Mikaela Straus, aka King Princess, hasn’t even had a full album out yet, but she has been making multicoloured waves. Her debut single ‘1950’ was released back in February 2018. A tribute to the 1952 lesbian romance novel by Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt, it has been embraced by the LGBTQ+ community as a queer anthem. Apart from a few guitar licks, she did everything on the track herself, as a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. Since then, we’ve had an EP, Make My Bed, in keeping with ‘1950’’s bluesy pop and featuring her second single, ‘Talia’.
A few more singles have dropped since, including a more modern pop song in ‘Pussy is God’, and a cover of Lou Reed’s song ‘Femme Fatale’ about Edie Sedgwick, a staple of Andy Warhol’s Factory scene. She also recently collaborated on a cover with American singer-songwriter Fiona Apple on a track from Apple’s own album, When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King What He Knows Throws the Blows When He Goes to the Fight and He’ll Win the Whole Thing ‘fore He Enters the Ring There’s No Body to Batter When Your Mind Is Your Might so When You Go Solo, You Hold Your Own Hand and Remember That Depth Is the Greatest of Heights and If You Know Where You Stand, Then You Know Where to Land and If You Fall It Won’t Matter, Cuz You’ll Know That You’re Right. When the Pawn… for short, the critically acclaimed 90s album got its title from a poem Apple wrote after reading negative comments about herself in a magazine. King Princess and herself modernise and effortlessly reinvent the last song on the album, ‘I Know’. This collaboration features as one of Spotify’s RISE recordings, meaning King Princess is one of their up-and-coming artists, among the likes of Jorja Smith and Rex Orange County.
In just under a year, King Princess has burst onto the music scene and got our attention, with music that represents a new generation of non-binaries and non-conformists living in a world where it’s getting easier to celebrate and be wholly themselves. Chasing the diverse projects that inspire her, whether that’s experimental rock from the 60s or heartbreaking 90s pop, her new covers have us chomping at the bit for a debut album. Under the mentorship of Mark Ronson and his label Zelig Records, 2019 might be the year she takes over the world.
Make My Bed is available now via Zelig Music, LLC.