It's definitely been a journey for me," says Kat Dahlia, "[From] waiting tables to being in front of thousands of people and singing. There's nothing else that I would rather do." And with her debut album "My Garden" on the horizon, Dahlia brought her unique voice to New York's Mophonics studio rooftop recently for a three-song Billboard Tastemakers performance.

PHOTOS FROM KAT DAHLIA'S TASTEMAKERS SESSION

"Why I ended up leaving Miami was because I felt I wasn't doing anything with music, I wasn't doing anything with my passion," explains Dahlia, who was born Katriana Huguet. "There was nothing rewarding about my lifestyle," she says of a routine centered on working, and more working. "I ended up getting fired for the second time," she says with an ironic smile. "I could have just gotten another job but I decided to take the plunge, to take the risk to get myself out of that space."

The risk paid off. Her narrative-driven blend of hip-hop, pop, blues and Latin music got her signed. Ahead of her upcoming Vested In Culture/Epic Records album "My Garden" (as well as a recently announced "Seeds" ep to tide fans over), Dahlia has already shared "Clocks" and "Gangsta," two songs she also brought to the Tastemakers rooftop, along with the fierce "Tumbao."