We’ve all been rocking to Kat Deluna since she hit the ground running in 2007 with her smash hit “Whine Up”. While Kat is diminutive in size, her powerful voice and her passion for her craft make her nothing short of a juggernaut in the music industry. “Whine Up” was followed by a multitude of radio bangers like “Run The Show” featuring Busta Rhymes and “Drop It Low”. She went on to build an enormous fan base in Europe and Japan before returning to the American radio waves with “Bum Bum” featuring Trey Songz and most recently “What A Night” with Jeremih. Kat Deluna recently rolled through JAMNN 94.5’s studio where KBX got the chance to sit down with her to discuss her plans for her third studio album Viva Out Loud, why the next thing we should try is camel’s milk and how she hopes to heal the world with her music.
So welcome! How’re you enjoying Boston?
I just got here but I love Boston! Boston is just a very fun place. You know I’m from New York but Boston feels homey.
So you just had a single that dropped in February with Jeremih “What A Night?”. Is that off of your upcoming album?
Yes! So “What A Night” is a single from my upcoming album Viva Out Loud, live out loud! And I’m really amazed with the affection, cause I do have to say it is affection, that it has gotten…not only from our music industry but from the fans and the new fans, the Lunatics and the new ones…
I saw that in New Zealand “What A Night” was #1 on the carts and it hit #20 here.
When it (the song) first comes out, you get a feel of what it would be. You know, you talk business…they put it out boom boom so you get the feel. It was like #20, in the top twenty, and then it went up to #17 on the R&B iTunes U.S charts. You know, I’m more mainstream or pop so its a new thing for me. Even though, you know, I was like the R&B and Soul singer in school, in what I do, I’m a pop artist…with color though! So I’m just really happy, I’m really happy with it all. It was a challenge for me. And I feel like, people are accepting it. It’s like my child, I just gave birth to it!
(laughs) You just gave birth to it?
Yes! You know what’s funny. The first time or every time one of my albums comes out like 9 Lives or when Inside Out came out in Europe, I cried. This is what happens- and I’m not the mushy type- but you look at this cd, you look at the cover and you’re like “Oh my god, all this work, all these years of work”. And you just hold it tight, I held it tight to my chest and I cried and I’m like “I wish you luck baby. Now go into the world and let them hear you”. So that’s how I felt.
The video for the song was dope, I liked the feel of it, the dancing and everything. Y’all filmed that in Japan right? How was that?
Okay, so its really interesting! So in the video, you see the guys, that’s in Japan.When you see me dancing with the other dancers, that’s in New York. And then when you see me with Jeremih, that’s in L.A
So three different spots, all in one video?
Three different cities, all one video. It was amazing. It happened out of nowhere. So what happened was that I was in Japan, I was touring at the end of the year last year and it just so happened that I played the song to a few directors that I knew out there. We were like “Yo, let’s just do something (for the video)”. You know how much footage we shot that we have not used or utilized? Even Shazam, they had done a promotion and used some of the footage that didn’t make it into this particular version of the video. We did a movie, we a did a bunch of things. Then we came back home and shot more. I said I need more beauty scenes. We’re just very creative on the spot so you know you’re gonna loose out on things, so you have to make it up in other cities. It’s fun, it’s a lot of fun.
So the sound of “What A Night”, do you feel like that’s kind of indicative what we’re gonna hear from you from Viva Out Loud or is it just a piece of what we can expect from your next album?
I would say that it’s a piece. Because, to tell you the truth, “What A Night” and “Bum Bum”, they are my experimental songs on the album. Everyone knows my pop-latin, urban sound. So this time, I wanted to come out and do the styles of music I grew up listening to, the songs that I would sing to when I was in the choir…You know, this time, for example for the song with Jeremih, I had to like sing-talk…“Bum Bum” was more singing and it was more dark and laid back…You should’ve heard it, I was trying to record it and I was over-singing…So yea, you’re gonna hear songs with the same colors as the ones I have just put out. But then again, you’re gonna hear growth, of me vocally, as a human being, as a person. I can talk about more things now. I’m really happy with the sound and I tried new things, at least they’re new things for me, musically.
When you first entered the scene (the music scene), you were what, 17, 18?
When I was able to completely put it out (my first musical project), I was 18 going on 19.
So that’s a long span of time to grow as an artist. I mean even vocally and as you said, as a human
You know, I was able to learn a lot about the business. I learned how to make hits, believe it or not, I’ve been writing behind the scenes. I’ve also been places, a lot of my songs, for example “Unstoppable” with Lil’ Wayne- it was a song that was not intended to be put out, it was just for a movie. So I was able to put that song out in a movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic”…Little things like, that I’ve been doing behind the scenes. But at the same time, putting out an album in Europe, touring, going into the studio, scratching it, coming back, little things like that.
