At some point in the hopefully not-so-distant future, Kim Petras will release one of the best pop albums of the year.
We can say this with confidence because she’s already unveiled a good chunk of her forthcoming debut – four songs, all impeccably crafted pop tunes that feel like an endless strut down a runway being showered in roses and glitter. Her aim is simple: to offer escapism – and her rapidly-growing discography does just that.
Read on for an enlightening chat we had with Kim, in which she spoke to us about growing up in Cologne, dealing with isolation, her upcoming releases, and the limitless powers of the vocoder.
You’ve popped out quite a number of singles over the past four months (not that anyone’s complaining)! Was there any reason for this sudden bonanza of bangers?
I’ve been working on this first record since I was 16, and I finally got to the point where we had most of the record done and felt good about releasing the first four songs. I’m so excited for the next ones!
And of course, the most recent of them is ‘Slow It Down’. How’s it feel to have pulled off one of the smoothest songs of the year?
Thank you! I started the first demo for ‘Slow It Down’ when I was 19, so it feels amazing to have it finished and out now. I kind of wanted it to feel like what you imagine prom to be like before you actually go to a real one. So I hope we accomplished that!
In a recent interview with SheBOPS you said we can expect a lot of vocoder bits in your future releases. Firstly: THANK YOU. Secondly: do you have any favourite vocoder bits from songs released by other artists?
Daft Punk’s ‘One More Time’ takes the crown for me! I’ve been a fan of Daft Punk forever. I also really love Imogen Heap and also wanna give a shoutout to Talkbox icons Roger Troutman and Peter Frampton. Who doesn’t like Mr. Talkbox!
You’re working on your debut album, for which you’ve got hundreds of potential songs to choose from. What’s your narrowing down process like? How easy do you find it to make cuts or selections?
It’s been tough to let songs go, but at the same time the best songs always win. I have a pretty clear vision of what I want this first record to be, and we’re finally close to finishing it. My number one priority is always the concept and the lyrics, so if that’s not unique or strong enough it won’t make the record.
And is there a rough release date / month / year in mind for the LP?
We’re going for a pretty unique roll out with Spotify. We’re going to release one song a month until the record completes itself. I’m so excited about it.
You’ve spoken about growing up in a small town and feeling so out of reach of your goals – something that I think a lot of people can relate to. What inspired you back then to keep striving for bigger things, and make your way out?
It was really my passion for songwriting! I started when I was super young, and I’m always thriving to write a better song each time I finish one. Instead of partying, I stayed home to write songs. I always had my mind set on becoming one of the greatest songwriters, and I’m obviously still working on it! But writing is what brought me places. When I was 20, I said, “Alright, all of the writers are in L.A, so if you want to become great, you better go now.” So I did!
Social media can sometimes be a fairly bittersweet experience for someone feeling trapped by circumstance. It offers a window into a world of possibilities that at the same time may feel impossible to get. How’d it factor into your life when you were younger?
I was definitely pretty sad in my teens. I didn’t have many friends and wasn’t very popular in school but I wanted to be a pop star. I made the best of it and performed wherever I could and wrote as many songs as possible. I think the key to social media is not to compare yourself to other people. It’s hard, but it’ll just make you sad and really doesn’t help anybody.
Hahah, more like a secret mistake!
I feel like a good part of why your own music is so brilliant is because you’re such a genuine fan of pop music yourself. Do you have any favourite producers or writers at the moment who you’d love to work with in the future?
There are so many good ones! I love Billboard and really want to work with him. Also, I’m super curious to know how king Max Martin keeps busting out the bangers. I’m also obsessed with Starrah and a huge fan of hers.
With December just around the corner I feel it’s my festive duty to ask – how do you feel about Christmas music, and what would a Kim Petras holiday single sound like? (feel free to chuck one of those out too if you’ve got something lying around)
I’m so here for a Christmas turn up song – I’ll start working on it right now!
And finally, what’s one thing you’d like to do or accomplish in 2018 that most people wouldn’t guess?
Be happy! That’s my goal every year because it’s often hard for me. I want to work as hard as I possibly can, tour, make my second record, win 25 Grammys and make two Lifetime bio pics (I’m sure everyone could guess this!)