Kim Petras: 'Pop never stays the same, which is partly why I love it so much; pop can be anything'

Kim Petras: 'Pop never stays the same, which is partly why I love it so much. Pop can be anything'

credit: Byron Spencer

As she returns to the UK with The Clarity Tour, we catch up with the rising pop musician

Steadily on the rise since the release of her breakout single 'I Don't Want It at All' back in 2017, German-born, LA-based songwriter Kim Petras has remained fiercely, and unconventionally, independent throughout her career. Racking up Spotify streams in the millions and working with contemporary pop royalty like Charli XCX and SOPHIE, Petras proved herself worthy of this early buzz last summer with the announcement of her debut full-length project Clarity.

'Clarity was about a break-up and a switch in my perspective when it comes to writing,' Petras explains about the main ideas behind the project. 'It was like taking back the curtain and being like "this is my life, this is how I actually feel, and this is what it's like hanging out with me." I've never been that personal in my songs before because the songs from my first era were all about the exaggerated, idealised life I wanted to have.'

A big hit with pop fans, the album's futuristic bubblegum-pop aesthetic and sleek and effervescent melodies led to her first ever sold-out headline tour, which included a date at London's Heaven. 'It has been really amazing,' Petras says when asked about her many successes in 2019. 'It has been the biggest year I've had, so I'm really excited. I feel like I've laid the foundation for a lot of what's to come, but I always like to keep improving. I want next year to be even better!'

Often labelled 'a rising pop sensation' and 'the future of the pop industry', Petras has always wanted to be immersed in the pop world but doesn't necessarily consider herself a pop star now. 'I think of myself as an artist and a songwriter,' she says, 'but I'm really happy that other people think of me as a pop star!' Certainly, the songs on Clarity may represent a musical evolution of sorts, but Petras already has big plans for the future.

'I know exactly what I want to do, but I can't tell anyone just yet! If I did, my new music wouldn't be as much of a surprise. I feel like I'm constantly evolving, and I want to keep it that way. I always want to find new things to be inspired by and I don't ever want to repeat myself.'

When it comes to the ever-changing pop landscape, there's a sense of transience as trends double back and artists evolve accordingly. Petras may be considered on the forefront by many at the moment, but she is still excited about the changes that the genre will inevitably face in the coming years.

'I think it's always shifting. I have no idea what it will look like in five years and I think that's the most exciting thing about it. There are always new sounds and new things that people are obsessed with. Pop never stays the same, which is partly why I love it so much. Pop can be anything.'

SWG3, Glasgow, Wed 5 Feb, and touring.

Kim Petras

German singer-songwriter who also does a spot of modelling, and who recently released her second album Turn Off the Light.

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