King Princess: a queer icon, a messy lover
There’s nothing quite like falling in love in New York City. It’s an experience like no other – both the highest and lowest moments of your life unfold on the busy streets, midnight trains and tiny apartment bedrooms. In those instants of ecstasy and misery both, you realize exactly how wrapped up you truly are in the mere thought of another person.
It’s intoxicating – an absolute muse. Such is the premise of King Princess’s music. Telling the tale of her own modern queer love story, KP gives listeners a taste of it all, from the heartbreak to the obsession.
Hailing from the streets of Brooklyn, KP is no stranger to the unforgiving world of music and creative expression. Born Mikaela Straus, the 19-year-old firecracker has become a queer icon in the seven months since the release of her debut single “1950,” a tender ode to the LGBTQ+ community and its enduring history.
With the ever-present cigarette in hand, KP has traversed the media landscape. She thoroughly incorporates internet culture into a refreshing, youthful attitude toward life and art that tests the boundaries of gender while giving us all a dose of that sexy androgynous style that has become her staple. One step at a time, the young artist is deconstructing the role of popstar, molding it to fit her larger-than-life outlook on music, art and expression.
With the release of her debut EP “Make My Bed,” KP has redefined pop music, emphasizing the intoxicating power of love and, more specifically, women. Sprinkled with elements of oldies pop and rhythm and blues, the record seeks to give a necessary voice to a community of LGBTQ+ youth celebrating a new era of visibility while, at the same time, paying homage to the hardships of the past.
The five-track EP features lyrical laments such as “Talia” and “Upper West Side,” tracks that paint muddy pictures of love stories gone wrong, unrequited love and a mind gone crazy with both longing and contempt. Listeners are made to understand the breadth of a woman’s influence; how, no matter how rotten her actions and words may be, you still can’t let her go. “I can’t stop judging everything you do,” KP sings, with what almost seems to be a sigh, “but I can’t get enough of you.”
The final two tracks, “Holy” and “1950,” offer a more tender tone to fade the record out, highlighting the more magical facets of falling in love. Through her incorporating of religious imagery in her lyrics, KP reveals to listeners her view of women, their bodies and their love – they’re holy, they’re godlike. “Tell me why my gods look like you,” KP croons, her husky, gentle voice flowing through the speakers like some sensational euphoria, “and tell me why it’s wrong.”
But it couldn’t be wrong, not a love like that. The EP ends as the singer’s voice fades out, ringing in the silence that follows. “Holy” might be the best way to describe it.