It’s been a busy summer for Kat Graham.
She’s been juggling her duel careers – star of The CW’s “The Vampire Diaries” and rising music artist, who recently released a new single, “Power,” a song she’s been promoting with shows and radio appearances across the country.
“It’s hard. It’s very hard. I won’t ever say that what I’m doing and how I’m doing it is easy,” she told AccessHollywood.com. “It used to be easy when I was just throwing up YouTube videos and running to LA to record on the weekends.
“It’s a lot,” she added of acting, working on her music, hitting the studio and rehearsals. “I never stop working.”
Kat’s new single, “Power,” has taken her across the country and she dished on how the tune was developed and what’s to come when her show, “The Vampire Diaries” returns to The CW on October 3.
AccessHollywood.com: This song really feels like it is about a fulfilling relationship. Did it take a long time to develop?
Kat Graham: Originally the process was, I had recorded about 60 songs… in April and I presented them to the label and they were like, ‘These are great, but we need a specific kind of thing for the next single.’ So they went and they sought out, tried to find that, I tried to find it and I recorded three more songs and one of the songs was ‘Power.’ Mitch Allen is an amazing and incredible producer and he really was able to see and capture me in my entirety. He knows about my relationship with Cottrell [Guidry] before he even met me. He really studied who I was as a person. He listened to my voice, he heard my range, he listened to where I sing best from. I mean, he really dissected me and by the time I met him it was literally like a match made in heaven and the song came out.
Kat: Mitch is very meticulous, as am I, so we winded up recording the song a few times. … I knew when the song was finished that it was my next single. I just knew. I already knew. … I’ve always talked about self-empowering and kind of being self-sufficient, but I’ve never in my music before, on this level of still feeling empowered, really given the credit to it being because of my love. It never was because of somebody else. It was always because, well, I have to do this because of what I’ve gone through and I pulled myself up by my own bootstraps, but sometimes in life, you’re so far low that you can’t even pull yourself up and when somebody comes along that makes you feel better and shows you who you really are and says, ‘No, you’re this person, you’re that powerful, you can do anything you want in this world, you’re unstoppable,’ and you love them, and you believe in them and you trust them, then you take on that mentality yourself. And… it’s really a song about a transformation. It’s almost like a butterfly song. … The song [says], ‘I used to be a flower on the wall in the back row.’ It was like, ‘I was still something, but nobody could see it and I couldn’t even see it because I was hiding from myself on a level.’ … I feel like this is a huge dedication to [Cottrell], a huge dedication to my fans who are deeply a part of this whole process and I’m happy with that. Those are like the biggest parts of my career right now. They’re a part of my foundation.
Access: Do you have more material in the works like this?
Kat: I think every artist should evolve. I don’t necessarily feel like I’m changing my core of what I am, but as I get older, I’m realizing that there’s power in honesty and power in vulnerability and I’m getting to play with that a bit more and I love club music and I love to dance. People know I can dance, so I wanna be able to start to evolve as an artist and be more open and yeah, I hope there will be more stuff like this in the future, but I also like to keep it fresh and new and try different things and so that will be also something that you guys will get to see.
Access: This song sounds perfect for The CW. They should use it for one of the shows!
Kat: It’s definitely made more sense for what The CW does with their music now with this song than anything I have done before. So… we’ll see. I’m never one to kind of push. That’s kind of what everyone else does. I’m happy if it works out.
Access: It could totally work on ‘Beauty and The Beast.’
Kat: Totally! Good idea.
Access: So the good news is, you’ll be back on ‘The Vampire Diaries’ this fall.
Kat: I can confirm that I am in the new season and we’re starting where we left off. … We’re doing some great stuff. The first episode back is really, really great. I’m really proud about this episode and I’m really excited that people will get to see my work in it.
Access: What was your reaction to the script over how they pick up with Bonnie Bennett? What do you want to tease about your return? (She died and is now a ghost!)
Kat: I really loved what they did with Bonnie and it’s so interesting. Sometimes I’m like, ‘What more could they do with this character?’ They’ve given her a lot of things. There are a couple things that I’m like, ‘Wow! That’s definitely gonna come,’ but this perspective that they’ve given her in this first episode back is quite brilliant. I will tease that there is a [through] line from the beginning of the episode for Bonnie and the end of it and there’s one [through] line and I’ll be able to talk about it after the episode airs, but… I like it and I’m happy and I hope the fans like it.
Access: Could you crop up in ‘The Originals,’ because Bonnie’s family lineage goes back a long time… Maybe her early relatives spent time in New Orleans.
Kat: I’m totally open to it. I mean, we are all one big happy family. And Julie [Plec, who executive produces both shows] doing that show and bringing in [Caroline] Dries to be an amazing partner — Carolyn Dries for ‘Vampire Diaries’ this year is a big deal, but we’re all one big happy family. It’s like just shooting an amazing show and you know the people and you know the crew. So yeah, I would totally love to do that.
Kat’s new song, “Power,” is available on iTunes now. “The Vampire Diaries” premieres Thursday, October 3 at 8/7c on The CW.