Pop goddess Kim Petras says narrow-minded record bosses dismissed her as just ‘gay club music’
Kim Petras has opened up about being seen as a “joke” in her home country of Germany, and dismissed by the US music industry.
Petras gained fame in her early years after featuring in a German documentary, aged just 14 years old, which documented her journey to becoming one of the youngest ever people to medically transition in the country.
Although the documentary and subsequent TV appearances gave Petras a public profile, the singer said it limited her ability to progress her music career.
“[I] made the decision to get out of Europe,” she told Buzzfeed. “I’m seen as a joke, and nobody wants to talk about my music, people don’t want to work with me. I’m just, like, ‘the t****y on TV’ to people.”
Petras left Europe to move to pursue music in Los Angeles, however she faced further difficulty in the States where record labels struggled to see her as a viable pop act.
“A lot of people were like: ‘You write gay club music.’
“As if that was a bad thing,” she continued before adding: “That’s an honour for me.”
The “Coconuts” singer revealed she felt US radio stations found it similarly difficult to see where she might fit.
“All the radio stations were weirded out,” she said. “And it was like a lot of them had probably never met a trans person, also it was like: ‘This is, like, loud and you sing really loud, and it’s not what’s happening right now.’ They were like: ‘Sorry.'”
Petras was also once again questioned about her continued professional relationship with the controversial music producer Dr. Luke, who was accused of drugging and raping the singer Kesha in a 2014 lawsuit.
Dr Luke, real name Lukasz Gottwald, denies this, and counter-sued Kesha for defamation and breach of contract. In 2020, a judge ruled that Kesha did defame Dr Luke.
The interview feature, written by Buzzfeed journalist
“That’s not a fair question to ask her,” the publicist reportedly interjected.
Eventually addressing the ongoing backlash for her work with Dr Luke, Petras said: “I just feel like a lot of it is like getting transferred to me… A lot of people like to blame it on the women.”
“I think I’m sometimes being held to a different standard than other artists,” Petras said later in the interview.
Dr Luke is a close collaborator of a number of other high-profile artists including Saweetie and Doja Cat, with whom he recently received three Grammy nominations this year.
Petras signed a publishing deal with Luke’s company Prescription Songs early in her career, and more recently signed a major record deal with his label Amigo Records, an imprint of Republic Records.
Fans have speculated for years that Petras, Doja Cat and other female artists signed to Luke’s label imprints are bound by restrictive contracts which force them to release his tracks as singles, and credit him as a writer even on songs to which he does not contribute.
When asked about the nature of her agreement with Luke, Petras was vague but implied it wasn’t possible for her to severe professional ties with the producer, saying: “So people want me to quit making music? Because that’s the option.”
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