Meet Kat Dahlia, a Music Forward industry expert and Cuban-American singer, songwriter, and rapper from Miami, Florida. Kat began rapping at the age of eight and writing songs at the age of 15 so she relates to the young musicians in our Artist Development pathway. She is also a recipient of the BET “Music Matters” honor and cites artists BB King, Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Bob Marley, Frank Sinatra, and Celia Cruz as musical influences. Check out her musical projects at katdahlia.com.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey as an artist?
I’m Kat Dahlia I’m a singer-songwriter from Miami and I’m a leo, lol.
How did you get your start in the music industry?
I put out an EP called Shades of Grey back in 2012, dropped a song called “Gangsta” and got signed to Epic Records.
How did you get involved with Music Forward?
My friend Meleni Smith introduced me to it. I love the purpose and the movement of Music Forward. It’s important for the youth to have a resource that offers them more knowledge and mentorship in this industry.
What is one of your favorite Music Forward memories so far?
Talking to the youth, I remember my first time interacting with them was making a song with them over Zoom. They were so opinionated, creative, and had a desire for collaboration with no mental walls or fear. That was inspiring and refreshing to be a part of.
Your next album is in Spanish, what was your songwriting process for this new album?
It’s in Spanglish.
I wrote with my friends and I wrote about real experiences that either my girlfriends or I myself have been through. I just wanted it to feel real, told through the female gaze.
What has 2020 taught you?
I’m still learning but right now the biggest thing is be patient and to give yourself the love and time that you would want for or from another.
Was there ever a time that you doubted yourself and if so, how did you overcome that challenge?
Every single day. However, I just put one foot in front of the other and move forward.
Who are some of the artists that have influenced you and why?
Sooooo many! Drake, the god. Lil’ Wayne, Just Bee, oh and Tems’ music is hitting right now as well.
What piece of advice would you give to an artist first entering the music industry?
I would say trust yourself and don’t be afraid to say NO.
How have you seen the music industry evolve and what changes are you most excited to see happen?
There are a lot more indie artists today. I’m also seeing more vulnerability, more of a realness in music.
How does music move you?
MUSIC saved my life. It made my life and now it’s a practice I never want to give up.