You can’t define soul, which is maybe why it’s impossible to fake. A singer either has it or they don’t, and if they don’t, you know it instantly. One line into “I’d Rather Go Blind” and you knew Etta James had soul. One line into “Why Is It So Hard” and you knew Charles Bradely has soul. One line into “Gangsta” and you know Kat Dahlia has soul.
Out of all the dope music RefinedHype Nation threw my way during yesterday’s #NoRapHour, it was “Gangsta” that stuck with me. I kept coming back to it over and over again yesterday. No amount of auto-tune and studio magic could possibly create a voice like Dahlia’s.
But a part of my fascination with “Gangsta” was also driven by the fact that I had no idea who Kat Dahlia is. I can’t possibly keep up with literally every new artist, but not only did “Gangsta” have over 3 million views, it was the only video on her channel. Turns out I was going to have to do some serious research use Google. This is where my elite journalism training comes in.
Here’s the quick rundown for those finding themselves equally fascinated by “Gangsta”. Dahlia’s from Miami and signed to former VP of Universal Sylvia Rhone’s new label, VIC. (In other words, she’s got some serious heavyhitters behind her.) She’s got an EP out, which contains “Gangsta” and two other songs, and if you really hunt around YouTube you can find an assortment of other music, including that appears to be her only other full-length video, “Devils Command”. An debut album is apparently in the works for this summer, but we all know how reliable release dates are.
Only sweet baby jesus knows what the future will hold for Dahlia. If she can keep putting out songs like “Gangsta” we may be looking at the kind of singer whose voice just can’t be ignored (see also, MJB, Keyshia Cole, Amy Winehouse, etc.), but I’m probably doing more harm than good with the absurdly early hype. All I really know is that I was raised on soul, I know soul when I hear it, the world needs more soul music, and Dahlia has soul.
In the meantime though, it looks like we’ll just have to relax and enjoy…