Kat Graham currently stars as Bonnie on The Vampire Diaries. But did you know she's also a singer, dancer, producer, and model? She's even appeared in a slew of music videos, including "Somebody to Love" with Justin Bieber and Usher. And before The Vampire Diaries, she guest starred on shows like Lizzie McGuire and Malcolm in the Middle.
Kat graciously took time out of her jam-packed day (she's busy shooting in Atlanta now) to chat with J-14 about her music, the show, and so much more!
J-14: How did you get your start
Kat Graham: I started when I was five, when I moved from Switzerland to America. I was raised in Hollywood by my mother. I started off with Movie Surfers, Lizzie McGuire, and Hannah Montana, but as I got older I moved on to CSI, and Malcolm in the Middle while also back-up dancing for Missy Elliott and Pharell. When I was 14 or 15, I decided I wanted to do music, but I didn't really have anyone to help me, so I used the money I made from guest-starring and invested in my own recording studio and started to produce my own music. It got the attention of will.i.am, and he liked it so much that he put me on the song "I Got It from My Mama" and I went on a world tour. I started recording an album as a solo artist and winded up booking Vampire Diaries and here I am.
J-14: What is your music like and what influences you to write?
Kat: It's like early 90s meets futuristic -- a very modern pop twist. I wanted to bring back what I listened to growing up and what I embody with my style and incorporate that in my music. I definitely incorporate my real experiences like when I got my heart broken by this boy I was totally in love with and he left me. That's what "Cold Hearted Snake" is about -- finding your power when you get dumped, knowing that you have the choice to fight back.
J-14: Do you have any advice for girls who may be dealing with heartbreak
Kat: Make your life about you, and once you build up yourself first, then you can focus on boys. It's important to keep your power and not give it up. If a boy messes up, you walk away. If a boy isn't treating you right, you walk away. It sounds simpler than it is, but you can't allow yourself to be disrespected. You have to be a strong girl. And you'll really respect yourself for it. Don't put boys before school and don't put boys before you. Unless there's somebody absolutely spectacular, don't make them a priority. Now is the time to have fun and enjoy your life. You can think about all that serious stuff when you get older. Boys will still be there. Trust me.
J-14: What was it like working on the "Somebody to Love" video with Justin Bieber?
Kat: Justin's and my team are really big supporters of each other on the music side. It was really awesome that they had me involved in that. I was brought in to do a quick cameo. He really is one of the sweetest guys I've ever met. He's really young, and he has a great head on his shoulders. He deserves all of the success he gets. I hope i get to work with him in the future. He's just awesome. I want him to keep doing well and being successful and take over the world and it seems he's doing just that. I'm really proud of him.
J-14: So, what's up next for Bonnie on The Vampire Diaries?
Kat: She'll be with the gang. They'll be going on crazy adventures together. There's a million twists and turns, so you have to tune in and watch. It's not one of those shows that you can miss. You have to really watch every episode and pay attention to everything.
So what other secrets is Kat keeping? Check out the video below to find out seven things you didn't know about Kat Graham:
Photo: Courtesy of Quantrell Colbert/The CW