Mikaela Straus, also known as King Princess, is a 19 year old queer Brooklyn native, now living in Los Angeles. Mikaela grew up submerged in the music industry, spending her time as a young child in her father’s studio, where he engineered tracks for artists such as New Politics, Cat Power, and Matt and Kim. Surrounded by artists, producers, and music all her life, it’s no surprise that Mikaela has brought her own unique and refreshing creative energy to the scene.
In February of 2018, Mikaela released her debut single, ‘1950’. The song gained a surge of popularity in early March 2017, as Harry Styles quoted one of her lyrics ‘I love it when we play 1950.’ on Twitter. Straus’ strong and soulful vocals paired with the slow tempo grabs the listener by the ear and does not let go. The lyrics describe the feeling of danger and risk of getting caught between Mikaela and her significant other, as if it’s the mid twentieth century, when same sex relationships were not publicly acceptable. This song introduced the audience to a large characteristic of King Princess’ art, the discussion of gender and sexuality. The music video for ‘1950’ pairs beautiful and ethereal visuals with the song that makes your heart feel warm and full.
In an interview with i-D, Mikaela states that she is a full supporter of pop culture and mainstream artists representing LGBT+ values, but believes that it is absolutely necessary to have artists that are actually apart of the LGBT+ community in the spotlight as well. This absence of queer creatives leads to a lack of representation that is extremely valuable to the community, especially those struggling with feeling comfortable with their sexuality or gender identity. And what better way to work towards more exposure and representation than to help fill the gap yourself?
‘What better time? Everything’s fucked up right now. We gotta get art out there! I’d like to see a huge amount of political art that talks about the issues that we’re all having. It’s really gonna make a difference, because music reaches people.”
Read i-D interview here
King Princess is just one young queer musician gaining traction in mainstream media, and I am extremely excited to see what’s to come for her.
Since her ‘1950’ release, King Princess has released her ‘Make My Bed’ EP this June, including pop rock ballad ‘Talia’ and slow jam ‘Upper West Side’. Listen here on Spotify.
If you like King Princess, be sure to check out Conan Gray , Tessa Violet, and Hayley Kiyoko
- Alex Silvers