From catchy Pop bops to becoming an emerging gay icon. All Kim Petras! All The Time.
Photographer | Angela Peterman
Creative Director | AllanTroy
Styling | Alexandra Mandelkorn
Interview | Ricky Bennick
Special Thanks to Studio | Thank You X
Ricky | Between your presence on the charts and at fashion week, a surprise Halloween themed mixtape and touring with Troye Sivan, 2018 was a breakout year for you. How does it feel to have more and more people taking notice of you as an emerging pop star?
Kim | Awesome! I love it. I’m happy I’m building a real fan base of people that really like my music. I feel really blessed. I’ve worked really hard for years – my whole life – to get to this point, so it feels amazing and I’m really thankful.
Ricky | It always seems like the jury is split on touring. Some performers love it and some hate it. What is your take on tour life now that you’ve had a taste of it?
Kim | I love it! I think it’s great. It’s really fun waking up in a different city every single day and getting to perform every night. It really gives me purpose. I can’t wait to have my own tour. It’s going to be amazing.
Ricky | The pop landscape changes so quickly these days. Lately pop has been very obsessed with being ultra cool, but your music really brings the focus back honest to god bops. Do you think that pop could use a little more fun in its life right now?
Kim | Totally! Yeah. I just want people to have more fun. I’m all about fun. I love music that I can listen to and forget myself and my problems. That’s the kind of music I want to make. I want to make fun music but, at the same time, I want to do what feels honest to me. I’m really just making music for myself. It’s the type of music that I love and I’m always happy when people have a good time with my music.
Ricky | Who are your favorite artists past and present?
Ricky | From what I understand, you have had publishing deals with labels. As an act in your own right, however, you’ve always been independent. What would you say are the pros and cons of going this route in your experience?
Kim | The pros are that you have full creative control. I feel like I can immediately see a music video in my head when I write a song – so I want to do exactly that. The cons are that you don’t have a machine behind you that, like, pushes your songs to the forefront, has everyone listen to it and helps you with radio. I’m building all of that myself. It’s hard and it’s definitely more work, but I love being in control creatively and I feel like I have a strong vision for what I want to do.
Ricky | Thematically, your music so far has explored young love and lust, heartbreak and hedonism. What topical ground do you want to cover in future music?
Kim | All types of ground! Whatever I’m going through, I want to cover. I love talking about anything that’s relatable and anything that I’m going through. So, endless things!
Ricky | From reading past interviews of yours, it seems very important to you that you be seen first for your music, even despite the tendency that media and the public have for focusing on the other thing that has people talking, which is the Kim Petras trans story. Certainly, no one can tell you as an artist what to speak or write about – it’s your art, your voice. Despite this, do you personally feel pressure of any kind to tell the trans story? If so, where is that pressure coming from?
Kim | The internet! In general, I don’t feel pressured to do anything. I’m proud of being transgender and it’s just a part of my life. I want people to focus on my music, for sure. I’d love to be taken seriously as an artist. It just so happens that I’m trans. But, honestly, I don’t feel much pressure to do anything. I try not to let anything affect me, but I always want to help trans kids. There’s such a high suicide rate, which is awful, so I really want to help.
Ricky | Do you ever feel compelled to allude to your own journey as a trans person in your music, and if so, how do you do that?
Kim | Not yet. Maybe one day – I don’t know. I’ve never written a song that was like “oh, I’m transgender.” I think songs should be about your emotions and what’s happening to you as a human. It’s not really about your gender identification. I don’t know if I’ll ever write a song about that.
Ricky | In Heart to Break, the title lyric seems to imply that giving one’s heart away inevitably means it will break. I’m curious to know what your general position is on the subject of love? Are you hopeful about love?
Kim | Kind of and kind of not. I feel like it’s really hard finding love. Love is definitely not what you think it is growing up. Love isn’t Disney movies. Love is none of that stuff. I’m really good at giving my love to the wrong people. That’s what my songs are about and what my personal experience is. I feel like I’m always hopeful in finding somebody magically, though.
Ricky | One’s understanding of love, I think, changes as one grows and learns. What is love to you today?
Kim | Love is my friends, my family, my music, my fans. That’s really love to me right now.
Ricky | What can you tell us about future projects? Any exciting collabs? Can you tell us what direction your sound is heading? Or which producers you’ll be working with in the future?
Kim | I did a couple of sessions with Nic Nac last year, which was awesome. I’ve been a fan of his. I also just dropped three songs to end my first musical era. I did one solo, one with lil aaron, and another with SOPHIE – who is awesome. I’ve been in the studio a lot… I’m just excited to evolve and show a new side of myself… I feel very inspired by the music I’m listening to right now and the music that’s on the radio…
Ricky | Thank you, Kim!
To get tickets to Kim’s sold out new tour go to kimpetras.com.