Do you think you’re gonna do a tour to promote the album?
Because, the last time you were here (in Boston), was last year, right? With Joey Bada$$?
Oh my god, yes I remember, because I promised the guys to send them camel’s milk. And they were like “Oh no”, they like punked out-
Wait, camel’s milk?
Yeah I drink camel’s milk. It’s weird, I know, but it’s really healthy for you.
How does it taste?
It tastes like skim milk but it doesn’t have lactose. So if you’re lactose intolerant, you could drink. And it’s good for people who have diabetes…I have my grandmother on it! I highly, highly recommend it. But (as far as the tour), things are not set in stone right now…but definitely, there’s going to be so much happening. I wanna start off with a mini-tour by myself and then get on a tour…realistically, maybe at least in the States, I’m not going to be head lining a tour, at least maybe not this year but maybe at the end of the year.
But in Europe, you probably would be, because you’re huge in Europe
It’s funny, I just talk business… I straight up tell the truth…So it’s okay (not headlining), it’s just building up to it. I’m so ready. I live on stage. I would say my performances, my real performances…they’re crazy. Because I vibe off of the energy of the crowd. If they’re trying to be stand offish, man I jump right into the crowd…
That’s where it’s at though right now, the live shows and the touring…people pirate their music nowadays but people will still pay to go see an artist
I’ve been really lucky and at the same time thankful to my fans that I have been able to do that, where I can do shows. I’ve had success, I’ve had a lot of songs…so I’ve been able to tour. But they come because of the show, you know?…I love that you understand this, because a lot of people don’t understand it, that sometimes you may have this huge success in one space in the world and just bringing it over to the biggest market in the world, the U.S, is crazy. And that I already have this…it’s just amazing and I’m just ready for it. A few things business wise happened here and that’s why I couldn’t do the whole thing. But now I’m ready, ready for the whole enchiladas.
Ultimately, what do you feel like you want to do with your music? What do you feel like your mission is, as an artist?
I love that (question) because I feel that some people pick something up and do it. Some people are born to do it and I definitely will say to you that I was born for this…I am supposed to help heal the world through music. And I know I sound all like “Come on Kat, this isn’t a movie” but seriously. I’ve done a few huge concert halls…the young fans, the older fans, they look up to my ambitious ways, my work and I can inspire girls to just go ahead and do it and be a powerful woman as well…Never sell yourself short because that’s been a lot of my issues with everything…
Selling yourself short?
No, that I didn’t sell myself short…There’s so much potential out there but at the same time, there isn’t a lot of opportunities. Women are limited. So when I went to Cambodia in November, I was a doing a show for charity but when I got there it was in a stadium, it was bigger than the Madison Square Garden in New York City, it was filled up and it was televised in the whole country. And right then and there, when I was singing, the Prime Minister’s daughter came up with the Prime Minister…it was crazy, I sat backstage and was like “Who’re they here for? Who’re they coming to see?” You know, I’m really that funny and humble…but when I was able to sing, and at that same time everything was going on in Paris…I started singing one of my favorite songs by Michael, “Heal The World”, and just to see the whole wave of people just singing and putting their hands up. And then the little girls came up, because I invited them up on stage to sing with me, I knew right then and there that I have a mission. Us artists, we have to use our platforms to help influence the world. Okay we’re human, we’re gonna sometimes mess up, I get it. But I do wanna touch people with my music, even if it’s just to show people to dance and have fun or hey, there’s this ballad, listen to it and just cry, get it all out. I just want to be able to do that. I’ll find a way and I am on my way.
I would definitely say that you’re on your way and I’m definitely excited to hear your third album. Hopefully it will dropping sometime this year right?
This summer! There is a date but I really can’t say right now.
But we can definitely expect it Summer 2016?
Yes! Summer 2016, it’s going to also be worldwide. I’m very excited! I’m working in silence right now…I’m on a mission. I don’t want the hype around it, when I first came out there was a lot of hype and I’m grateful for it but I didn’t live in the hype…I want my fans to discover me again musically and just creatively… At the end, I want to be able to have them (the fans) find it, not say “Oh my god, its coming out” but to just find it, relate to it. Because that’s what music is. Music is not mine, I make music for people, that’s what we have to understand…it’s their (the fans) music.
Make sure to keep an eye out for Viva Out Loud when it drops this summer. Check back in with KBX for updates.