From day one, Kat Graham's music has demanded respect and required her listeners do as well. Four empowering original anthems later and Kat Graham has released her most powerful and personal song to date with Power, which is as energizing as it is catchy.
The 90s-inspired lyric video dropped earlier this month and now Kat is opening up to ETonline about the thought-process that went into creating this black and white winner. I also found out her grand musical plan and got her take on the now-filming fifth season of The Vampire Diaries!
ETonline: What appealed to you about Power?
Kat Graham: It's a strong song but vulnerable and epic. I always have songs that are all about being empowered and being very self-sufficient, but I never felt I like I had a song that represented how I feel about my partner. I feel like the best art is a reflection of your life and what you're going through and you can feel the artist's muse in their work. This is the first song that I've released that's the closest to my life and my relationship and it means a lot to me. It's about somebody who empowers you when you feel low and like you can't get up. It takes a strong person to hold your hand and help you.
ETonline: The way this song was released relief heavily on the fans. Why was that important to you?
Graham: I am always interested and intrigued by different ways to give my fans a platform and because of this song's meaning, I'm able to do it even more so. They're all contributing in different ways. We're doing videos together, they were responsible for having the song title released, they're creating artwork for the single and until the official artwork is released, I've changed my Twitter default to a different piece of fan art and give them a little shout out every day. It's like I'm giving them the power because they made me feel so incredible.
ETonline: What inspired your lyric video?
Graham: We have this amazing designer, Roi, at the label, who is like the most genius designer I've ever met. He always thinks outside the box and wants to create something that's more than a lyric video with words bouncing across the screen. I was inspired by Herb Ritts and Helmut Newton and all those photographers who took iconic photographs of these strong women. I'm so intrigued by that 90s black and white photography, and I wanted to create that but have it be moving.
ETonline: You've now released six singles, do you want to attempt a proper album, or do you feel like focusing on one song at a time maximizes its success?
Graham: I grew up listening to albums, I appreciate albums, I love interludes, I love when an album tells a story over 23 songs. That's my era and that's what I personally respond to. I hope to have that one day, but times are different now. People have shorter attention spans. You have to do as much as you can with one song. But there kind of has been a through line between all the music I've released and my life and even Bonnie Bennett's life.
ETonline: How so?
Graham: When I first started on [The Vampire Diaries], I was still getting to know who I was and what kind of woman I wanted to be. If I wanted to challenge what people thought I should be or if I should blend in. Cut to ATL pride weekend [laughs]. I had to find that and I think Bonnie has had to find herself as well, in terms of what she will and won't tolerate. It’s been a journey. You don't just wake up and know who you are, what you like and what you won't stand for; you have to grow into that. Throughout the years, the character has developed this very powerful sense of self and I don't believe in coincidences. I think it might have something to do with how I bring myself into the character as a woman who empowers other women -- and men!
ETonline: When we last saw Bonnie, she gave up a lot for love...
Graham: For love, right?!? Even if that makes you look weak, the fact you're doing it because of love and being selfless is, I think, one of the most powerful decisions one can make.
ETonline: Absolutely. When the show returns, where do we find Bonnie?
Graham: We start off where we left off: she's still on the other side and the only person who can see her is Jeremy. They're playing with that idea a bit, and the challenges of that. I like what they're doing, I'm getting to experience things that I haven't as a character ever before. I'm really excited by the way they're writing her this season. There's so much more than happens, but my hands are tied with what I can say.
ETonline: We've seen this show find loopholes for deaths and reverse supernatural inclinations. Purely from your perspective, do you want Bonnie to become human again or do you like the idea of her remaining a spirit?
Graham: I'm all about staying firm in one's decisions, but there are things that happen early on in the season that are going to propel different decisions. I might have felt that way before I entered season five, but now I've realized there are two sides to it.
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