Future Stars: Kim Petras (BunHead Records)

Taken from this week’s Future Pop mailer. Click here to subscribe.

I’ve seen other bloggers debating whether they should cover Kim Petras due to her affiliation with Dr Luke. Initially, the choice was easy for me, as I only feature artists in Future Pop who I believe are future stars, and I didn’t see that for Kim specifically because of the limitations that affiliation causes. She’s had little radio, press or streaming support for her songs, which could have been hits for other artists. However, after seeing her live in London recently, and witnessing her effect on young queer pop fans, I realised it was time to confront the issue. This would be much simpler if Kim was just a typical pop princess, but she’s not. The 25-year-old underwent gender transition at age 12, which made her famous in her native Germany. This already makes her an intriguing pop prospect, but she also happens to be a talented singer, performer and songwriter. Watching her fans sing along to every word was an uplifting experience, and the positive influence a transgender pop superstar could have is incredible, so it’s very frustrating that Dr Luke is getting in the way of that happening. Even when the music and media industries reject him, he still somehow manages to cause more harm. For this reason, I still don’t see huge commercial success in Kim’s future, but I hope whatever she does achieve will open doors for other, less problematic, transgender and gender queer pop stars in the mainstream. It’s 2018 and we are beyond ready.

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