DirectLyrics Interviews Kat Graham: Talks Debut Album “Roxbury Drive”, 90s Sound, New “Vampire Diaries” Season & Dream Of A Bruno Mars Duet!
She’s a worldwide household name thanks to her role as Bonnie Bennett in the TV series “The Vampire Diaries”, but now Kat Graham has decided that the time has come to expand her dominions. The 26-year-old singer, born in Geneva, Switzerland - but raised in L.A - has modeled, acted, danced and now she’s found the right time to develop another one of her passions; singing. In 2012, she surprised us with the sassy single “Put Your Graffiti On Me”, releasing that same year an EP titled “Against the Wall”, but now in 2015, having had more preparation time, and after having found her adequate musical niche and having found herself too, Kat Graham is delighting us with her debut album, “Roxbury Drive”. Released only last month independently, the album was fully produced by the legendary Babyface and has a 90s sound.
A couple of weeks ago Kat premiered the music video for the latest single, “Secrets”, whose filming was one of the most difficult in Kat’s career.
Directlyrics interviewed Kat a few days ago and we had the opportunity to ask her about the new album, why the 90's sound or if our favorite song “Off” has the chance to be a future single. Also, we asked her about the new season of “The Vampire Diaries”, and Kat revealed to us that her dream collaboration is with Bruno Mars!!!
1. Hi Kat! Where are you answering this Q&A from and how’s your day been like so far?
I'm answering this Q&A in my office in Georgia. My day has been great. Started 4 a.m. in New York city, it is now 10:00 a.m. in Atlanta.
2. Your debut album “Roxbury Drive” recently came out. How did it feel to finally “give birth” to this project? Also, why the title of “Roxbury Drive”?
My debut album “Roxbury Drive” is finally out. It feels so great to give birth to such a fun and unapologetic record. It really represents who I am, and all the influences that have made me want to become an artist in the first place. I chose the title “Roxbury Drive” because that is actually the street that I grew up on and where I first fell in love with music. It was the street I was raised on.
3. We thought your debut album would be coming out in 2012 around the time your released the super sassy, and one of our major obsessions that year, “Put Your Graffiti on Me”. What went on back in that time?
Dealing with labels, you see a lot of artists projects getting pushed back or shelved which is what happened. It wasn't because we didn't have the records, it was because they either just wanted to do an EP, or the record didn't do what they wanted it to do so they didn't want to put any more money in any more songs. So I still have all the super fun dance records that I'm trying to figure out when I would put out.
4. The 11-song “Roxbury Drive” LP is produced by the legendary Babyface. How did the two of you meet and how did you get him to produce your album?
The 11-song “Roxbury Drive” album is actually produced by me. Babyface is the Executive Producer. I worked with Jeeve to make this album, and Kenny came on for “Secrets” production and he mentored me through this whole process. We actually met at a dinner a few years back and then I saw him again at this year’s Grammy Awards. He actually fell in love with “Secrets” when he heard it and we created the new more incredible version of that song with him, of course, on the vocals.
5. You’ve said “Roxbury Drive” is a 90s-inspired album. How did this inspiration for this album came into being, and what’s your favorite thing about 90s music?
The inspiration for “Roxbury Drive” is 90’s inspired because I've always been, I guess, stuck in that era. Everything that feels good to me stylistically and visually for me was birthed in that time. From the super models to the female pop acts to the fashion to everything that was really going on in television and film I really loved stylistically what the 90’s brought. I also felt that with such it was fun to be cool; it was cool to be fun. My favorite thing about 90’s music is it so melody driven and there's much more musicianship then maybe what you might hear in today's contemporary music.
6. You recently premiered the music video for the album’s second single, a ballad called “Secrets”. What can you tell us about the story of this song, what is it about?
“Secrets” is a song I wrote about being with somebody but not being able to be public about it and what that can do to you and the feelings that that brings up. It's all a very personal but it's definitely a real experience.
7. Some of the scenes in the music video see you singing “Secrets” under water in a bathtub! Was it complicated shooting these scenes for you?
“Secrets” was probably the most complicated video I have ever shot. It wasn't just shot underwater in a bath tub, we actually rented out a rec center and we shot most of it completely submerged in this pool. I'm not much of a swimmer, so many takes were panic-stricken, but I'm pulled it together and I'm really proud of what came out.
8. Our favorite song from “Roxbury Drive” is “Off”. What inspired this song? and!! Is there any chance this becomes a single in a near future and you shoot a video for it? Pretty please!
My favorite song from “Roxbury Drive” is also “Off” as well as “Quit Ya.”
I wanted to make a super sexy song. Back in the 90’s, you had very incredible songs with even more incredible innuendos so I wanted it to be cheeky and a tease, but very fun. I can totally imagine doing a music video for it.
9. If you could record a collaboration with any artist you admire right now, who would it be, why, and how do you imagine your song to sound like/be about?
If I could record a collaboration with any artist I admire right now, it would definitely be Bruno Mars, because he really understands taking music inspired by another decades and making it super strong, current and incredible. He is my favorite artist right now alongside Stromae.
10. What are Kat Graham’s Top 5 songs of the moment?
My top 5 songs of the moment are “Baby, Quit Ya, Now, 1991, and Off”. I'm sure you wanted me to mention other artists, but it's hard to just pick top 5 (laughs)
11. How excited are you for the new season of “The Vampire Diaries”? Will it be the best one yet?
“The Vampire Diaries” is very exciting this season. It's definitely one of the best seasons for my character Bonnie and seeing her evolve into the witch that many fans have been waiting a long time to see.
12. Thanks Kat! Best of luck with everything! ANY last thing you’d like to share with our readers at Directlyrics.com?
Thank you to the readers that read this and thanks for jamming out to my record.