Katriana Sandra Huguet (born July 29, 1990), better known by her stage name Kat Dahlia, is a Cuban-American recording artist from Miami, Florida. Dahlia, a singer-songwriter and rapper, is known for her "razor sharp" lyrics and her "unique, aggressive flow". She released her debut single "Gangsta", in March 2013. Dahlia released her debut studio album My Garden, in January 2015, with Vested in Culture and Epic Records, the latter of which she secured a recording contract with in 2012. In 2013, Dahlia ranked number eight on Billboard's "Next Big Sound".
Dahlia was raised by her Cuban mother and her Lebanese-Cuban father in Miami Beach, Florida, and began rapping at the age of eight and writing songs at fifteen, ripping instrumentals from YouTube, in lieu of a band. At eighteen, after saving money from jobs as a waitress, Dahlia decided to leave Miami, and moved to New York City a month later, "on a whim." Shortly thereafter, Dahlia became involved in what she describes as a "toxic relationship," which she would later come to regard as a source of inspiration and "writer's gold." She chose the name Kat Dahlia as her stage name after her producer suggested it and kept it because its soft and beautiful but still has a dark undertone to it.
After self-financing an extended play (EP) and a music video, Dahlia was discovered by Vested In Culture VP of A&R Amanda Berkowitz. Berkowitz quickly brought Dahlia to the attention of veteran record executive Sylvia Rhone. In 2012, describing Dahlia as "more than just a pop artist," Rhone signed her to her newly launched label, Vested in Culture (VIC), a joint venture with Epic Records. Dahlia's debut album was originally set to come out in 2014, becoming VIC's inaugural release.
Dahlia's first single and video for VIC, was the track "Gangsta", which MTV called "filled to the brim with fierce rapping". The video, filmed in Miami, reflects the difficulties of her earlier life. The video was directed by Samantha Lecca and premiered via Vevo, on March 5, 2013. Also in March, Dahlia was selected as a BET "Music Matters" artist. "Gangsta" was featured in the background of the September 24, 2014 Season 16 Premiere of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Girls Disappeared.
Dahlia digitally released three songs, "Gangsta", "Money Party", and "Mirror" on March 5, 2013. On December 17, 2013, she released her song "Crazy" for free on her website. Her debut My Garden was released on January 15, 2015.
Dahlia's musical style has been described as being "razor sharp" lyrics and her unique, aggressive flow. Dahlia cites artists BB King, Miles Davis, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Bob Marley, Frank Sinatra, and Celia Cruz as musical influences. Also, in interviews, Dahlia has mentioned that legendary Reggae singer-songwriter Bob Marley, has had a great influence on her musical style. She has said: "I listened to a lot of Bob Marley, especially down here. I used to go to Purdy Lounge on Monday night, they always had reggae bands. Reggae is just everywhere down here, dancehall is everywhere in the clubs. It's not only playing Hip Hop."