handmade from my country’s Indian tribes. I am a volunteer ambassador of my country. “Panama is in me as my third last name. I am married to Panama, that is why I called myself ERIKA ENDER FROM PANAMA”.
What do you think of the new extension of the Panama Canal?
I want to congratulate the Panamanians for voting in favor of the extension of the Canal, we are going to handle it very professionally. The Panama Canal has been already set as an example that we as Panamanians not only have been able to open our country to let the world pass through it, but I hope that this new extension helps to open a new canal in the spirituality, mentally, socially that makes us better in any aspect making us a community in a continent where we can go by the hand of education, social issues needs, and housing. Panama is a rich country with so many resources and specially with the Canal, we shouldn’t have people starving or without basic education. I am very involved with my foundation in Panama Puertas Abiertas ( Open Doors), we are helping children from the streets and help them to have education ( including arts and music) and a proper childhood. @fundpuertasab
If you were the president of Panama you would?
Actually I never thought of becoming president, but if I was the spoke person of my country I would do the best not only for my country but for the world. More than president if I was the fairy godmother of the world, the first thing I would do is to make sure that everybody has a house, education, health insurance and social security help. I would like to inject self-love and love to others to the world in order to accomplish anything that comes our way. "I would love to have a magic wand and change the world"