Mikaela Straus is the 19 year-old Brooklyn musician, best known as King Princess. Myself (and half of the world, it seems) has been listening to her Make My Bed EP (which dropped over a year ago) on Mark Ronson’s label, Zelig Recordings.
She told Them at the time,
“I totally want to be there for [my fans], as well as everybody else.
I feel pop music can be really cool again… I think that pop music has been what has changed our world for so long, and I think it’s definitely going to have a renaissance much like the rest of our country.
I found out how to be comfortable through film and television and watching gay shit and figuring it out on my own and being loud about it. It’s very difficult [to be] stuck in, like, a vortex of straight shit.
I’ve always been kind of a genderqueer person. It’s something I kind of came into later ‘cause I didn’t really think about it as an identity as much as the way it had to do with the people I loved and the way I dressed…I like that I can ride that line on the periphery of femininity. I don’t always have to be an active participant. I think that’s really freeing.”
Her rise was swift. After graduating high school in New York, Straus attended USC for a year before leaving to pursue music full-time. She wrote all five songs on Make My Bed in just two months, posted the music to SoundCloud, and, as they say, the rest is HerStory.
Moments after 1950 hit Spotify, Harry Styles tweeted her lyrics, without comment.
“I swear, there was nothing planned about that. It was wild. I woke up and I was like, oh shit. This some shit.”
Straus says Top 40 pop is the perfect escape for today’s exhausting political climate.
“Pop music is a lot more interesting when you got gay people. It’s always been, you know?
It’s been about queer people. It’s been about people of color. It’s been about trans people. It’s like, we need that.
It’s a big step that a song or a video like mine is being responded to the way it is. It makes me so happy, because it means that other people can start to come in who are far more diverse than me, a white girl from Brooklyn… This world is ready. We’re ready for it… And it’s not a competition — it’s a movement.”
The SNL audience found out about King Princess as the musical guest last night with live versions of 1950 and Hit the Back.