I Want To Take Confidence Lessons From Kim Petras

Photo: Craig Barritt/Getty Images/Motorola.
Kim Petras has what she calls a “delusional side.” “I remember being 12, waking up and being like, ‘I now declare this my job. I am a songwriter, and I'm going to work at it like it's my job every single day,’” Petras tells Refinery29. “And not stop until I get somewhere and get good.”
While she calls her self-assuredness delusion, others would call it confidence, which Petras could teach a master class in. And she has the receipts to back up her conviction in herself. 
This past February, Petras became the youngest trans woman to win a Grammy alongside Sam Smith for their collaborative track “Unholy.” Also this year, the maximalist pop star became the second trans woman in history to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated, performed with Smith on Saturday Night Live, announced a new album, and partnered with Motorola for the launch of the third generation of the Razr (both Feed The Beast and the phone come out June 23). The Razr launch is a fitting collaboration given Petras’ penchant for maximalist flair and style that Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century would approve of. 
“Little me with my little pink Razr would be very, very proud,” Petras says. 
Ahead of her album drop and the Razr launch, Petras chats with Refinery29 about the return of the 2000s phone, her upcoming album, and why putting yourself first is the way to go.

Refinery29: Did you have a Razr back in the day?

Kim Petras: I had the pink one [and] I loved it to pieces. I mean, the most iconic way to hang up a call, pick up a call, or settle an argument [was] by *claps phone shut loudly* clapping her.

This year has been a whirlwind for you so far. Between performing on SNL, winning at the Grammys, and being on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, what has been the most fulfilling part so far?

The most fulfilling part of [this year] was my fans getting more music from me. For me, I worked with Nicki Minaj on a single alone, which was a huge goal in my life to write a song that she deemed good enough to jump on because she was a huge hero to me. Also winning a Grammy with my friend, Sam [Smith], because we really got very close in the process of making the song and I've learned so much from Sam. 

You're a maximalist pop girlie and you’ve been one since forever. What is your favorite album from the original Razr era?

I really like, obviously, Blackout by Britney [Spears]. I remember Kylie [Minogue] put out a lot of albums during that time, but I had the complete edition [of] her best hits.  And then Cher[’s] Believe album. 

Do you have any advice for people who might be struggling with their identity?

Authenticity is one of the most beautiful things we have as people. We're all different, and I think the sooner you can sit down with yourself and accept that that’s what's beautiful about you, the more love you're able to receive in life. … I encourage you to dig deep, be able to sit with yourself, and be happy with yourself. Put yourself first before anyone and then everything else will happen. 

It’s also Pride Month! What are you doing to celebrate? 

Mostly I just remind myself of how lucky I am. [Younger me] was very scared of what my life would be because the journey was very different. I remember all of my trans friends and hit them up. I love the trans community and so many girlies that I adore. I couldn't live life without them.

What's one word to describe your upcoming album?

Grand. It's just a grand moment.
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