This her second CD, which fuses many of the genres that have shaped and influenced her life since she was a young child from rock and pop to jazz and blues.
"That's when it's about your soul and what inspires you in life," said Fernandez. "As a child, I was inspired by music. Your true passion is something that you need to do. It feeds your soul and it feeds others."
Influences from the top of the charts
"When I was about 4, I started to become addicted. [I sang] along to the music my sister played," said Fernandez, who described it as mostly mainstream hits of the 70s. "Then I started taking piano lessons, and I did chorus in high school."
During her time in high school choir, Fernandez sang in the alto section.
"That is when I discovered my vocals," said Fernandez.
Growing up she was inspired by the "rock divas" of the late 70s to the early 80s such as Pat Benatar and Heart. Later on she also found the music of Elton John, Peter Gabriel, and Sting.
"As I matured, I discovered my voice could be more intense, but yet there was this soulful side I discovered," said Fernandez.
Then in 1985, Fernandez and other local musicians formed the rock band Shades, which performed until 2000. Fernandez also served as the band's keyboardist, and during the 90s she picked up the bass when the band was lacking a bass player.
"I did keyboarding work and was a lead singer," said Fernandez. "Then I picked up the bass, which became my songwriting instrument."
"It was just an easier instrument for me to have in my hand, and it made it easier for me to sing," said added. "It freed up music for me."
Healing through music
Then in 1999, Fernandez's daughter was born, while she was going through a divorce. It was during this difficult time, when many changes were taking place that she began to write.
In 2000, the band split up to work on different projects.
"Writing became a tool of healing," said Fernandez.
Afterwards, Fernandez started focusing on recording demos for her new solo endeavors, and collaborating with other musicians and sampling different genres.
"I found more of the soulful side of my voice in the solo recordings," said Fernandez.
She finally stepped into the studio to record her first project entitled "Purple Sunrise," which was released in 2003. Many of the tracks on both albums stem from personal experience and are meant to touch and inspire.
Following the release of the first CD, Fernandez performed acoustically with a rock trio for two and a half years, and started working on her next CD.
For her latest project, "Being Human," Fernandez wanted the music to be more natural, which she created through home recordings and with few musicians.
"I wanted to keep it more on the raw side," said Fernandez.
By the end of 2006, she finished the CD and released it in December through CDBaby.com.
In addition, she also added a Spanish song she had written entitled "Cuban-Americana," which depicts her feelings about being a child of exiled Cuban immigrants and the political situation of the country that has kept her from visiting and knowing part of her heritage.
"I came back from a gig one night [in 2005] and I just felt inspired," said Fernandez. "I got so much attention from that song. So many people [both Spanish speaking and non-Spanish] liked the feel of the song."
As the daughter of Cuban immigrant parents, Fernandez was born and raised in West New York, and grew up speaking Spanish as her primary language. However, due to school and the small Hispanic population at the time, English became her primary language. It wasn't until high school that she aggressively began to pick up Spanish again.
With her next project already in the works, Fernandez was inspired to explore her heritage with more Spanish songs in addition to her English tracks.
"Maybe this is something I have discovered," said Fernandez. "I want to explore that side of me." Fernandez hopes the new CD will be released by early 2009. What's next?
In the interim, Fernandez is working on a number of other projects including a jingle for a cartoon. She will also perform live this fall with an acoustic band called Clueless.
As a matter of fact, this fall will be the first time Fernandez has performed live in quite some time because she has been ultimately focused on her daughter and running her masseuse business of 17 years.
"That's the thing about being a mom," said Fernandez. "And I want to be a good mom."
In addition, Fernandez signed with the international distribution company RadioDirectX.com, who will submit her songs to radio stations and sites across Europe to get some airplay.
"The world is big, and if I can reach some people it's worth it," said Fernandez.
For more information about Fernandez, visit: www.kerryfernandez.com. Jessica Rosero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org