Last week we were able to talk to an exciting up and coming artist named Kat Dahlia. Days before debuting her latest video for “Crazy” on 106 & Park, this Cuban-American Miami artist got on the phone with us and opened up about her influences, what music she’s into, her creative process and what we can expect from a live show of hers.
Hit the jump to read our full interview with Kat.
Who are some of your earliest influences?
Growing up I was listening to what my parents listened to which was Hector Lavoe, Tito Puente, Buena Vista Social Club. When I got a little bit older I listened to more Pop stuff, you know N*Sync and Backstreet Boys. Later on I got more into the Blues with B.B. King, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and Bob Marley. That’s when my musical pallet started to flourish. My biggest musical influences would be Bob Marley, B.B. King, Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson.
What are you listening to these days?
No one in particular. I just put on the Pandora app and pick the Led Zeppelin, Radiohead stations, or like Bone Thugs, Miles Davis, The Weeknd. It all depends on what my mood is like, if I want to listen to Robert Plant’s voice right now I’ll just put that on. I don’t think “I’m going to just listen to this stuff right now.”
What’s your overall approach to the sound and vibe of your work? Do you come up with a melody first and work on those with your producers or do your producers bring you something and you take it from there?
It’s both. Sometimes we would be in the studio and they play me beats and I can go “I love that” and I then literally go into the booth and just start riffing on top of that. Coming up with melodies and the song, and then grooving to it until there’s something, a good foundation that we can build from. And sometimes there won’t be a beat. My boy can just be playing the guitar and I can just go (humming a melody), you know? Simple little riffs that I can turn into a real melody. I just vibe onto that melody and then producers build on top of that. It really just depends what the groove is, what the feeling is. We think “do we want to make something from scratch? Do we want to work from within the vault?” It’s all fun and groovy.
What led you to name your last project Seeds?
My name “Dahlia” came from a friend (Justin, producer of “Gangsta”) and when I took the name I realized I had written a song named “My Garden” and I decided to call the album My Garden. Then I saw this cool interwoven theme of “my garden.” My music is something like my garden, like these little babies that I plant and I help grow. Just like a song or anything that you create and bring to life. It’s a really cool theme that I like to play with, so when I was putting together the mixtape I decided on Seeds to work as a prelude to my album, My Garden. It just kind of happened naturally and not totally planned.
What can you tell us about your video for “Crazy”?
I shot it in London, directed by Rankin. Sandlot came on to the project as well. It’s a girl going through the motions, dealing with a lot of emotions that are right in your face. You see this really strong female going a little crazy. There’s moments where she’s feeling happy, there’s moments where she’s feeling confident, there’s moments where she’s feeling upset, frantic and you follow her on that emotional roller coaster.
Watch Kat Dahlia’s video for “Crazy” below:
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What can fans expect from a Kat Dahlia live show? How often do you work on the production of your live show?
We’re in rehearsals right now. I got my bassist Segal from Colombia, he’s an amazing bassist that I played together with in Colombia. I just fell in love with his music and his passion for playing. It was always a dream of his to tour in the States so I brought him, plus he’s the sort of bassist that you wouldn’t mind doing a little solo. I have a guitarist who’s a singer-songwriter, Javier Garcia. We’ve jammed out till the morning many a night and he and I already have this great chemistry. My drummer from NY is another passionate dude with a love for music. We all have a crazy love for music and a love for jamming and playing it live. Adding all those elements will come together to put together a great show. We go for artistry; we want people to be a part of the experience. We don’t want people just seeing a show with fireworks and fire-breathing little people. Plus I have some cool little musical surprises and cool mash-ups. Definitely going to be an emotional roller coaster but I also have the party stuff that makes it all fun.
What are you looking forward to checking out in Chicago when you come through?
I was there once before and it was only for like a day and a half. Someone told me there’s a little strip of gay bars around where I’m performing, and they’re going to show me around. I’m just looking forward to seeing the city from a local’s point of view.