Hauntingly beautiful is the best way to describe Miami born rapper, Kat Dahlia’s newest single “My Garden,” from her debut studio album of the same name.
From her raspy and sultry vocals to her razor sharp tongue, Dahlia, 24, draws you in and makes you want more.
She released her debut single, “Gangsta” in 2013 and was named one of Billboard’s “Next Big Sound” artists that same year. Dahlia’s debut studio album proves that she is sticking around and not going down without a fight.
“As an artist, I’m constantly growing,” she said. “I’m always thinking of new songs, making new styles, different sounds, different genres.”
Born Katriana Huguet, she was raised by Cuban-born parents and brought up in a household with lively musical influences that included Celia Cruz and Tito Puente.
From performing her first solo, “Tomorrow” from the musical Annie, when she was 8-years-old, Dahlia knew music was her calling. She began writing her own songs at the age of 15.
And from an early age, Dahlia knew to rely on herself instead of others.
In an ironic twist, her new single is about a woman longing for someone to provide her with a sense of security. Dressed in black and slithering around with a snake, the raven-haired beauty sings, “My garden’s white as daises / And it’s untouched of sin.”
“The woman [in the video] is a beautiful temptress and is a gold digger.” Dahlia said. “She’ll give you her garden as long as you take care of her and give her what she wants.”
Dahlia is the opposite. Waitressing for years in order to be able to save up money to pay for studio sessions, film a music video and record an EP on her own, by the age of 18 she had saved enough to move to New York, from there, she decided to move to New Jersey.
In 2012, she was signed to Vested in Culture and Epic records by veteran record executive Sylvia Rhone.
Her album, My Garden, which contains 11 tracks, including “Gangsta” and “Crazy”, was released earlier this month and was produced by Frankie Storm, Rico Love and Glass John and more.
Dahlia doesn’t mince words and her music blends dark undertones with touches of Latin, hip-hop and reggae influences.
One of her favorite songs from the track is titled “Just Another Dude.” Drawing inspiration from a toxic relationship, anyone who has had their heart broken or has stayed in an unhealthy relationship can relate to her powerful vocals on the song.
“I used stand so tall / Now I cant stand at all / Baby made me fall / He shot me on the wall/ He got me, he shot me good / He got me, he shot me good / He had the gun he had the pen I was the mark,” she belts out in the tragically honest lyrics.
“I recorded it basically in one take,” she said. “We tried adding production to it, but it just kind of took away from the magic. I wanted to just keep it an acoustic, I wanted to capture the moment.”
As an artist, Dahlia is very much like a garden, offering an abundance of variety. Her stage name itself is after a beautifully colored flower, but with some, the word itself carries a darker connotation. Her lyrical content is drawn from hardships she’s faced and overcome.
“Sometimes I can be very colorful, other days I’ll wear all black,” she said. “I kind of feel a little bit of everything.”
“It’s kind of like my music. It’s kind of like my style of clothing. Sometimes I like to be sexy, and sophisticated. Some days I like to feel a little more raw and put on a wife beater and some jeans.”
While tour dates and schedules are still being planned, Dahlia says she is excited to begin her tour at the end of March.
Hopefully one of those dates will include a show in the City of Angels as she cites it one of her favorite places to escape to.
“L.A. has a great energy, there are so many artists and musicians [there],” she said. “It’s always inspiring.”
Dahlia stays in touch with her fans using social media and does her best to keep them involved in her life.
For those hoping to make a career in the music industry she says, “Follow your heart. Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t do it. Trust in yourself and trust in your instincts and believe in yourself.”
Marvin Vasquez contributed to this story.