Kat Graham is going retro with her new song "1991," but don't think that her new '90s sound is just a phase. Kat is a '90s kid -- and she does what she wants.
"My biggest peeve and worry -- I didn't want people to think, 'Oh, it's so kitschy, contrived,'" the "Vampire Diaries" actress told MTV News. "No, I produced a record. I wrote the f--king record. I'm putting it out on my label. I'm doing it my way. The whole album is '90s-inspired."
After leaving Interscope due to a lack of creative control, Kat put together her own team -- people who "got it," like Leland, who co-wrote the record, expected out in late April. Jeeve co-produced the project. For the upcoming video, a giant "'90s house party," she called up stylist pal Brett Allen Nelson, who dressed her up in Jeremy Scott's inventions. Scott is one of the people who truly understands what she's going for, she says.
"I would be wearing his clothes when no other designers would understand that that's who I really am," the 25-year-old said of her throwback style. "That's the world I come from -- The Cobra Snake world, the hipsters and all that. That kind of sound -- I'm someone that was listening to Babyface and Janet Jackson and archived Madonna when I was like 12 years old."
Taking cues from Brandy, Aaliyah, Left Eye and Paula Abdul, Graham sinks into that "power-pop" vibe with "1991." The track rolls out a hard-hitting, bouncing bassline, creating a dancey foundation for Kat to cut through with an authoritative vocal, backed up with soulful harmonies.
Listen to "1991" here: