When Kim Petras becomes the next big thing in pop music, you heard it from us first. Her debut single, “I Don’t Want It At All,” skyrocketed to nearly four million streams within its first few weeks on Spotify; the next two singles, “Hillside Boys” and “Hills,” were both featured in Spotify’s New Music Friday. She describes her music as “unapologetically pop,” and when you listen to the tracks — infused with soaring vocals, ridiculously catchy choruses, and the verve of the ‘80s — you’ll see what she means.
This Cologne, Germany-born artist is used to being in the public eye. At 16, she made headlines for being the youngest person to ever undergo gender reassignment surgery. She began the transition process when she was 12.
Now 25, Petras is living the dream she always saw for herself growing up in Germany, when she would watch pop videos on repeat. And we get to be the ones to premiere her next single, "Slow It Down," a song which she told Refinery29 in an email that she wrote with a "classic, sexy prom night slow dance feel" in mind.
Petras' goal is to continue working as an artist, though she hopes her presence as a pop singer speaks to other young trans people. "It’s a hard thing to go through and it’s important to me to be able to help," she said.
In an interview with Out Magazine, Petras elaborated further on the dichotomy between being a pop star and a figure in the trans community.
"I definitely always have a responsibility to the transgender community because I’m a part of it...It's definitely difficult to have role models being transgender. At the same time, I’m just having fun making my music, being artistically whatever I want to be and being free. My music’s not about me being transgender, but I’m writing songs about how I feel, what I’m obsessed with, what I love, what I hate, what makes me happy—just human emotions. It’s not songs specifically about being transgender," she told Out.
Petras showcased her "obsessions" perfectly in the saccharine, pink-hued music video for her first single, "I Don't Want It At All." With the opening lyric, "I want all my clothes designer / I want someone else to buy 'em," the satirical song skewers L.A.'s sugar daddy culture — and it's as catchy as it is subversive. Paris Hilton also makes a cameo at the end of the video. "We had a lot of fun," Petras told us of working with Hilton.
For now, Petras will continue to work on her upcoming album, rack up Spotify streams, and dream of working with Cher, who she told us is her dream collaboration. And for now, you can just sit back and enjoy the pop music kingdom Petras is building.
“For a moment, I’d love for listeners to forget reality and have fun when they listen to me."
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