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Kim Petras: the Underground Pop Breakout Star of the Year

Kim Petras. Photo Credit: Thom Kerr
Kim Petras. Photo Credit: Thom Kerr

Garnering acclaim for numerous chart-topping hits singer/song-writer Kim Petras is no one hit wonder. Petras was dubbed “most likely to dominate the pop charts”  at the end of 2017; we saw the fruition of that prediction in 2018. Pop’s newest pop princess is on the rise, though I have a feeling she’s just getting warmed up. With a comparatively small number of releases, Petras has already earned 16.7 million on-demand U.S. streams according to Nielsen Music. With an electric energy that infuses even the most melancholy lyrics, here are the top four reasons Petras should be considered the 2018 Breakout Star of the Year.

 

  1. Transporting fans back in time with electro-pop beats reminiscent of 2010’s Katy Perry hits, Kim Petras lands her first Top 40 hit with a Valentine’s Day release of Heart to Break. Bopping along to the enthusiastic sing-a-long chorus, the sugary beats are addictively sweet. While the song stands on its own, the music video enhances the experience with stunning visuals and clever CGI. Throughout the music video, Petras transforms into a glass princess who shatters when someone gets too close. Though the song is about the fear of falling in love, it should be noted that much like her music video, the closer we get to Petras the more she shatters stereotypes as a trans woman. Petras is every bit the tough but fragile princess she portrays, as evidenced in her vocals. The touching way she draws out her syllables and belts out the lyrics “Don’t care if this is my worst mistake/ ‘Cause no one else could do it better/ That’s why I give you my heart to break” has a romanticized 80’s Cyndi Lauper feel to it. Garnering over four million views on Youtube, the official Heart to Break music video is the kind of pure pop heaven fans can’t get enough of.
  2. For the first time in its 48-year history the Los Angeles Pride festival sold out and Kim Petras was one of the artists dominating the line-up. You could call it a coincidence or recognize the power of Petras within the LGBQT community. Though she’s breaking new ground and fast becoming the trans pop poster girl, Petras wants to be defined by her music not her identity.

The music speaks for itself, as shown by the million plus monthly listeners on Spotify. As Petras’ star-making manager, Larry Rudolph, put it her “transgender identity is a strong footnote, but a footnote.”

  1. Defying convention in 2018, Kim Petras released a Halloween album in place of the traditional over-hyped Christmas

    Kim Petras. Photo Credit: Thom Kerr
    Kim Petras. Photo Credit: Thom Kerr

    album. The eight track LP Turn Off the Light Vol 1, taps into a darker version of Petras, it’s edgier and somewhat of a departure from the bubblegum pop hits she’s known for. With eerie sound effects and throbbing base, the synth-driven tracks “Boo! Bitch!” and “TRANSylvania” are sure to haunt you on and off the dance floor. On “In the Next Life” Petras treats fans to a verse in German, singing in her native language for the first time on a U.S. release. That’s not the only surprise on the EP. Elvira, the iconic Mistress of the Dark is featured on the title track; which might make this the number one go-to for every Halloween party. Infused with an amalgamation of pounding techno and killer pop, it’s no wonder this EP has fan’s touting Kim Petras the “Queen of Halloween.”

  2. Closing the year out on a high note with the release of Feeling of Falling, Kim Petras once more veers from her straight-up pop sounds to collaborate with the electronic trio Cheat Codes. Matching Petras’ powerful vocals with the heavy synths of Cheat Codes really drives the emotional message of this song. Despite the downbeat lyrics describing the vulnerabilities of a broken heart, this electronic hit will have audiences grooving  their way into 2019 thanks to the joyous way Petras belts it out.

Kim Petras is poised for an even bigger 2019


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