Kat Dahlia drops her new single ‘Mojada,’ today a whimsical and experimental track that cannot be missed.
In celebration of the new release, The young musician sat down with The Knock to discuss this new single, among other things. Dahlia, is in life, much like her music, confident and eloquent, with an undercurrent of wisdom that surpasses her youth.
Dahlia refuses to be labeled with her intelligent sharp lyrics and urban flow, that can neither be tagged as pop, urban, or dance. Her songs are as diverse as her global fan base, with her earlier chart-topper ‘Gangsta,’ an almost aggressive growling song that empowers, that shot her to fame. Now, after a two-year period of self-discovery and writing, she is back with fresh material and is ready to take the world by storm as she goes on tour this fall and is getting ready to drop a new album.
The Knockturnal: Congratulations on your newest release “I’m Doing Good” released June 21, what was it like for you to release that?
Kat Dahlia: It was a huge weight off my shoulders! It had been such a long time since I had put something out officially and there is so much that goes on behind the scenes that people don’t realize when you’re working on something for a year and a half, so to finally get to that day was very fulfilling. It felt great!
The Knockturnal: What is the story behind this song?
Kat Dahlia: I guess the story behind it was something I felt close to. I’ll just be talking to my girls and we’ll be sending memes, and it’s just about shit that we go through. It is something that females go through all the time, so I wanted to say something about what we all go through, men and women, but say it in a way this is still empowering. It’ about that person that sniffs out when you’re doing better and when you’re finally moving on, they pop up and just want to fuck up your life. It’s like “God damn it really! I just started to forget about you! What the fuck!”
The Knockturnal: So, your next album will have both English and Spanish music, what made you want to mix two languages?
Kat Dahlia: In my last album I was already doing Spanish stuff, I had a Spanish song and a couple of Spanglish things. In this album, I really wanted to focus on the culture and really dive into the Latin side of things. It just felt like something that is important to do now especially since there is so much energy around it.
The Knockturnal: Your lyrics are so bold and no bullshit, what is your process for writing songs?
Kat Dahlia: I think my writing process has changed over the years, and recently what I really like to come into the room with is a concept. After singing and making music for so long, there are only so many melodies, I think that there is such an oversaturation of music that you have probably heard most of the melodies or a lot of them. To me what makes a song stand out these days, is having something to say that is not so typical to what you’re hearing. So, I always like to try to think of a concept that is really strong and really hits the human brain in a place that feels really relatable and that you feel connected to it and something that is relatable to me, and that makes it easier to write about it.
The Knockturnal: You are coming out with a new album pretty soon, is there anything you can tell us about your new album?
Kat Dahlia: The album is fire! I’m also excited about the new single that comes out August 9 called “Mojada.” Just the way the music industry is now, I’m just dropping singles. I’m excited for the album to come out, I’m excited to drop singles every six weeks and just feed the fans. It has just been so long! Also, it has been artistically stifling for me because when you’re holding so much for so long, it’s like your pregnant for two years! I have a single coming out after “Mojada” called Dime “Si Te Llego” featuring Fuego and we are just going to keep dropping songs. I have another feature on the way that I can’t talk about yet because we are about to lock it down, but I’m very excited about it. It’s my second album, but it feels like just the beginning in a lot of ways.
The Knockturnal: Let’s talk about your 2-year ‘break.’ What made you decide to step back?
Kat Dahlia: It feels like a break to people because they don’t really see the process. I was literally in the studio all the time like I’m a little studio rat! I was not taking a break, I was hustling, plotting, and meeting producers to figure out the sound. The first six months I was on Epic I was on hold. I wasn’t allowed to do anything, I wasn’t allowed to put out music commercially, I wasn’t allowed to do shit. But after that, I was figuring it out how to do it on my own really. Then I ended up linking with ROYAL’Z, who did ‘I’m Doing Good,’ and then Miro [Markus], who is a music producer based out of LA, and Mitty Jones, they have just become my go-to guys. Then we did a writing camp in Miami, came back to LA and kept writing. So that really is what it was, it was cultivating a sound and figuring exactly what I wanted it to be like.
The Knockturnal: Do you have a favorite song of yours?
Kat Dahlia: I honestly think ‘Mojada’ has always been one of my favorites. It’s such a vibe and such a summer feel good. It has this sexy, dope vibe that just makes me feel good. I just want to feel good and dance! There are so much political seriousness and so much darkness in the world, there are parts of this album that do feel a little escapist for me, and I feel like we all kind of need that escape sometimes. We are all bombarded every which way and to just have an escape is important to remember to not take things so seriously all the time. But beyond that, the song is just fire!
