Kat DeLuna On Social Media Addiction, Watching Her Fans and ‘Loading’
Kat DeLuna has been busy. It's been six years since her last official studio album Inside Out, and the singer is focused on what lies ahead. With her latest hit, "What A Night" with Jeremih, earning raves, she's got a lot to be happy about. Her forthcoming project, Loading, drops in June, and the Bronx-born beauty is eager to let the world know that Kat's back--and Kat's grown. The album title is a tongue-in-cheek nod to anticipation in the impatient digital age.
"You know when you log into a website and you click on a link to go to the other page and it just starts to load and you see the actual ‘loading’ sign?" she says with a snickerm explaining the title--before adding that this album is both teaser for what's next and an announcement. "Loading is going to include a compilation of a few colors of me from before and a few new colors. I call music ‘colors.’ It’s going to introduce everyone to VIVA."
VIVAOUTLOUD is the album fans have been anticipating since Kat announced she was working on new music a few months ago. So to reward their patience--and to help prepare them for the direction she's going in musically--she's giving them a bit of an appetizer.
"It’s been a long wait but the 'Luna-tics' are literally going to get two for the price of one. That’s what it is," she says. "It’s been a while since I’ve come out with an album here in the United States. So to introduce the new sound that I have would maybe be too abrupt. So what we wanted to do was give a compilation of songs that I’ve done in the near past and include a few new songs that have the same style that I’m working on now. So it’s almost like introducing like ‘Remember this? This is what we did before but this is what we’re going to do now—so get ready.’"
When she initially emerged with "Whine Up" and "Run the Show," she was a starry-eyed 19-year old who was eager to grab superstardom with both hands. Now, she's evolved and is more confident in who she is--and what she will and won't bend for.
"I think as human beings, we grow everyday," says DeLuna. "There are experiences that change our perspectives on life. I’ve always been the type who was comfortable in her skin. I really don’t care what people think or say because music is the way that I express myself, so there should be no judgment to it. Now more than ever before, musically and vocally, I know I’m stronger. And the most important thing is I do this for me and my fans. I work with a bunch of people and there are so many people involved to make this happen and for that I’m very grateful. But before I feel like the music came from the hype aspect of it."
DeLuna has learned what so many artists take decades to understand: your circle has to be free of all ulterior motives and hidden agendas. "I have a great instinct to know when someone is fake or not. I’m able to surround myself with a circle…that keeps me grounded and we help each other out. In life, you should learn that early on. I don’t see it as I’m an artist.’ But people around you do. And people have ulterior motives. I find myself sometimes having to rearrange my circle, but I’m happy to say the people in my life right now at this point or positive and humble people who remind me of my purpose."
And part of understanding her purpose has been understanding how to navigate the potential mine field that is social media. DeLuna has a definite online presence, but she's never been prone to baring her soul on sites for all the world to see.
"When we’re forced to comply to what social media is demanding from us...you sometimes lose the essence of who you are and why you chose to pursue the career that you’re in," DeLuna shares. "I’m on social media at times, but I’m not a person who gives a lot. If I were ever to do a reality show, it would have to be revolving around what I do musically. I would show my personality, but I wouldn’t do certain things. I’m the artist who gives enough but I keep certain things for myself.
"My generation of new artists in 07, we came in when the whole social media trend started," she continues. "So we had a choice to either give or keep. To me, I’ve seen it all and done it all. I don’t have to prove myself to anyone—how ‘cool’ I am or how ‘uncool’ I may be. But I think the reason why artists like me do it is because we’ve reached our peak as artists when it wasn’t there. We know what it’s like to work even harder and work in silence and let your success speak for itself. Don’t get me wrong—I’m a fun girl! I can talk about any thing, sex, food—sometimes I go too far! But we can talk about anything."
And as she preps Loaded and looks forward to connecting with fans, Kat DeLuna makes it clear that as much as a star can be scrutinized--so can the audience.
"I have to get ready to be ‘Kat DeLuna.’ That ‘Kat DeLuna’ girl. It’s taught me a lot about people. They say ‘Oh when you’re in a front of a big crowd—wander off so you don’t get nervous.’ But no one tells the crowd, ‘watch your facial expression because she's watching you!' she says, laughing. "Because I’m always watching!"