ARTIST TO WATCH: King Princess
Every singleKing Princess video has the same comment under it:
“twenty-gayteen has treated us well.” From this
comment, you can get a sense of what King Princess is all
about—giving people something to celebrate, as someone who
embraces being gay and creates beautiful music about it. Describing
herself as gender-queer and gay, her name is a reflection of her
identifying as both masculine and feminine. No matter how you
identify, you will enjoy the suave sound and stylings of this
artist on the rise.
Mikaela Straus is King Princess, a 19-year-old from New York City who grew up in the music world. Her dad owned a music studio, and Straus’s childhood home was always full of recording artists and music production. One time, Missy Elliott even filmed a music video in front of her house. Her mom is an activist for trans rights and lobbies for House seats in New York. With parents like these, it’s no wonder King Princess has been able to own her identity and offer encouragement to others less comfortable with being themselves. For college, King Princess went to USC’s music school, but she dropped out to pursue her own music career, which worked out, because she was signed to Mark Ronson’s record label, Zelig Records. In 2018, she released her EP, Make My Bed. Every track on this 5-song EP has a music video on YouTube, so there’s no reason not to check out them all. King Princess says that the EP tells a cohesive story, and it’s easy to follow the story of heartbreak that runs through all five of these songs.
Starting with “1950”, she began to release singles from her EP. “1950” is about unrequited love, comparing the cold demeanor of someone she loves from afar to gay couples in the 1950s, who couldn’t show affection in public. In a way, she romanticizes a time in history that is often only seen as sad for those who were gay. Her cool fashion choices and confident yet vulnerable demeanor in the music video for “1950” will keep you coming back watch again and again. “1950” gained mass attention when Harry Styles tweeted a line from it.
I love it when we play 1950.— Harry Styles. (@Harry_Styles) March 7, 2018
This attention helped lots of young people discover the song and King Princess herself. She says she is grateful for all the young fans who were able to find her lyrics relatable and her honesty about her sexuality inspiring.
single is called “Talia”, and King Princess says
it’s her saddest on the EP. It’s clearly about a love
who has left, as King Princess sings, “Broke my heart now I'm
wasting my time on you,” and we. felt. that. The song, though
definitely pop, has a DIY feel and makes things interesting by
keeping the verses slow before breaking into a much faster chorus.
Not to mention, someone is keeping a keen eye on her aesthetic,
because this music video is just as visually cool as
"1950", though maybe a bit darker, to match the tone of the
Her other three music videos are just as good, and how often can you say that? Listen to all five in a row to follow the story she’s telling. She is currently working on her first full album, and we will wait patiently for its release and play her EP on repeat in the meantime.
Fun(?) Fact: King Princess is the great-great-granddaughter of Isidor Straus, co-founder of Macy's, who, along with his wifeIda, died in the sinking of the Titanicin 1912.
(Image via Matthew Eisman/Getty Images)
- Meg Spaulding, YH Contributing Writer