Fashion isn’t the only way Graham is looking to inspire the world. With her dancing background and already having accomplished the takeover of the lead role earlier this year in Honey 2, it’s natural that one of the ideal roles she sees for herself would coincide with that on a physical level, but digging a little deeper Graham voices her desire to take on a biopic or “anything that Helena Bonham Carter does because everyone thinks she’s so weird, but I just think she’s pretty normal. So anything that she touches…you know, a little out there.”
However, where the excitement really lies is in talk of her forthcoming music project.
“I love playing a character, I really do, but at the end of the day I’m really happy being comfortable in my own skin and I feel like when I do my music I get to be that,” Graham admits. “So my music life, I think for me, is the strongest and the part of me that I’m really happy with.”
Recently finishing her debut LP, Graham is gearing up to release her first official single and music video for the album – she hopes before the year closes out. Already showing a following and creating Internet buzz through YouTube and PerezHilton.com with a couple of covers, her 2010 single “Sassy” and this year’s J.R. Rotem-produced “I Want It All,” the new songstress is anticipating the reaction she’ll receive from her first effort. Originally signed to Warner Bros. Records, Graham has since moved on and found a new label home. Describing the upcoming record, she says:
“It started off very pop-y, and then as I got a little older it started to become more strong, where it’s like floor on the floor beats with really strong, edgy vocals. It’s between that and some fun, fabulous gay pop now. So I have everything from like a Crystal Waters kind of music to that kind of underground music that would be playing at The Saint in 1990 to a strong R&B-driven vocal. But it’s mostly about self-empowerment and believing in who you are, and not to sound corny or anything, but to be free and to just kind of say fuck what everyone else is doing and I wanna do me.”
A lot of Graham’s influence and ultimate break came from super producer and musician will.i.am, who she met at the age of 14. Given the chance to sit in the corner of the studio and observe a master at work, Graham picked up on a thing or two that eventually helped spring her own career into action. After developing her own sound, The Black Eyed Peas member invited the burgeoning singer to be featured on his solo singles “I Got It From My Mama” and “The Donque Song” before she set off on an international tour with the whole group.
“I learned so much just from being able to be in the studio with a producer like [will.i.am] and in being around someone like him, and to be able to tour and see the world and just get out of America and to see how people are with music and how people dance and what people respond to… It’s completely affected my fashion; it’s affected my music; it’s affected the way I am with people – just being able to travel like that. And with J.R. Rotem, I learned a whole different business side to music. ‘I Want It All’ is a Warner Bros. record. A lot of people don’t know that I was under Warner Bros. when I had released that. I’d been in such an environment that was all creative and really fun, and then I just got to see a tougher and more cutthroat business side to the music industry, and I kind of could decide at that point what kind of artist I wanted to be. Do I want to work with the hottest people or do I want to work with the kids like who I was that made beats in their bedroom and just needed a shot? So during that time I was really able to figure myself out.”