Look no further, this summer's main course has been cooked up.
And a fiery young newcomer named Kat DeLuna has served it. Whine Up featuring Elephant Man is not only a smash but a dance hit too, and it’s soon to be a global movement. Led by the 19-year-old star-on-the-rise, Kat’s debut album 9 Lives had chart-topping release in 2007.
To say Kat DeLuna is a crossover artist would be an understatement. DeLuna’s musical training is as unique as her sound, learning how to sing opera at a very early age. Her sound is a colorful canvas of strokes blending hip-hop, R&B, meringue, pop, Latin jazz, electronica and dance; the bilingual songstress does it all. At the young age of nineteen, Kat has some of music’s biggest names in entertainment singing her praise, with supporters ranging from R&B superstar R. Kelly, who has called her a “prodigy”, to the famous Salvadorian singer Alvaro Torres, referring to her as “the new Selena”. This quadruple threat artist not only has the complete package but also embodies the girl next-door attitude that helps her effortlessly connect with her audience.
Despite her success, things haven’t always come easy for the artist. Born in the Bronx, Kat was raised in the Dominican Republic, where by the age of four, friends and family had already recognised her talent. At age nine, shortly after she and her family relocated back to the states – this time to the coarse streets of Newark, New Jersey – she used her parents’ divorce as inspiration to pen her first song titled Estoy Triste (I Am Sad). “In the song, I’m telling my mum how I feel about the situation and I’m asking her not to cry for my daddy,” explains Kat.
Though Kat and her sisters found themselves forced to beg their neighbours for food after their father split, their financial situation prompted the level-headed pre-teen to stay in school and work harder to make it. She started to perform at local carnivals, sharing stages with such known Latino acts like Milly Quezada and Marc Anthony. In her free time, Kat studied Aretha Franklin and Billie Holiday records, which she imitated daily on her karaoke machine.
With that goal in mind, at age fourteen Kat was accepted to the New Jersey School of the Performing Arts, a specialized talent high school once attended by famed artists like Savion Glover, Whitney Houston and Tisha Campbell. As a freshman, she scoured the pages of The Village Voice for auditions, trying endlessly for a chance to showcase her undeniable talent. Finally one day she formed an all girl group named Coquette, a Latina, Hip Hop/R&B group.
While working with Coquette, Kat continued to search for opportunities to lead her towards her goal as a world-renowned performer. At age fifteen, Kat encountered her fate when she entered a karaoke competition where her version of the ornate classic I Will Always Love You seized first place. It was through this competition that she met legendary Cuban salsa singer Rey Ruiz. Ruiz gave Kat advice that she carries with her today, “He told me, nobody knows you better than you do, and no one can help you if you can’t help yourself,” says Kat. With this, Kat began aggressively writing her own music and has continued to do so since.
2010 brought on Kat’s second album titled Inside Out featuring tracks such as Push Push ft Akon, Party O’Clock, Be There and All In My Head. On top of that she released the 2011 smash hit I’m Alright in collaboration with Jean-Roch and Flo Rida, proving to the industry she’s got what it takes.