Kim Petras, Modern Pop Princess

milkboys Music, Music & Dance 1 Comment

In her debut music video, I don’t want it at all, German trans pop star Kim Petras sings, “I want all my clothes designer, I want someone else to buy ’em.” The video also features spoiled poster girl Paris Hilton.

“It’s just a sugar-baby anthem,” Petras said. “It’s very tongue-in-cheek. … It’s a fantasy song about if my bratty side came out and had a ball.” It may sound like a tribute to rampant materialism, but the song is actually anything but superficial. Rather, it’s an ode to teenage girl fantasy — something Petras, now 25, missed out on back then.

“I wanted to kill myself as a kid,” she candidly admits. “I wasn’t popular in school, I got bullied pretty hard … but I’m talented and I’m good at music, and that’s always how I spent my time — in my room, making music.”

At 16, Petras was the youngest person in the European Union to undergo gender-affirmation surgery (she started hormone therapy at 12). “I feel like my whole teen life was taken up by fighting for that — fighting to get surgery and fighting to get hormone therapy,” she says.

Since the surgery is usually prohibited until a teen reaches 18, Petras had to convince a medical team to make an exception in her case. “My parents really educated me that not everybody’s as lucky as me, to transition early,” Petras says. She’s thrilled, “I get to help others who are not as lucky,” and is determined to remain a trans ambassador. “The great thing about my music career is that, really, people find out about me without knowing [my history] and it’s really just about the music … but at the same time, I’ll always fight for the transgender community.”

She also isn’t willing to be judged by her gender. “That somebody is female or male, it doesn’t define them … and if somebody’s transgender, it doesn’t define them,” she says.

Her life has really always been about music. Growing up, Petras remembers her mom playing Miles Davis and Billie Holiday records. As a teen, she recalls watching a Carole King documentary and becoming “really obsessed with songwriting.” Petras had a hit single, Last Forever, in her native Germany by the time she was 16. She’s been making music for over half her life and has written over 300 original songs, leading Petras to joke that her first full-length album will really be more like her “greatest hits.”

One can certainly see shades of pop princesses past in her edgy but perfectly polished, side-ponytail sporting, bubble gum-popping aesthetic.

“I grew up with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera,” Petras explains. “And I really love everything early-Madonna.” After coming to Los Angeles at 19, Petras says her early success in Germany didn’t open doors stateside and she ended up broke and “slept on studio couches for years.” But these days, the years of blood, sweat, and tears are starting to pay off and her career is shifting into high gear. She has collaborated with artists like Charlie XCX, JoJo, Baby E, and Lil Aaron. She records on her own label, has been featured on RISE (Spotify’s artist development program), and has been streamed over 30 million times on the platform.

With her new hit single and video, Heart to Break, climbing the charts, a full-length album in the works, and a tour with Troye Sivan this fall —  Petras doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. “I’m so, so ecstatic to be doing what I’m doing,” she says. “I’ve been working up to this my whole life, like since I was 12 years old, I was on the way here — so now I’m going to enjoy it.”

Comments 1

  1. 67890.P-/=\Kim Petras, Modern Pop Princess … milkboys 2018-07-26 …
    — Please note that MALE trans MALES do no more than be MALES enjoying the dominate MALE sex. Males as their Females are still MALES.
    — With out the cutting, and, utter, or, complete, sex change, no MALE cannot be a FEMALE, however much a ‘feeling’. OH ! Then, such change is a MALE decision ! Otherwise, there is no FROM nor TO. UH OH ! Forty + year old arguments. [See and read original MS magazines, and, their references.][Am an original. Do read until … ]
    — Jump Rope … LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE … PUT IT OUT PUT IT OUT PUT IT OUT OUT OUT … does any one think different from what the come of the little girls mean ?

Leave a Comment