Erika Y. Bonilla
Born in El Paso, Texas; however, Erika considers herself a native to New Mexico, since she has lived in Albuquerque since the age of two. Growing up, she was inspired by all types of Spanish music to include; Mariachi, Tejano and Spanish Pop as well as various types of Country music. Artists such as Ana Barbara, Lucero, Luis Miguel, Faith Hill and Patsy Cline influenced Erika. She enjoys listening to Spanish, Country, R&B, Rock and Hip Hop music. Her diverse taste in music is evident in her versatility as a vocalist.
Erika began her music career years ago as one of the lead vocalists for Los Duques, singing Country and Spanish. She moved on to be the lead vocalist with the Omar Ortega Band and the Wild Bunch, singing a variety of music such as Spanish, Country, R&B and Rock. After performing with local bands for a period of four years, Erika put her singing on hold to pursue a career and complete her degree. Erika graduated in 2004, with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. Although she took a break from band performances, she continued to accomplish solo performances throughout the country. Erika has performed throughout the United States to include such performances as; the prestigious Unity Festival and various Hispanic Heritage Day Festivals in Washington, D.C. She has also performed at the Central Intelligence Agency’s Hispanic Heritage Day in Washington, D.C. and the annual Hispanic Heritage Day Celebration in West Virginia. She has also performed the National Anthem at various singing venues.
Erika performed as the lead vocalist for Sassfire, an upbeat variety band. Performances included casinos, local bars and various fiestas throughout the New Mexico. In 2007, Erika participated in the Colgate Country Showdown, winning in Socorro, New Mexico, and moving forward to the state competition.In June, 2008, Erika released her first album entitled “Tu Nuevo Amor.” Tu Nuevo Amor is a Mariachi inspired album and was recorded with Mariachi Tepayec. Erika’s powerful vocal ability captures the albums true romantic feel with emotions bursting out of the lyrics. On June 28, 2008, the largely successful CD release party for the album was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Subsequent to its release, Tu Nuevo Amor was nominated for 13 awards, winning Mariachi Song of the Year.
Erika has branched out to perform various genres of music, now utilizing her own band, and accompanied Mariachi Tradicional. Currently, Erika is performing at various venues throughout the state; to include several awards shows, boxing venues, clubs, and casinos. Erika headlined Saginaw, Michigan’s Latin Festival, where an attendance of approximately ten thousand embraced Erika’s stage presence and extraordinary vocal abilities. Erika is featured in the August 2009, issue of The Albuquerque Magazine where she is recognized for her incredible vocal talents. Erika is also currently touring with New Mexico artist Tobias Rene, and working in conjunction with various artists at various venues throughout the country. In July 2010, Erika worked along side comedian Paul Rodriguez opening the 2010 Tejano Music awards in San Antonio, Texas. Erika begins touring with Tejano Artists in late 2010. In October 2010, Erika recorded a duet with New Mexico recording artist, Tobias Rene. The duet Cucuroocucu Paloma was widely embraced.
In December, 2009, Erika signed with recording label Rema Records. Erika’s recorded two singles, which focused on a high energy Norteno/ Cumbia feel; still incorporating Erika’s trademark of romance. In January 2011, Erika relocated to Los Angeles, California to pursue her musical career.