Kat Dahlia is quickly winning over the nation with her fierce musical honesty. The Cuban-American artist has a raw, intoxicatingly throaty vocal delivery that is instantly addictive. She is a fearsome life-warrior with her share of battle scars, yet possessing a completely vulnerable side to her soul, as well — it’s not unheard-of for Kat to careen on the edge of tears while lost in a reflective moment on stage. A one-on-one with the artist reveals her refreshingly engaging, poetic, and profoundly contemplative nature. All of these wonderful aspects converge in this young talent who is quickly captivating audiences around the country. With the recent release of her debut album, My Garden, and the video premiere of the title track less than two weeks ago, plus the phenomenal response to her iTunes “Single of the Week” (Sony’s second highest download in recent history), 2015 is poised to be the year of the Kat. This week not only is Dahlia appearing on NBC’s “Today” show (Monday, January 26, 10 a.m. ET), but she will also be a part of the Super Bowl Fan Fest in Phoenix, Arizona on January 29.
My Garden is pretty much Kat’s autobiography. If you have seen her live show, you understand how all of the pieces fit together and you probably walked away from her performance with a greater understanding and a deep respect for this artist’s life and talent. Unlike her live show, however, Kat revealed in a recent interview with Examiner that the songs on the album do not appear in chronological order and thus offer a completely different experience than her concerts.
“The order of the songs on the album was more of a vibe thing,” she explained “I really liked the idea of opening up with ‘My Garden.’ It just felt like it was right because the song comes in so strong.” Kat proceeded to sing the opening lines of “My Garden” to demonstrate the songs power. On that track, the artist really sinks deep into her throat and sings with a brawny defiance that demands respect.
“The whole concept of ‘My Garden’ was basically me becoming this woman who is just in it for the money and the glam. This money-chasing woman is a persona that I took on for a short while, but it didn’t really last. But it was definitely something I tried out! I thought, ‘You know what, I want to be heartless! I want to do things for me! If a guy wants to fly me out and spend all of his money on me, well, I’m going to let him!’ I’m not really a materialistic kind of girl, but I thought I would just take advantage of what I was being offered and see if it could fill the void that I have within me. I quickly realized it did not fill any void whatsoever. If anything it made it bigger! I ended up falling for the same person all over again. I was trying to be tough and heartless, but it just didn’t work out.”
“Not a lot of people see that side, though,” she added. “If you don’t go to the live show, you won’t get that inside scoop, and you won’t understand how it all really connects.”
Kat went on to point out that since her song “Gangsta” had already made such a big impact on fans, that had to be the second track. “And then, we went on from there.”
My Garden is a solid debut featuring songs that truly reverberate with the human experience. Some tracks drift a little closer to mainstream hits, while others are firmly rooted in her cultural heritage. It is important to note, however, that not a single recording strays from the core of who Kat Dahlia is. The album is an expansive world with each song being a point of entry to a different neighborhood in Dahlia’s story.
With so many facets of herself represented on the album, Examiner wondered, if people could only pick one song to listen to, which song would Dahlia want that to be?
“That’s a really good question!” she responded. “I think that my instinct would say to listen to ‘Just Another Dude’ because it’s so honest and raw. Also it’s something I did very impromptu. When I recorded it, I just went into the booth and I blacked out. Most of the song came out in that one take. I didn’t write anything down, we just went in and captured the moment. That song is literally just me and my emotions.”
“It has this crazy balance of being so vulnerable, but there is also so much strength in that song,” she continued. “It’s so vulnerable because on one hand it’s like, ‘F*** you! You got me so f***ing bad!” But at the same time it’s saying, ‘You know what? I really don’t give a s*** because you’re just another f***ing dude!’ It’s not always about getting sad and crying, sometimes there’s a strength that follows the pain.”
When asked what her current romantic situation was, Kat declared, “I am so happy being in absolutely nothing right now. I am in the desert… and it’s the best desert that I’ve ever been in! No water, no problem. I will survive,” she laughed.
In closing, Kat offered a huge thanks to her fans for following her through all that she’s been through leading up to this moment. “Hopefully, I’ll get to see everyone again on the second leg of this tour!”
Kat Dahlia’s My Garden is now available on Vested in Culture, a division of Epic Records/Sony Music Entertainment. Be sure to watch her this Monday morning (January 26) on NBC’s Today show. For more information, visit her website, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.