After her Orlando debut, meteoric queer icon King Princess could be the next pop music game-changer
THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
King Princess, The Plaza Live, Nov. 12
King Princess, the persona of 20-year-old Brooklyn-born artist Mikaela Strauss, is racking up cred and clout at a dizzying clip. A musical prodigy and reportedly preternaturally wise soul even as a child, the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is now emerging hard as an iconoclastic queer hero with eyes set on prime-time breakthrough. It’s a bold shot but here’s the thing: she’s got the goods to pull it off. Since she’s booked to be the musical guest on the upcoming Nov. 23rd episode of SNL hosted by legendary alum Will Ferrell, everyone is about to glimpse the King Princess phenomenon. But Orlando just got a full dose of it, and look out, world.
Arriving on the heat of her just-dropped debut album (Cheap Queen) on Mark Ronson’s Zelig Records, King Princess made a resounding Orlando debut that showed what kind of statement she’s capable of. From the deafening reception that greeted her and rose with every dramatic move or word, this was a fan base that already sees the truth of an artist that’s beginning to surge with an auspicious mix of brio and inevitability.
Live, she came with a full band where she doesn’t simply wield her big personality but also the piano and guitar. With modern cadences and soulful contemporary hues, King Princess’ music hits all the marks to make millennial playlists the world over. It’s a pop outlook that’s open-ended and forward-looking.
But even more current than her sound is her perspective. From name on down to lyrics and presentation, King Princess is a bold blitz of queer pride and artful gender obfuscation, which makes her songs hit with more bite, currency and stance. More than just something to sing, she’s got something to say. And it’s all channeled into a vividly individual voice.
King Princess is not another prefab pop façade. If her trajectory holds, she could be a new force of liberation. She’s got the prime pop chops, but she’s using it to deliver a viewpoint from the edge like Peaches retooled for a mainstream takeover. Yes, potentially that deadly. She’s now, she’s ready and she’s poised to tear down some tired old walls. Bring on the reign.
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