Artists aren’t unique for no reason. Not surprisingly, everything Kat Dahlia does stand out for its intensity and sharpness. Whether it’s a catchy pop tune or a fiery hip-hop flow, in English or Spanish, backed by a bombastic production or a minimal format, she never stops being herself. That imprint is validated here again with her brand new release for Tigre Den: “Pa Mis Muchachas”, a cover of Christina Aguilera’s song. You can listen here.
“I decided to get with my friends at Tigre and do this recording for fun,” says Kat, giving clear clues about the natural outbreak of her acoustic version of “Pa Mis Muchachas”, a Latin hit with a provocative and feminist spirit, originally set to the danceable rhythm of the guaracha. “A stripped version of the record is what it ended up becoming which I love. It feels organic, and the guitarist, Friki, killed it.”
Now with six major Latin Grammy nominations, “Pa Mis Muchachas” was released just a year ago. It’s not just another success in Aguilera’s career: it’s her return to the Spanish language, fittingly surrounded by new Latin bombshells Becky G, Nicki Nicole, and Nathy Peluso. What not many know is that Kat Dahlia is actually one of the writers of this song. “It was the first day of the camp, and I was nervous. I’m such a big fan of Christina’s. She was one of my idols growing up,” she says with a few laughs as she reviews the experience. And right away she grants the reason for her key presence in the songwriting: “Honestly, working with her and all the guys – Yoel, Jorge, and Yasmil – was so much fun. Everyone is so talented. Yoel came in with the idea to make a female anthem, and all I said was ‘it can’t be cheesy’… I’ll never forget he said ‘that’s why you’re here.’”
So, as one of the writers of “Pa Mis Muchachas”, Kat plays at stripping down a song she has known since its inception. Everything amazes us about her performance at Tigre Studios, from the passion delivered to the freshness recorded. Of course, there’s a history, a certain familiarity, to account for this. “I’ve performed at Tigre a few times at this point. This space feels like a second home for me,” she reveals. “So recording this song at a place where I have a lot of great memories felt comfortable and gave me the freedom to flow.”
None of this would’ve happened without the connection that Kat feels with Isabella Acker, the creator of Tigre. “Izzy and I have gotten close, and I’ve always been such an admirer of her space, its ambience, but also her vision, and her taste. She has such good taste in music,” she tells, before explaining how they handled expectations. “I think we both had huge expectations. The process took a couple of turns, but ultimately that’s art. Art is just a reflection of life, and as life happened, so did the direction of the record. And that’s what I love most about it.”
Born and raised in Miami of Cuban descent, Katriana Huguet began her career just over a decade ago. At that time she was still known as Kat Hue. A year later, she was breaking out as Kat Dahlia with her top-rotating single “Gangsta”. Many things have happened since then. And that gives her some perspective. “I sometimes think I’m nothing like that 20-year-old I was,” she confesses. “But in many ways, I’m still her. She brought me to where I am today. She was brave. She still is. Thank god for that.”
Photos by @gabriellepeige