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Exclusive

Kat Deluna's interview

"On stage, I'm an artist... Off stage, I'm a business woman."
It's in the privacy that the young american singer talks us about her French fans meeting and gives us a poetic vision of musical industry.

How did you experience being in Paris and meeting your French fans ?

It was such a fun experience, because it was the first time that I was together with my fans. It was very personal. Like we were in a bus, together, sitting down and listening to my music, going through the streets of Paris. Actually, it was like a party bus.

So you were in the bus with your fans ?

Yes. With my French fans. We listened to the new album. And we were having so much fun.

And did you like what you saw from Paris ?

Yes. I've been coming in and out of Paris, for my first album. And I really fell in love with the support of the fans.

Your new album was released on the 14th of March. How was it received by French audiences ?

I think they were really excited. They were waiting for it for a long time.
I think they're really happy. And let's see… I mean let's see how everything else follows from here. I'm going to go… I do a show tomorrow, in Marseille, for «Star story party», with Radio Star, and then I'm heading over to Monaco, with NRJ, for the 20-year anniversary. Big big show, even the Prince will be there. You know, it's all the follow-up of the album, so…

Brilliant. Good luck for that.

Thanks.

What did you inspire from to create this album ?

I was inspired by myself. I was inspired by what I did before, in the last album. And I thought: «How do I make it better?» You know, I thought to make my sound a little bit edgier. And a little bit more… Just more sustain to what it is going on today. In 2007, I came up with a new sound that nobody ever came up with, which was very pop, latin, electro. Like a futurist thing. That's what I did with «Whine up», and many other songs in the album. So, this time, I wanted to come up with the same sound, but just a little bit more… like different. A little bit edgier.

OK. And what about your writing ?

My writing in this album is a little… It's still the same fun.
I like to write about fun things. Even when I'm writing ballads, so… Even though, we don't have a lot of ballads in this album. Aside from «One foot out of the door», and «Be there» (ballad version). And I wanted to write about things that I'm going through right now. You know, as a 23-year old.

You have collaborated with various artists such as Akon, Elephant Man. Which of them did you most enjoy making a feat with ?

Oh, that's a hard question ! I would say I enjoyed collaborating with all of them. Every collaboration was so different. With Akon, it was very instructive, and very fun. With Elephant Man it was crazy. Yes, energy!
We achieved one of the songs of the album, called «Oh Yeah (lalala)». And then also Lil Wayne with «Unstoppable», another song in the album, which was very fun. So I can't really think of a favorite one.

Could you explain to us in a few words how the music industry works in the US ?

Oh, wow !

Yeah, that's a really, really tough one…

I like this question.

Oh, you do ?

Yes. Well, I think that the music industry, in general, is very hard, because, especially for new artists, nowadays… Because the artists fail to understand that it is a business. You are looked at as a product, and the target is to sell. And sometimes, when things go wrong, a company could say: «Well, you know, we're going in different directions». And you might fall out of place with the company. But you have to be a very business savy artist. You have to know how to make your brand, you know, your name, bigger. And it's not just your music. But other things. You know, for example, you see, especially in the United States, right now, there are so many socialites who are not singers, or celebrity… are doing musical albums. You know… everything… now… it's a business. It's no longer the times where a singer was, like me, you know, a musician. I studied music. I've been doing this forever. So, you know, it's a lot of… A lot of (inaudible). But at the same time, it's the same thing for you. You know, once you get the hang of it, and you know what you're doing, you can really work for yourself and get a lot of opportunities happening. But… it is not a game. I'm telling you. It's funny, a lot of… I met a lot of European artists, and they tell me: «Wow… You American artists work really hard. I don't know how we would do it.» Like, literally, I'm telling you, it's called non-sleep.

What kind of experience did you draw from that ? Or is there anything in particular that you learnt from that ?

The most important thing that I learned from that, you can quote me, it's : «Business is business».

OK, it will be quoted.

On stage, I'm an artist. I am the singer, right ? Off stage, I'm a business woman. Literally. Off stage, I'm sitting down and seeing how my brand can become better. And I want to see what everybody around me is doing with my brand. I've learned that you have to be that way. Because if not… Nobody knows you better that yourself. You know? You might end up going another role and it might not work. Yes, I learned that. (Rires !).

What kind of advice would you give to someone who would like to make a career in the music business ?

