Release Date: Oct 25, 2019
Record label: Columbia
Genderqueer, gay and of Jewish descent, Mikaela Straus has been demonstrating the complexity of identity ever since she chose the moniker King Princess. Her personal brand of kiss-off pop is as relatable as it glossily distant, appearing as if out of nowhere in early 2018. Arriving in her 20th year, King Princess's debut speaks strongly to the dichotomies of modern existence.
The Mark Ronson-endorsed New Yorker recalibrates the traditional love song for an LGBTQ audience and her debut studio album soars at its most experimental It's rare that a new pop star arrives sounding fully formed, but King Princess achieved just that with her first proper hit single ‘1950’, released last February, an anthem about unrequited love that deserved to go viral with or without its Harry Styles co-sign (he tweeted the lyrics to his 33 million+ followers). Lovingly dubbed 'Lesbian Jesus' by her fans, the 20-year-old singer, who produces most of her own music, is adept at taking classic motifs around young love and flipping their gaze towards the LGBTQ community, making it clear that feelings like infatuation and heartbreak are universal. This lets her fans, many of whom are young and struggling with their identify, feel free to embody what's inside their hearts.
By now, Mikaela Straus' artistic predicament has become uncannily familiar: A young unknown with a fresh, infectious sound releases a song that catches fire. Streams rack up, fame arrives overnight; the pressure's on to articulate an artistic identity, cook up a debut album, and make good on the promise of that first hit, fast--all while contending with the gaze of several million curious onlookers. If Straus, who's better known as King Princess, wanted to compare notes on the ups and downs of a viral breakout, she could do so with a fairly spectacular peer group that includes Maggie Rogers, Billie Eilish, and Clairo.
B rooklyn singer-songwriter King Princess (Mikaela Straus) recently explained that Cheap Queen, the title of her debut album, is a term she borrowed from the world of drag queens. It refers to a queen who's resourceful, making something out of not very much. That's the principle that underpins her laid-back title track, where she sings with a light touch about "doing the same shit I've always liked".