Kat Graham has come a long way since her days as Bonnie Bennett on The Vampire Diaries. When the show ended after eight seasons, the actress had to leave the fantasy world of Mystic Falls behind and start her own business. She certainly did.
Since the show ended, Graham has appeared in several major films, including her portrayal of Jada Pinkett Smith in the Tupac Shakur biopic, All Eyez on Me. She also has a few Netflix films under her belt, including the recent romcom Love in the Villa. The former TVD star also recently got engaged to the love of her life, director and cinematographer Darren Genet. So she has a lot to do!
Amidst her acting projects, Graham has also showcased her musical talent in recent years. While she has released some music as Kat Graham, the artist has also developed another identity that some fans may not know about: Toro Gato.
Toro Gato is an ode to Kat Graham’s West African heritage
As an artist, Kat Graham used her West African heritage to develop her identity as Toro Gato. In an interview with E! News’ “Daily Pop,” the singer introduced her new identity, revealing that she had researched more about her origins and had collected various pieces of clothing that represented West Africa. Interestingly, Graham believes her identity as “actress Kat Graham” is the real alter ego, not Toro Gato. “I actually think the more time I spend in this space… I’m becoming the West African, the ruler, the monster who’s afraid of nothing, who can show up barefoot,” she explained.
Fans also caught sight of Graham’s transformation as Toro Gato on The Tamron Hall Show, where she revealed her new identity was also about letting go of control over her self-image. “I think as women we sometimes feel like we need to be in control, and we lose a lot of our vulnerability and honesty through control,” explained the artist known as Toro Gato. Toro Gato is therefore not a costume or alter ego, but a true expression of who she really is – good and bad.
Toro Gato released their debut EP exclusively on the NFT Marketplace
Kat Graham had previously released music herself, including her 2017 album Love Music Funk Magic. Per Complex, the late great prince even started working with her on the album before his death. However, the artist’s work as Toro Gato was a complete 180 from what fans may have heard before.
According to Billboard, Toro Gato’s self-titled album was released in two parts, in 2021 and 2022. The visual album was unique in several ways. First of all, it is not available on streaming platforms, exclusively through the NFT marketplace. Although Graham’s earlier recordings tended to be pop and funk, her work as Toro Gato diversified into other genres such as industrial rock and trip-hop. Graham knew from the start that she didn’t want to go down the traditional route with the release of the project.
“I’ve spent my entire music career being told what to do, being guided by people, being put in roles and clothes and songs that in no way reflected me or the artist that I was ‘ she admitted to the outlet.
Kudos to them for exploring new sounds and identities! Visit YellowHeart NFT Marketplace to learn more about who Toro Gato really is.