Oh, my God ! You need to have hard skin ! You need to really not… Not let anything get to you. You know, and really be concentrated on what you're doing. Know what you're in it for ! And don't stop. Always have your eye on the prize. Don't stop. Even though people are gonna put you down. I believe in one thing. If you work hard at something, it doesn»t matter how long, at the end, you're gonna get what you're working for. It's only logic. Right ? You know, when you're cropping… When you put a seed in your soil, and you water it, and you put good sand on it… You know ? Then a tree comes out or a little plant.

That's quite a poetic view. It's cool that you can make poetry out of the music business !

(Rires)!

And you're really convincing, actually.

Oh, thank you. I never thought about that…

Are you planning a tour in France, some day?

Yeah, I already planned a very little tour, like the one I did in 2008. I started a mini-tour in Europe. But I just went once in every country. But I want to tour in various cities within France and other countries in Europe. So, I'm planning that as well. And you know, I would also tell all the fans to follow me on my Facebook and Twitter, so that they could always be up to date with where I'm gonna be. It's… twitter.com/katdeluna, and the Facebook Page is Kat de Luna.

And do you reply yourself?

I'm the one that writes.

Ah OK. It's good to know. They're gonna be pleased to learn that.
OK. So, next question: which is your greatest artistic memory ?

There are two moments. Earlier in my career, when I started, when I went to the Zenith, here, in Paris. I was supporting act for Chris Brown, and I really came here to sing, and I saw… I came to sing two songs. And when I got on stage, the first three beats of «Whine Up» the whole stadium went down. That's when I realized the power of my fans and how much they had love for my music, because they knew my songs from start to end. So I ended up doing like 8 songs. The whole album. Yeah. It was that big! And then, the other experience was last year, in November, in Madagascar. I went to do a show there and it was supposed to be 50 thousand people, but 80 thousand people showed up. And it was raining, pouring, and they all stood up here. And stuck to their waiting for me. So I did the show. That was amazing. And very humbling.

It's funny, because each of them implies French audiences. As even in Madagascar people speak French, actually.

Yes, let me tell you. I think that in another life, I was French.
Yeah ! But you know, I'm Dominican, so, you know, there's a connection.
(With France and… ? Haiti?). There's something in there. Because, from Belgium to Switzerland, and many other French influenced countries and the Carribean Islands, I'm very successful right away. And I'm really just happy and blessed. I feel really blessed.

According to you, which is the key to success ?

Understanding success. Because if you don't understand that once you have success you have to be able to handle it, you're not gonna be successful. You know, those people that are successful only for two minutes? It's because they didn't know how to handle the power. They took advantage of the power. And when you take advantage of the power, it finishes you.

That's a an excellent answer too. Because your formulas are, again, so convincing.

You know, they come from three years of hard learning.
You know, being a sweet, 19 year-old little girl, coming into this crazy music business. And having to learn, and adapt, and become a really serious business woman, little by little.

You definitely have a very mature view on that.

Thanks...

So there's almost the last question : What if you were offered a role in a movie, some day? What would you do?

Oh, wow! I would like to do… I'm a (inaudible) on Marie-Antoinette. Now, you know, I would like to play Cleopatra. Because… But from another point of view. People look at her as being a sex goddess. But she was a powerful woman. She was the first woman in whole history to have her own empire. She moved mountains. She helped change a bit of the world. Like dozens of people don't know about her story. So I would really love to play Cleopatra, and really tell the real story.

OK, so mostly very important, maybe historical characters ?

Oh, I could also play a biography of… Do you know Gloria Estefan?

Yes

I would love to play her biography, and play Gloria Estefan.

OK, so, well, I hope this is gonna give the idea to someone…

It's because Gloria Estefan and Selena were the first Latina artists. They opened the doors for Latinas, like myself. They've really, really done a good job. And they're, you know, very talented women.

Would you mind giving us one last word for your Notulus fans?

My new single is entitled «Dancing tonight». All the fans, go pick up the album. It's amazing. «Inside out», GO PICK IT UP! I love you guys. And thank you for all the support. And do follow me online!

OK, excellent. So this is gonna printed in capital letters.

Cool, and thank you, you're so kind and so… Like… I love it. I love talking to you.

Oh, cool, thank you. Well, the pleasure was completely shared. I really enjoyed chatting with you too.

Merci beaucoup ! (En français).

Thanks to Michaëla Chariau for execute this interview


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Kat Deluna
Kat Deluna

Kat DeLuna, de son vrai nom Kathleen Emperatriz DeLuna, née dans le Bronx (New York), le 26 novembre 1987, a grandi en République Dominicaine où son talent émerge dès l'âge de trois ans.

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