So, tell me why my gods look like you.
And tell me why it’s wrong.
Born into the music industry, Mikaela Straus was raised in her father’s recording studio in Brooklyn, New York. Throughout her childhood she provided background vocals for her dad’s clients, and by age 11, she was offered a record deal. Although she turned it down to opt for a more conventional childhood, Straus was merely getting ready for something bigger.
Fast forward to age 18, Straus begins her freshman year at the University of Southern California. While attending school, her persona King Princess is born out of the song-writing studio formed in her dorm room. Pairing melody with her shower-thoughts became the song–and ultimately her debut single–‘1950’.
From the opening line, King Princess makes a statement to her audience. With every lyric attributed to personal struggles of romance and heartbreak, King Princess shows the world that in 2018, the LGBTQ+ community needs love songs too.
When asked about the origins of her song, she stated: “Queer love was only able to exist privately for a long time, expressed in society through coded art forms. I wrote this song as a story of unrequited love in my own life, doing my best to acknowledge and pay homage to that part of history.”
Released in February 2018, the song reached new heights the following month, when Harry Styles tweeted: “I love it when we play ‘1950’.” King Princess went on to sign with Mark Ronson’s new label, Zelig Records, and begin her journey as an unstoppable musical force.
Now with an EP in the mix, the young artist is in the heart of an explosive career. The five-song piece, Make My Bed, showcases her incredible vocal range and confidence in her sexual identity. Songs alluding to her femininity but also her sexual interests give rise to soft, yet powerful lyrics.
King Princess is genderqueer, meaning she identifies with neither, both, or a combination of male and female genders, but opts to use she/her pronouns. Today, this advocate for LGBTQ+ people immerses herself in both her music and beliefs. Participating in anti-gun violence protests and standing up for human rights, King Princess is a face that others who feel marginalized can admire, especially those struggling with expressing their sexuality.
One of the most impressive things about this musical prodigy is what she’s been able to accomplish at such a young age. Born in 1998, King Princess could easily be sitting in a third-year lecture with me as we prepare to enter the workforce. The way she brings life to her passion for equality shows us that anyone, no matter how old, can make a difference. Still, the message of her music– that anyone is allowed to be in love and it’s time for everyone to accept it– is one that speaks volumes in today’s contentious climate. This artist is exactly who we needed, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.
Sam Turnbull is our MUSE’ings editor. Want to submit? Click here.