Kat DeLuna Talks “Bum Bum,” Her New Album & That Sexy Cover: Idolator Interview
Kat DeLuna made a welcome return to the music scene last month with sexy slow jam “Bum Bum.” Boasting a feature from R&B superstar Trey Songz, the playful anthem samples Sister Nancy’s reggae classic “Bam Bam” and also interpolates Shaggy’s 2000 chart-topper “It Wasn’t Me.” It’s a radically new sound for the queen of club-bangers (“Whine Up,” “Run The Show” and “Drop It Low”), but she pulls it off effortlessly.
The 27-year-old recently dropped by the Idolator office in Los Angeles — yes, she was swinging that crazy braid! — to talk about her comeback. Kat explained the evolution of “Bum Bum” and opened up about the single’s eye-popping cover art. The Dominican diva also talked about her second (or third, depending where you live) album Viva Out Loud and her current influences. Find out more about the pop star’s new era below.
Let’s talk about the cover.
The cover is fun! The thing is — while shooting the cover, I wanted to bring the essence of empowering women. I feel very empowered — not like I wasn’t before but this time I’m older, I know what I want musically.
I wanted to find an image that signified that. When I go to Rome, when I go to Greece, I see statues of these powerful women. They’re all naked. They represent the essence of … not just the female body, but what the female is. That’s where I got inspired from. I love the body.
What about that incredible braid?
I always think I’m Rapunzel. It’s funny, I’m always wearing long hair. From my “Drop It Low” long 32-inch hair to the crazy buns, I’m always about long hair! I’m all about hair, I love hair, I love experimenting. This just came about. Actually I was looking at a Parisian fashion mag and I got inspired.
We’re used to you dropping upbeat club-bangers, but “Bum Bum” is soft and mellow. Was the change intentional?
Yes, I feel like my whole album will be that way. It’s a shocker. I’m going to be doing things that people didn’t expect. The thing is people still see me as the artist from [debut LP] 9 Lives. I’ve only had one album and I just went on touring.
It’s like now I’ve grown, they haven’t seen it, but they’re about to experience it. Not only as a person and in fashion, forget that. Now let’s talk about vocally. Being able to do this song with Trey. He’s vocally amazing. I’m a vocalist myself, I’m an opera singer.
I always look at other artists and the control in their voice. He knows it. I feel like our voices complement each other amazing on the record, even though it’s very soft. You don’t have to really scream high and loud to prove that you can sing.
Who picked the samples? I believe there are two…
Yeah, there’s a bit of everything. I took all the samples in the world! One of my best friends is Sam Hook and he’s a great writer. I think it was his idea.
How did the Trey feature come about?
You know when things are meant to be? It’s so crazy — I don’t know. It just happens, it’s just meant to be, and it’s the perfect timing. That goes to show you that it is not about levels of celebrity. It is about music.
It’s about when something has something special, it attracts other special artists. I believe that. When I meet artists newer than myself that have that special thing, I always pay respect or I say, “Hey let’s do this, let’s do that.” I love that about Trey.
Tell us more about the new album.
It’s called Viva Out Loud. I can’t tell you precisely who I’m working with but I love raw talent. The thing is I would work with anyone. It just depends if you have something different. Just because you’re an established producer or writer doesn’t mean that you’re going to bring it.
I want spoilers!
I can’t give you any spoilers, but I can say one of my inspirations — I love Janet Jackson.
Is there going to be a Janet sample?
You think I should?
You never know.
I think you should also record the sequel to “Drop It Low.”
I love that. I’ll do it — that’s amazing.
You worked with RedOne before anyone. Were you ahead of your time?
The thing is — my personality as a human being, I’m an innovator. Let me tell you something. I interior decorate my house every six months. It’s crazy. People tell me, “Kat, after 6 months, can I have that couch?” I love change.
You were doing the urban-dance sound before it exploded.
Yeah, and I feel people know it. You cannot not know. I think also that’s why I’ve stayed… although I have not had a second American album, I feel like I’m still relevant here. I had a single that dropped seven and a half years ago [“Whine Up”] and it’s still playing as if it dropped three months ago. That usually doesn’t happen.
What’s your favorite song from your debut?
Oh my God, I feel like… all of it. One of my favorite songs has to be “Be Remembered.” I wrote that one because I was saying, “Be here, do whatever it is that you need to do. Be yourself and be remembered. If you’re not yourself, you’re not going to be remembered.”
Is “Bum Bum” the perfect make-out song?
Yeah, you want to make out? I’m from New York. I’m you could say an early ’90s baby, from when hip-hop was in its early days. It brings those colors back. It does that. There is a sexiness though.
What’s your favorite “sexy times” song?
“Partition” and anything by The Weeknd. I also old French music. It just does something. I don’t know why. It’s so romantic.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I love voice, so I’m going to always to be drawn towards that. Definitely Sam Smith because of his beautiful voice. For a while, radio didn’t like a lot of singing. Beyonce always brings something new to the table. Oh my God, there are so many people. I am a music lover. I like Big Sean, the way he raps on tracks, the things he says. Oh my God.
Are you excited about Kat’s new LP? Let us know in the comments below.
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