Erika was born August 15. 1989 in Cleveland, she was raised by her mother, grandmother and stepfather. Her biological dad was out of her life by the age of one due to him being in and out of prison. It was her stepfather who first recognized her singing talent at the age of two, Erika later honed her skills playing Night at the Apollo with her karaoke machine and in her church choir. At age of 16 she tried out for American Idol, the judges really liked her but do to her small stature and youth they decided she wasn't old enough so she joined a talented local rap group as the only female called GF aka Goodfellaz and after creating a buzz they toured ohio. She got back in the studio and dropped her first mixtape "E Day" and it was well received in Cleveland and landed her a spot on Radio One's Summer Jam and that's where she was noticed by her manager Charles Farrar, a multi Grammy winner with millions of records sold in his career.