“I don’t understand how you can live in 2018 and allow someone else make your music sound a certain way. that’s just some crazy sh** to me.”
It’s the I-know-myself-and-that’s-everything attitude that allowed Mikaela Straus, aka King Princess, to release a debut EP that is entirely her own. Not bad for a nineteen-year-old. But Straus isn’t any teenager. With an eloquence and knowing beyond her years, Straus is taking her place in mainstream alt-pop as a queer artist who knows what she wants.
“I didn’t have anybody who was gay who was making music the way that I needed them to,” King Princess tells KFOG. “It’s not their fault. It’s a systematic issue. But it’s also really possible to be gay in this industry because everybody is really hungry for authenticity. I think the system that is in place grants very little authenticity. I think there is space to be made.”
San Fran gave me life pic.twitter.com/9Hi22xUUX1
— King Princess (@KingPrincess69) July 25, 2018
Her road to stardom might seem like an overnight journey, culminating in being the first artist signed to Mark Ronson’s record label, Zelig Records. But really, King Princess was making music from the start. Growing up playing in her father’s Brooklyn studio, she became a hungry multi-instrumentalist (she does all the instrumentation on her debut EP Make My Bed), vocalist, and songwriter.
But there was a key narrative missing among the stories she was hearing.
“When you’re young and you’re straight and you’re dealing with heartbreak you need that song that gets you through it and makes you cry and puts you back together. Gay people need that too! And it seems obvious but it’s really necessary – you need people who look like you and sound like you, on radio and in television, film, writing.”
Now, King Princess is filling the void herself.
“I feel really lucky now. Seeing kids being themselves at the shows and responding to the music and feeling like I’m providing some kind of respite from the heteronormative pop world.”