The Knockturnal: In your previous album or even your previous singles, has there been a song that you struggled with?
Kat Dahlia: Yes. I can’t remember which ones, but yes! Sometimes it’ll take me a couple of weeks to finish a song. it happens, because I’m just so particular about lyrics, melody, and production. I’ll wake up in the morning sometimes and I’m already thinking of how to edit a song lyrically to make it say the exact message that I’m really trying to say. Sometimes you can miss the mark!
The Knockturnal: When did you first want to become a musician?
Kat Dahlia: I remember being really young and I was always singing. I think I got really obsessed with singing when I started getting CDs for Christmas. When I was six or seven, I was obsessed with Christina Aguilera, Brittany Spears, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, NSYNC, 98°, I was a 90s kid! Christina Aguilera was like my goddess she was my everything! Her voice was like my teacher in a lot of ways. I don’t sing like her at all anymore, but when I was seven-years-old I was going ham to ‘Genie In a Bottle.’
The Knockturnal: Who would you love to collaborate on a song with?
Kat Dahlia: I don’t know why Bad Bunny comes to mind, it’s so cheesy but it would be so fire! He is just so amazing and so clever lyrically. He is a very talented artist and I think it would sound so amazing and interesting.
The Knockturnal: Obviously to get where you are is no easy task, what obstacles have you faced in your growing career?
Kat Dahlia: Losing myself, finding myself, standing up for myself, getting older and maturing, losing friends that I didn’t need that weren’t really friends, learning to keep the people around me that really means something. A lot! Even vocally I think I have learned a lot. I think my voice has gotten better over the years. I think it’s just what naturally happens when you’ve been doing something for so long, you look back and think, “damn! I have been doing this for a while!” I feel like I’m only getting better. Even the writing process changes.
The Knockturnal: I was talking about this with another musician last week about how huge the gender gap in the music industry is, what advice would you give women who want to follow in your footsteps?
Kat Dahlia: Just be as self-sufficient as possible and self-reliant. Don’t depend on other people in the industry because they are, by basic math, going to tend to be men. Just be as independent as possible and learn as much as you can. There are a lot of great people you can learn from and that can make your own hero. I’m still learning even right now! The newest thing that I’m learning is how to edit my own music videos. That shit is stressing me the fuck out! You have to learn about new technology and how to upload everything to servers and about certain frames and it’s just stuff that I don’t know. I learn as I go. If you can be as self-sufficient as a female, as a male, as an independent artist, do that and you will go far.
The Knockturnal: You were the first female urban artist to perform in Jordan last year, what was that like?
Kat Dahlia: Fucking amazing! I was actually just talking to Sonnat who booked the show for me and we are talking about doing another show out there. It is such a magical place with so much incredible history! I was there for a little over 48 hours and I saw four cities. We were just non-stop. They were feeding me mad food and everywhere they were giving me gifts. Petra was just this beautiful historical place!
Human history is so interesting to me and being a human is so trippy and the things that were built back then were so grand and incredible! It’s crazy to think of where we came from and where we are going. It makes you think how quickly things are changing now and how rapidly they’re changing as they change. It’s exponentially changing faster and it’s overwhelming. When you go to a place like that where things are much simpler, there are still people that live in Petra and they live in caves! To think of just the difference insane!
I want to see more of the world. Things are changing so fast and it’s a little scary to think what’s going to happen. Being the first pop female artist there was important. I think the most interesting thing about it that I noticed was that it was a sold-out show, and I will say that it was a lot of men at my show. So, what I thought is next time I do a show there, I want it to be earlier in the day so more women can come. There is definitely still a lot of strictness for the women there and so it is important for me to have the women feel comfortable to come to my show. I was talking to the promotor to make sure the show was early and that it was not around school and prayer. Just little stuff so women feel like they have the opportunity to come. It’s just a different culture.
The Knockturnal: You have already announced that you will be playing at several music festivals this fall, is there something in particular that you are looking forward to in the future?
Kat Dahlia: It’s so hard to say! I’m really looking forward to the shows and getting them together. I’m looking forward to performing in front of fans and just getting on the road. It’s been a while! I know a lot of people don’t like touring and it is exhausting but I have such an itch to perform and put the music out and just get the fans live and in action.
Be sure to catch this stunning artist live when she hits Wisconsin for Los Dells Festival and Texas for Austin City Limits this fall.