Kim Petras on obstacles, collaborations and hoes being so mad
Look outside for a minute, do you see what's happening? The once ubiquitous big box labels are slowly disappearing into the rear view mirror — independent powerhouses gladly sliding into their empty space. It's a new era in music, one where the artists finally get to call the shots. And with it new faces like Kim Petras are able to thrive; she's one of the quickest growing independent pop stars on the planet right now.
She says that the creative freedom allows her to release what she wants, when she wants it. A Halloween album? Why not. A new single whenever? Sure. She's the boss.
She's also coming to Denver soon and sat down with us beforehand to dive into her world a bit before it happens.
Well well, how are you and how is the road treating you so far?
Great! I just played two sold out shows in New York that were incredible. This tour is the biggest I’ve ever done, and the shows keep getting bigger and better — I have outfit changes and crazy staging, so there are a lot of moving parts!
If someone out there has never heard of you, what three tracks would you want them to listen to of yours first and why?
I don’t like to tell people what to listen to too much, as wherever they jump in is fine with me. But I just put out the music video for my single 'Icy' so that might be a good start. I never want to repeat myself and I’m always looking to evolve as an artist and a songwriter so, while my eras are all pop, they have different sounds. It’s really up to you where you want to start.
What goes through your head in the moments leading up to a track or album release?
Excitement! As soon as the music is ready, I want to put it out into the world. One of the best things about being an independent artist is that I can release music whenever I want. There are always things I’m working on, or want to do or accomplish, and I’m always a little nervous to see if my fans will like it.
Tell us a bit about the Halloween-inspired project you just dropped. Why Halloween?
Me and my friends were in the studio and were all wondering why there are so Christmas records but no Halloween records — so we decided to make one! I love Halloween, scary movies, and movie soundtracks, so TURN OFF THE LIGHT is a dream project. When I was making Volume One, everyone was like 'Who is going to listen to that?!' — but it played at every Halloween party I went to and I’m really proud of it.
What job do you think you'd have right now if you weren't a musician?
I don’t know. I’ve poured everything into my music and have spent years working on my skill as a songwriter, so I’m not sure I could ever be anything else. I’ve wanted to be a musician for as long as I can remember, but there was also a time that I wanted to be a Disney Imagineer ... so I’d like to think that I’d be doing that!
Is there a dream collaboration of yours you'd like to someday make a reality?
I have so many! I’d love to collaborate with Daft Punk, Post Malone, or Cher, but the list is endless. I’d also love to collaborate with Danny Elfman on something spooky.
What tracks or artists do you listen to the most right now?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Lana Del Rey, Post Malone, Daft Punk, Madonna, MARINA, Kanye’s 808s & Heartbreak, Travis Scott’s Astroworld ... just the greats of every genre. They really inspire my own music. I’m really drawn to lyricists. I’ve also been listening to a lot of move soundtracks, such as the soundtrack to It Follows and the soundtrack to Drive, which inspired TURN OFF THE LIGHT.
As an independent musician, what kind of industry obstacles do you find to be most frustrating?
I don’t have a huge machine behind me and it’s a lot of work, but the freedom is amazing. I’m in charge of everything and I’m building it all myself. I get to release music when I feel it’s ready and it’s the best it can be.
What role do you feel social media plays in music today?
A huge role. I built my own platform on social media. I think you have to connect with your fans. I feel very connected with mine because they are my friends and I sometimes even text with them. I know about their problems and about their life, because social media has allowed me to find people who I believe in as much as they believe in me. With many artists going independent, I think it is helping a lot of artists break through and find people who love them for who they are.
Are there any upcoming projects or happenings you'd like for our readers to know about?
Nothing that I can share just yet as I don’t want to give anything away, but I’m always working on something. You won’t have to wait too long!