Kim Petras has been making waves in the music industry since her arrival in 2017, but it was not until her hit song “Unholy,” which she performed with Sam Smith on Saturday Night Live in January, that she gained widespread recognition. Winning the Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for the song was an even more definitive moment for Petras, as she became the first openly trans artist to ever win a major-category Grammy. Petras signed with Republic in the summer of 2021 and made history with Smith when “Unholy” became the first song to top the Hot 100 chart, marking the first time openly trans and nonbinary artists, respectively, achieved such a feat. Despite her talent, Petras felt undervalued by the industry before “Unholy,” with people acknowledging her fanbase but not wanting to collaborate with her or approve budgets for her music.
TikTok played a significant role in breaking “Unholy” before radio paid attention, and Petras appreciates the app’s ability to create viral moments for more “weird” songs to blow up. Petras, who has always been a songwriter, collaborated with different producers, including Dr. Luke. People questioned her working relationship with him, but Petras sees “Unholy” as a chance to prove that she is good at writing and capable of creating her own music. Petras also spoke about her experience playing SNL with Sam Smith, and her appreciation for the support she has received from the music industry, which has become more accepting of trans artists in recent years. Cher, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Lana Del Rey, Marina, and Kylie Minogue are among Petras’ career idols.
Kim Petras is not only breaking barriers in the music industry as a trans artist, but also as a songwriter and producer. She has worked with a wide range of collaborators and producers, including SOPHIE, whom she calls a “huge inspiration” and “a real game-changer.” Petras has also written for other artists, including Charli XCX and Paris Hilton, and she plans to continue collaborating and exploring new sounds and genres.
Despite her success and growing influence, Petras remains humble and focused on her music. She describes herself as a “pop-music obsessive” who is constantly listening to new music and discovering new artists. She is also an advocate for mental health and wellness, and she credits her meditation practice with helping her stay centered and focused amidst the pressures of the music industry.
Looking to the future, Petras has big plans and ambitions. She hopes to continue breaking down barriers and inspiring other young people to be themselves and pursue their dreams, regardless of any obstacles they may face. She also hopes to collaborate with more artists and explore new genres and sounds, while staying true to her pop-music roots.
In summary, Kim Petras is a groundbreaking artist and a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. Her talent, perseverance, and authenticity have earned her a dedicated fan base and a growing reputation as one of pop music’s rising stars. As she continues to push boundaries and break down barriers, there’s no telling what she will achieve next.