EXCLUSIVE: 'Vampire Diaries' Star Kat Graham Dishes on New Dance Album & Bonnie's Love Life!
By Leanne Aguilera
From a badass Bennett witch to a seductive songstress, The Vampire Diaries' Kat Graham is bewitching fans with her latest album!
The multi-talented 26-year-old is having one hell of a month. With premiere of The Vampire Diaries' seventh season, and the recent release of her debut album, Roxbury Drive, Graham is taking the pop culture world by storm.
To celebrate her success, ETonline called up Graham to get the exclusive scoop on Roxbury Drive's wildly catchy melodies, and what's next in the romance department for her on-screen alter ego, Bonnie Bennett.
What do you want to tell Vampire Diaries fans about this new album, Roxbury Drive?
Kat Graham: People might look at this and be like, 'Oh, that girl from Vampire Diaries made a '90s tribute album,' but actually it goes a lot deeper than that. It's the lyrics, every song tells a story and everything is connected and makes sense. You'll understand that there's one specific person that this Roxbury Drive album is about and this is the person that opened me up and changed my world.
Why is Roxbury Drive different than the other albums you've done in your past?
KG: I think, sonically, I wanted to do something that was more dance-driven and more R&B-driven, and more inspired by the music that made me want to fall in love with music in the first place. Inspirations from like Madonna's Bedtime Stories and Aaliyah and of archived Janet [Jackson] and obviously Babyface. [But] it's definitely not a tribute album -- it's my own sound.
We can't stop listening to the album, so we've got to know: What's your favorite song on Roxbury Drive?
KG: My favorite song on the album would have to be "Off." I’m a melodies girl. I just love a lot of really cool melodies, and a lot of hooky and fun songs, and that's definitely the sexiest song on the album. But it's also the most playful, and the most fun, and melodically, it just feels good. I just like the vibe of that one.
Would you ever want to have one of your songs play on The Vampire Diaries or have Bonnie take part in a karaoke night?
KG: I started off, actually, as a beat-maker, which a lot of people don’t know. Before The Vampire Diaries, I was making beats, which is how I got will.i.am's attention, and I went on tour with him. He brought me on, and had me jump on his record because I kept sending him beats that I made. So I'd be actually more interested in scoring something for the actual show, or doing some curating of music for the show, versus actually having one of my songs on the show. My music is very, very specific right now to an era, and that is the phase that I'm in right now, so maybe in the future, I'll make an album that I think makes more sense for the show, but right now, I don’t think I want that. I like to keep them separate, especially since that character is so fiercely different than I am.
Speaking of fierce, you have such a strong social media following and many of those "Bamon" fans are really rooting for Bonnie and Damon to get together this season. What would you say to those fans?
KG: I can't even say anymore because I have literally like pitched Bonnie with every single person under the sun -- even women. Being a witch to me is a very, very sexy thing. There's a lot of mystery to it, there's a lot of energy in dealing with the unknown, and dealing with this kind of powerful force so you'd just think that [romance] would come with the territory. We'll see what happens. I wish I could say it's definitely happening, or it's definitely not happening, but I just want them to appreciate whenever Ian and I do scenes together, and then we'll just kind of see what the writers do.
What can you tease about the scenes you are sharing with Ian this season?
KG: There's definitely some hills and valleys that they go through together -- it's a very cool dynamic. Ian and I have been campaigning to work together for years, and it's always very exciting when we have a scene. You can feel the energy on set buzz because we work the same way, and we challenge each other -- especially when he actually directs. He's the first person who can look in my eyes and actually make the change because he knows specifically that I understand, and he can get a great performance out of me. So yeah, there are definitely more Damon and Bonnie scenes. I can't comment how many and I can't comment on what's going to happen for the rest of the season, but I just want to bring to life what the writers are gravitating towards.
How does this season feel different, now that Nina Dobrev is no long a part of the series? KG: Over the past three years, the show has definitely been an ensemble show, it's written differently than it was in the first season, so a lot of these storylines would have been happening anyways. I think on set it feels different, but the show still feels like Vampire Diaries. The characters are still badasses, there's still a lot of action, there's still a lot of sexiness, and sex, and excitement, and it's just a thrilling show. There's a lot of action, and a lot of stuff goes down in the beginning of the season, so we've still got it.
What is the one thing you want your fans to know before they press play on Roxbury Drive? KG:Roxbury Drive was the street I grew up on as a little kid, and it was the street that I first listened to records on, and where I actually really first fell in love with music. So I hope that they come back to Roxbury Drive with me. I hope that they travel back in time, and that they fall in love with music all over again too.
Fans can purchase Roxbury Drive on iTunes and catch Kat Graham on The Vampire Diaries every Thursday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.