Like many of the characters on her hit show, The Vampire Diaries, Kat Graham has her feet firmly planted in two realms: TV and music. But on tonight's premiere of Hip Hop Squares, the two spheres intersect as MTV resurrects the classic game show, but adds a modern day twist as artists like Common, Childish Gambino, Biz Markie, Fat Joe, Ghostface Killah, Method Man, Nick Cannon fill out the board.
Kat is one of the special Squares on tonight's episode and she rang up (from Patricia Field's house ... NBD!) TheInsider.com to talk all about the experience -- and give me the latest on her ever-exploding music career!
Insider.com: How was your experience on Hip Hop Squares?
Kat Graham: It was really fun. There were artists like Biz Markie and Ghostface Killah and there I was, this pop girl coming in. I didn't know if it would be cool or if they'd be nice to me and steamroll over my answers since I was the only girl. But they were so respectful. I made friends with Fat Joe and DJ Khaled – I love that we can support each other's music even though it's completely different. We found this common ground of being artists and liking good music.
Insider: How did you do as a Celebrity Square?
Kat: I thought I did pretty well. It depends on whether or not they call on your square. So sometimes I was just cracking jokes with Fat Joe. I can't really sit still. I'm always itching for things to do and places to go, so when I was bored in my square, I rolled over to Joe's. We called ourselves The Penthouse Crew – me, Fat Joe and DJ Khaled. We teamed up and instead of being against each other, we formed an alliance. I think we did really well together.
Insider: Can we expect any musical collaborations to come out of your time as a Square?
Kat: I really love Childish Gambino. He was there and we talked, so hopefully we can do something together. I think something crazy and different would come out of it. It's good to get out of your comfort zone.
Insider: Your music is really starting to take off; how are things going?
Kat: I do feel like it's the eye of the storm. The most important thing is keeping a cool head and staying grounded. I can't let anything affect the overall objective of the message behind the songs and who I want to be with my fans. I can't get caught up in the hype. It's all about making good records and keeping everything super positive.
Insider: Speaking of, when can we expect new music?
Kat: Well, I'm releasing an EP -- I thought it was in June, but it's actually May 29 -- called Against The Wall, which is really exciting. And going along with that, there will be a performance on Ellen!
Insider: Amazing! How do you describe the EP?
Kat: It's about owning yourself, your sexuality, and who you are. It's okay to be unapologetic. This is me vocally, musically, and fashionably. It's not just about tagging the wall, I'm saying, 'If you want me, come and get me.'
Hip Hop Squares premieres tonight at 11 p.m. on MTV2.
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