For anyone who’s seen Kat Dahlia’s Gangsta video on MTV or BET’s 106 and Park, two things become evident from the jump- she’s taking the R&B, pop and hip-hop worlds by storm and this, Miami born and raised, Cubana-Americana reps her hometown hard. Selected as a rising artist to participate in BET’s “Music Matters” campaign and other watchlists, she continues to attract mainstream urban music insider attention. I connected with Kat recently right before the self-proclaimed “studio rat” left for London to finish recording her first full-length album, My Garden, slated to drop in September.
She laughed when reminiscing about writing her first song at eight years old about being in love and a cheating boyfriend which proved to be a “foreshadowing of what was to come” as a future tumultuous relationship would provide the inspiration for her first independent released EP and upcoming debut on music veteran Sylvia Rhone’s (who Kat describes as her “ride or die b-tch”) Vested in Culture label. Although an ex fueled her therapeutic writing, she gives props but she is not Adele- “at the time it felt like hell but we are at peace now”.
What she misses most about Miami when she’s away is the “sun, the beach, the party, the humidity, her family” and I’d guess her fav Spanish dish, “Pollo A La Plancha con frijoles” as well. Growing up, she went through hardships with her single mom (as you hear on “Gangsta”) raising four kids, teaching her independence and work ethic as “there’s nothing that falls out the sky for you”. Influenced by blues legend BB King, his Anthology albums made an impression on her as she strives like he to “use sorrow or vulnerability as strength”.
Towards the end of our convo, I randomly discovered she was part of a double-dutch jumping team (btw I was always jealous of girls who could do this well), she’s very spiritual and is not very materialistic saying “I don’t really take any of that sh-t seriously”. When I inquired about what she would take if her house was on fire (which prompted her to animatedly tell a story about almost burning down her house trying to melt hair removal wax in a toaster oven), she’d grab her phone and card case with her debit card and that’s it. Full of ánimo and ambition, I am hyped to see this genuine Latina reach the next level.