Swiss-born, LA-raised Kat Graham is primarily known as Bonnie Bennett in the long-running CW series TheVampire Diaries, but since she started in the industry aged six, she's always been something of a triple threat. Modeling and commericial work lead to acting, but her love of dancing and singing has always been integral to her life. Case in point: at 15 she was dancing with Lil' Bow Wow at 15 at the BET Awards (handpicked by choreographer Fatima Robinson, who's worked with Michael Jackson, Aaliyah, and Haim), which then lead to stints dancing with Missy, Pharrell, Bieber and this Christina Milian classic, amongst others. Plus she's been writing songs just as long—the first to make a serious dent was 2012's "Put Your Graffiti On Me," a deliberately disjointed dance-pop tune, the video for which has since racked up over eight million views.
That was lifted from her first EP Against the Wall and now, at 26, she's just released her first ever album Roxbury Drive. Executive produced by Babyface and released on her own label Sound Zoo, her record revels in 90s throwback grooves, from the opening track "1990" to the sassy "Star Fucker," Graham is inspired by the era's greats—Aaliyah, TLC, Janet J. And over the course of all these years in the public eye, you can bet that she's experimented with not only her musical style, but her styling too. It's time for Kat Graham's deep diving #tbt. Continued below. Kat Graham: Making beats since I was a kid. Even my slippers have headphones on.
This was my favorite toy ever. It made sounds when you pushed it. I can tell those are my mom’s feet in the photo because we have the same feet now.
As you can see in this photo, my style has not changed.
Foster Grant and fanny pack, stunting on them.
In the recording studio as a teenager groovin’ to some beats.
As a teenager, anything but normal.
Everything I bought in this photo cost me a dollar
This was pretty much my crew as a teenager. I spent a lot of time with Laura Fama, who is the creator of Dimepiece Designs. She taught me a lot about fashion and taking chances with my look.
In the recording studio and obviously freezing.
When I was 17 doing promo appearances as a Fanta girl.
Probably the worst picture fashion-wise I have ever taken… enjoy!
Early teens: Hanging out in da club with Rob Roy and Cottrell Guidry. They introduced me to a lot of amazing music and a crazy underground scene.
I am happy to let everyone know that I no longer own any of these clothes except the skateboard. Fun Fact: I am a pretty good skateboarder and I was a skate rat as a teenager.
Steve Aoki called me up and asked me to model for his Dim Mak clothes collection, which I did for him a few times. He ended up becoming crazy successful even more than he was back then and it’s so awesome to know how truly talented he is. Those we also very much in my hipster days.
After the pilot of The Vampire Diaries, I saw a group of street teamers promoting the show on Melrose Avenue and I asked them if I could promote and hand out flyers with them. I told them I was on the show. It hadn’t come out yet so they didn’t know either way, but they were super excited and let me ride their billboard bike.
Roxbury Drive is out now.