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Interview: Kat Graham Talks Her Music, Her Inspirations, And More!

Melissa Berne Melissa Berne
July 16th, 2012 6:40pm EDT

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I got a chance to call in and have a candid interview with the fierce Kat Graham! She talks about her experiences in the music industry, being on tour, plus her passions that her fans don't know about. Check out her insights after the jump!

Q: Would your music ever be featured on The Vampire Diaries?

Kat Graham: I hope not. Unless "Kat Graham" visited The Vampire Diaries. I don't think Bonnie can sing my music. Not unless it's scoring music for the actual soundtrack, which I've done in the past. I'm not interested in singing my songs other than when I'm myself. Yea [laughs], I would rather not to be honest.

Q: I wanted to talk to you about your experience in the music industry since we all know how harsh the experience can be from the grind of trying to get a record deal, dealing with music execs, people wanting you to fit into a certain box, grueling rehearsals, or having "bad singing" days. How do you keep going? What do you tell yourself and how do you shut out the doubters?

KG: It's so interesting because, you know, I spent everyday since age 14 trying to make my music. There's not one day that goes by that I'm not listening to one of my songs or in rehearsal for one of my songs or dancing to one of my songs. And all I wanted when I was kid was to have a record deal. I wanted to be the first female, young teenager producer and It didn't happen. And when it finally did happen I was shelved because I was singed to Warner Bros. So that happened. And by the time I had such a bad taste in my mouth, when it was over and I had spent all my money to support my music, and did all my crappy music videos for my YouTube page or had bad management deals or whatever it was I was just kind of like "You know what? I just wanna make music, I'm not interested, I don't need to get singed. I just want to release my music and you know what, if it's meant to be, it will be." That's when I got singed to  A& M Interscope Records, and it just all worked out. My experience with music, I'm not going to say extremely negative but it's definitely been a grind, it's been grimy, it hasn't been a pretty  process. Its left me crying, you know, on the carpet in my tiny apartment with, like, no money. But it's been worth it, it's my passion, my dream, it's what I love to do. And I don't mind going broke for it. I love what I do. Now, it's all coming together and it's all worth it and it's really starting to happen now. 

Q: What's it like being on the road and getting to play your music for your fans? 

KG: It's so incredible. I just want to live on the road. I can't understand artist that don't want to perform and like get on stage and do their songs for all their fans every night. If I'm not performing every night I get totally depressed. I know that sounds really weird but I hate sitting at home and not having a 1 a.m. performance now. It kills me. I love being on tour, I love being on the road. It's the most amazing feeling ever. I live for it; I love it. 

Q: Who are your inspirations on your style?

KG: My style is a little crazy. I'm always trying to, like, I think I'm toning it down, but then I always end up just doing my own thing. My biggest style inspirations come from the '90s. I'm really inspired by TLC, Janet Jackson, and designers like Jeremy Scott. I'm hugely inspired by Club Kids from New York back in the '90s. I'm inspired by the drag queen scene. Combat boots and the torn off jeans and a baggy shirt--I love that look. I love Kayne West, I'm really inspired by him a lot. 

Q: I know that you recently had a tour for your EP "Against The Wall." What was your favorite city and who was the loudest? 

KG: The loudest was my favorite. Chicago was my favorite. I did this show at a local gay club called Roscoe's and I didn't know what to expect because I've done lots of gays clubs since I started performing. My biggest audience and my most loyal has been my gay fan base. But I definitely would have to say Roscoe's in Chicago was the most impressive. They knew all the songs, all the lyrics to my songs and they were singing them back to me so loud, I couldn't even hear myself in the monitors. It was just so piercingly loud that I actually started to cry because it was so beautiful to have that experience where the people knew my music. It was just the energy in it was like heartbreaking in the best way. It was the culmination of, you know, all the years that I spent struggling and having hope that it will all work out. 

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Q: What are three passions that you have that your fans wouldn't know about?

KG: Let me ask my mom because she knows me. To her mom in the background: "Name three passions that I have that fans wouldn't know about": Animals, art. I can be obsessive about art and artists. Like Renaissance artist, most particularly, Leonardo Da Vinci, and ,like, the history of things, knowing the background of that story behind it. Animals, art, and spirituality. 

Q: Musically speaking, what producers or other artists would you love to collaborate with? 

KG: I would really love to collaborate with Gwen Stefani, and M.I.A.; artists that kind of make sense with me vocally. And in terms of style, I'm a very visual artist, I really love Pharell, I love people that really care about drums and I like beat-heavy. I'd love to work with Cee Lo. I don't know, there's a lot of them. 

Q: Can you describe your ideal day when you're not singing or acting? 

KG: I'd have to say what I'm doing right now: having lunch with my mom, maybe going to yoga in the morning, you know, going to see a movie at night with my boyfriend, looking at different furniture. I just got a house, so I'm obsessed with decor and art right now, finding cool pieces. Yeah, just shopping and hanging out with my mom. Very, very normal. But they are very rare the days, you know. 

You can watch the lastest episode of Kat's web series 'Road To' on Awesomeness TV now!

 

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