A few weeks back we released our funky, fresh session cut with Vampire Diaries' star, Kat Graham
. Kat and her insanely talented band had swung by our place a couple months back and showcased the musical chops many of her fans might not have been aware of
During the session we also had the opportunity to talk extensively about how she's gotten to this point in her musical career. It started early; her father was a jazz musician and label owner, she devoured the radio pop of the 90s (think Britney Spears, Spice Girls, Justin Timberlake etc), and cut her musical chops as a beatmaker. She is also the proud owner of a music engineering degree as well a few sharp opinions on what constitutes good/bad music production. So if you're thinking this is just another case of a celebrity wanting her side-hussle, think again. Graham is tried and true musician. Here she takes us through that history as well as dives into some of the inspirations that crackle and pop through her new album, Love Music, Funk Magic
, which is slated for release this Friday.
Kat Graham is a music artist and actress. She currently stars as Bonnie Bennett, in The CWs series The Vampire Diaries.
Born in Geneva, Switzerland, Kat speaks four languages English, Spanish, French and Hebrew and is the daughter of a Liberian father and a Russian Jewish mother. At the age of 6, Kat began acting in commercials such as Barbie, K-Mart, Pop- Tarts and Old Navy, and television shows including Like Family, Grounded for Life, and Lizzie McGuire. Her first big break came when she replaced a young Christina Milian as the host of the Disney channels popular series Movie Surfers. Kat can also be seen in the films 17 Again, with Zac Efron and Matthew Perry, The Roommate, with Leighton Meester, and the starring role in Honey 2, and the slated 2014 release of Lionsgates Addicted.
Kat furthered her natural acting talents with vocal training, piano lessons and dance classes. At 15, she was chosen by renowned choreographer Fatima to perform at the BET Awards as a background dancer for Bow-Wow, leading to stints as a dancer for Missy Elliott and Pharrell, and went on to work with choreographers Hi Hat and Michael Rooney.
In addition to being a professional actress and dancer, Kat began to pursue a career as a musical artist. One of the first songs she wrote and performed Derailed was featured in the Jean-Claude Van Damn movie bearing the same title. She was inspired to purchase her own studio equipment and add producer to her list of talents. A year later she met super producer Damon Elliott (Pink, Mya, Destinys Child). While the two worked on perfecting Kats skills as a musician and producer, she continued to work as an actress, starring on the series CSI: Las Vegas, The O.C., Malcolm In The Middle, Joan of Arcadia, Strong Medicine and Hannah Montana. She appeared in music videos, including Akons Mr. Lonely, 112s What If, John Legends Used to Love U, B2Ks Why I Love You and Musiq Soulchilds Buddy, Nellys Just a Dream, and Diddy with Usher Looking for Love. At 17, Kat was selected by Coca-Cola as part of an international campaign to market their soft drink Fanta. While promoting the campaign as a member of the Fantanas (as Capri/Strawberry), Kat simultaneously completed her degree in recording engineering. In 2007 Kat went on a world tour with The Black-Eyed Peas, and her voice is featured on Will.I.Ams solo release Songs About Girls (I Got It From My Mama) and The Donque Song, featuring Snoop Dogg.
Kat went on to be the face of many campaigns and endorsements that include OP, Yoplait, Samsung, U by Kotex, Avon, Bing, Ford, Aquafina, Abercrombie, Nivea, and Armani Exhange. In 2013 she became a high profile supporter of the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees) which she currently travels and campaigns for. She is a counsel member for GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), as well an ambassador for The Water Project and went on to help fund wells for clean water to be built for villages and schools throughout Africa.
Kat soon signed to A&M Octone Records and she released her debut EP, Against The Wall in May of 2012. The first single, Put Your Graffiti On Me, which was produced by Australian Duo Twice as Nice (50 Cent, Pete Wentz), reached over 7 million views on VEVO and charted on the Billboard Dance Charts. Her last single Power produced by Mitch Allen (Demi Lovatos Heart Attack) was released on itunes July 31st 2013 and premiered on billboard.com to positive reviews. The song was added to over 30 stations within the first week of its release. Kat is currently filming the 6th season of The Vampire Diaries and recording her first full length album.