You may have heard “I think I’m in Love” on Grey’s Anatomy recently. Or perhaps you saw the “Gangsta” video (if you didn’t, you can watch it below). Chances are you remember the 24-year-old Cuban-American with a voice like thunder and gorgeous morenaza looks (Kat: never, ever dye your hair blonde).
The long-awaited My Garden (released January 9 by Vested in Culture/Epic) is one of my favorite albums of the year and one of the best debuts I’ve ever heard. I’ve dug her stuff ever since I saw her on video, but after speaking with her on the phone a few weeks ago, I confirmed she was for real.
Key word: Cuba. When I asked her about the recent developments in the US-Cuba relations, instead of going all Miami/Pitbull on me, she spoke like what she is: a young, second-generation Cuban who, no matter what her family may think, understands that the embargo was useless then and is useless now.
“I’m dying to go to Cuba,” she told me on the phone from New Jersey (our full conversation on the second page of this blog). The times they are a-changin’.
If you ask me where to start with Kat Dahlia, I’ll tell you to start here:
It was this song that made me want to have her full album back in 2013, but a pseudocyst in her vocal cord (and other problems) delayed her debut, which is a solid display of playfulness…
…daring choices for an album opener…
…and pure Afro Cuban explosion.
But perhaps the album’s greatest gem is an acoustic studio accident she “nailed in one take.”
Full conversation on the following page.