“Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the freshest one of all” is the first line Kat Graham purrs on “Sassy,” the first official song off her upcoming debut CD and a track that promises great things from the “Vampire Diaries” actress.
Although by this time next year it’s entirely possible “TV star” will get bumped a few notches down her resume totem pole since Kat not only has that hotly fan-ticipated album due out in the first quarter of 2011, but the lead role in “Honey 2” — a movie that has garnered more interest, pre-release, than the Jessica Alba-led original has in the seven years since its debut.
Since “Sassy” has become an iPod staple since it dropped last month, I figured it time to ring up the divine Kat. Especially since she was finally free to talk about her dance-tastic sequel and had just read the first script from “Vampire Diaries” second season!
PopWrap: I’m addicted to “Sassy,” how far along are you in the recording process?
Kat Graham: Thank you, I’m so happy people like it! We’re not quite done yet, but we wanted to put stuff out so you could get a taste so when I drop an album, you’re not like, “wait where did all this pop fabulousness come from?” I’ve been constantly recording – when I wasn’t shooting “Vampire Diaries,” I’d fly home for 16 hours and record as much as I possibly could. Then I’d come back to Atlanta & record out here. The process never really stopped for me.
PW: What made you pick “Sassy” as your official debut?
Kat: I like to see what the fans like and what they’re gravitating towards – “Sassy” was on the blogs and I was pushing it independently — I noticed it getting all this traction, so the fans decided – at least in my mind – “Sassy” would be the first single, or the first official song from me as an artist.
PW: Is that what we can expect from the full CD?
Kat: Yea, that’s really the sound of the album – old school Janet with a modern production behind it. Taking it back to the early 90’s with a melodic, playful sound. And “Sassy” has always been my sound — the way I sing, the way I rap, the way I live. Anyone who knows me knows what I’m about – how much I’m into empowerment, equal rights and everyone just loving themselves.
PW: Rocking a backwards suit on the single cover is a bold move in this post-Celine Dion world.
Kat: [laughs] I know, but you know what – I am so out there with my clothes. That’s actually my jacket. That shoot was such a rush. I just went into my closet, grabbed the jacket and just thought, “let’s’ put it on backwards.” It worked! But that is definitely a taste of what’s to come, fashion-wise.
PW: So we can expect some seriously eye-catching tour couture?
Kat: Oh yea, always. I am more vintage than I a high fashion. I love Lady GaGa, but I would never try and go into her lane. She’s brilliant. But what I do love is the image of Grace Jones, David Bowie and Janet. The sound of my music is 90’s dance pop meets future, so I want to incorporate that in my fashion.
PW: Any thoughts on the album title?
Kat: Maybe a self-titled CD. I always loved those growing up. Maybe something about a New Era, or the birth of something. I know we’re going to drop as a fun little viral thing that remake I did of “Cold Hearted Snake” by Paula Abdul. And we’ll do a cool dance video too, something like her video.
PW: So you’ll storm a dance audition and have a clothed orgy?
Kat: Absolutely [laughs]! I’m obsessed with that song & video – I’m dying to remake it. Eventually you’ll see it.
PW: What’s the song you’re most excited to get out into the public?
Kat: There’s a song called “I Want It All” – it’s a mix of Cher and Gwen Stefani. It’s an anthem song, which I’m all about, and similar to “Sassy” in that it’s really empowering. Belting the hook, very sexy and I definitely think that’ll be out before the end of the year, or as the first single towards March-ish of next year.
PW: Any chance some of your tunes will end up in “Honey 2?”
Kat: Yea, we’re discussing that right now – it would be incredible. I wasn’t expecting this movie to turn out as good as it did. When I started seeing all the stages being built and the character arcs – it just turned out so incredible, I’m so excited to see it.
PW: How does it differ from “Honey” with Jessica Alba?
Kat: I loved “Honey” – it was the first time you saw a movie follow a young woman on her dance journey. It wasn’t about one guy or a crew. But what I love about this script is it’s grimier, it’s grittier. It’s about this Puerto Rican chick from Brooklyn that is just getting out of juvie. Her dancing is tougher, her life is tougher — she has more to lose and everything to win. This girl’s fight was what drew me to the movie. I had to get that story out, I had to do that character. Our “Honey” is very different. The first one set an incredible bar, but I believe we raise it.
PW: You caused a little Twitter-storm when you wrote “Just got the new script for Vampire Diaries!!”
Kat: Oh yea! I love the fans, I love that it’s been months since it went off the air and they’re still chomping at the bit for the second season, which by the way is insane.
PW: Does the first episode pick up right where we left off with Elena walking into the kitchen?
Kat: Yep [laughs], it’s pretty insane. And I will say that Bonnie is really, really tough in the first episode back. She is not playing around. Bonnie will eff you up if you mess with her! She is also going to have to deal with Katherine. And that’s a whole new beast. Literally.
PW: In the finale she made a very ominous threat to Stefan — will season two see her sticking to that?
Kat: Yea. She really means that – she’s not going to help them any more.
PW: And I would imagine her powers will only continue to grow?
Kat: Oh yea, she’s going to become even stronger. But it’s important she stay vulnerable too. You don’t want someone to raise hell with no motivation behind it. You can never forget the loss of a loved one and I don’t think she’ll ever get over losing her grams. That was her rock to this world. She wouldn’t do anything simply out of a hate for vampires. I don’t think she could ever justify that.