A few seconds into Kat Dahlia’s album opener “My Garden,” she delivers a stunning mix of fast rapping with a gutsy way of singing that immediately sets her apart from other current female artists. Critics can’t decide if she’s comparable to a modern-day Janis Joplin, a young Lauryn Hill/Erykah Badu, or even an early Rihanna letting her Barbados roots shine. The certain thing about Kat is that her unique allure grows through every song on her debut album, out today.
After years of struggle, heartbreaks, and setbacks, Cuban-American, Miami-raised Katriana Huguet has no time to mess around. Not even a vocal cord problem in early 2014 could dissuade her from finishing up My Garden, a compilation of eleven songs bound to make an impression on every new listener. In Dahlia’s garden, we get to pick radio-friendly hits like “Crazy” (the first single), “I Think I’m In Love,” and “Saturday Sunday” (a relatable song about being hungover at church after a night of partying). There’s more romantic tracks like “Mirror” and “Just Another Dude,” the only acoustic tune, and some serious hip-hop bangers like “Gangsta” and “Clocks.” Even “Tumbao” takes the unmistakeable Cuban flavor of Celia Cruz’s original lines to turn them into an autobiography of sorts, coated with the characteristic neo-R&B melodies present in her work.
My Garden is a record about taking control of your life, with stories of crazy days and nights full of Latino-style hustling and the crazy paths where love takes us, but above all it’s a soulful statement about being an all-around badass girl. We hope 2015 has many impressive things in store for Kat Dahlia.