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Kim Petras
Kim Petras (42743719761).jpg
Petras in 2018
Background information
Birth name Tim Petras[1]
Born (1992-08-27) 27 August 1992 (age 26)[2]
Cologne, Germany[3]
Genres
  • Pop
  • electropop
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2011–present
Labels BunHead
Associated acts Charli XCX, Lil Aaron
Website kimpetras.com

Kim Petras (born 27 August 1992) is a German singer and songwriter currently based in Los Angeles.[4] Born in Cologne, Petras became subject of media coverage after undergoing gender transition at a young age. Petras began recording music as a teenager, releasing her debut extended play One Piece of Tape in 2011. She independently released her debut single in 2017, "I Don't Want It at All", which was produced by Dr. Luke and topped viral music charts on Spotify, resulting in Petras landing a partnership with the company, and peaked at number 54 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart in the United States.[5] Petras has since released the singles "Hills", "Hillside Boys", "Slow It Down", "Heart to Break", and "Faded", each of which has accumulated over one million streams. She also appears on Charli XCX's mixtape Pop 2 (2017), alongside Jay Park on the track "Unlock It".

Contents

  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career
    • 2.1 2011–16: Music beginnings
    • 2.2 2017–present: Digital singles and Turn Off the Light, Vol. 1
  • 3 Artistry
    • 3.1 Reception
  • 4 Discography
    • 4.1 EPs
    • 4.2 Singles
    • 4.3 Appearances
    • 4.4 Songwriting credits
  • 5 Videography
  • 6 Tours
  • 7 References
  • 8 External links

Early life

Kim Petras was born on 27 August 1992.[2] Her parents, Lutz and Konni, have said that from the age of two, she began insisting she was a girl. It became apparent this was "not just a phase,"[6] and her parents tried to be supportive but made her wear gender neutral clothes in public.[7] Eventually her parents sought professional help but struggled to find people who were knowledgeable on the subject. In time they found Bernd Meyenburg at Frankfurt University who was head of a clinic for children and had studied transsexuality since the 1970s.[6]

Career

2011–16: Music beginnings

In 2006, Petras, then aged 13, made her first significant media appearance in a story on Stern TV, a German television current affairs show.[7][8] In it, she described her gender transition and the medical treatment received at the Endokrinologikum (endocrinology center) in Hamburg by Achim Wüsthof. However, it wasn't until the following year, aged 14, that Petras gained worldwide attention from the news media. This came about after she appeared in a German television documentary,[9] and a talk show,[10] in a push to get permission for early gender reassignment surgery at age 16. According to German law, a person must normally be at least 18 to be allowed to undergo this kind of surgery.

The publicity generated from the 2007 TV appearances resulted in many news articles about her gender transition at age 12 and describing her as the "world's youngest transsexual". This assertion, however, is inaccurate, as gender identity disorder is often diagnosed in early childhood and transition by children under 12, though uncommon, is not unknown. However, Petras may have been one of the youngest people at that time to receive female hormone treatments.[6][11][12]

In September 2007, she was a model for a nationwide chain of German hair salons.[13]

Petras turned 16 in 2008, and announced in a November 2008 post on her blog that she had recently completed her gender reassignment surgery.[14] The story hit the news media on 4 February 2009[15] and appeared in newspapers worldwide, even making the front page of some. A common theme of these articles is that Petras may be the youngest person in the world to have had gender reassignment surgery.[16] Petras is very adamant that her gender has always been female. In an interview about her surgery she stated "I was asked if I feel like a woman now – but the truth is I have always felt like a woman – I just ended up in the wrong body".[16]

Throughout 2013, Petras worked with producers including The Stereotypes and Aaron Joseph.[17]

2017–present: Digital singles and Turn Off the Light, Vol. 1

In August 2017, Petras released her debut single "I Don't Want It at All".[18] The song was a commercial success as it reached atop the Spotify Global Viral chart.[19] The video for the song premiered in October on Vevo and features a cameo appearance by Paris Hilton.[20][21]

In October 2017, Petras was picked by Spotify to be one of the four artists named as a RISE Artist, a "program designed to identify and break the next wave of music superstars." [22]

During the end of the year, Petras was dubbed "most likely to dominate the pop charts" by PAPER magazine.[23]

Petras appeared on Charli XCX's mixtape Pop 2 (2017), for the track "Unlock It" alongside Jay Park.[24] On January 25, 2018, the Nicholas Harwood-directed video for Petras' single "Faded", which features Lil Aaron, was premiered on Noisey.[25] That same month, she appeared in the January issue of Galore.[5]

On February 14, 2018, Petras released the breakup anthem, "Heart To Break", to commemorate Valentine's Day.[26] Prior to its release, Petras hosted a hotline, accepting calls from fans and also playing a sample of the song.[27] The song was given its radio debut on BBC Radio 1 on February 19.[28] Bryan Kress of Billboard noted how while the single is "still keeping Petras’ upbeat, unabashed pop sound... [it] ventures into new territory for the songwriter." [26] On the 21st of that same month, Petras released "Spotify Singles", exclusively through the service under BunHead Records, Petras' own label.[29] The double-single consisted of live renditions of "Hills" and The Killers' "Human", as performed at their NYC Studio.

Currently, Petras is planning on releasing one song a month until her debut album is complete. She also expressed her interest in headlining a tour in the near future.[5]

On October 1, 2018, Petras released Turn Off the Light, Vol. 1, a Halloween-themed EP. The project was seen as a departure from Petras' typical sound, and features a guest appearance from Elvira. [30]

Artistry

Kim Petras is a pop artist. She credits the late-1990s/early-2000s pop scene[31] and 1980s Italo disco[23] as her primary basis for her sound. Pop inspirations include Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and The Spice Girls.[31] Other musical influences include Boy George, Debbie Harry, Queen, Freddie Mercury,[17] Judy Garland, as well as collaborators Baby E, Lil Aaron, and Liz Y2K.[5]

On her songwriting, Petras told Noisey "there’s something about making a song that everybody can sing and remember, and when you listen to it the first time you already know the words by the second chorus, like you’ve always known the song. I’m obsessed with that idea.”[31] She commented on themes, stating "I write about boys, heartbreak, sex, having fun and the things that I go through."[5]

Reception

Following her debut, Petras was dubbed as "the new princess of pop" by Nasty Galaxy.[17]

Discography

EPs

Title Details
One Piece of Tape
  • Release date: 11 March 2011
  • Label: Bionic Ballroom[32]
  • Format: CD, digital download
Spotify Singles
  • Release date: 21 February 2018
  • Label: BunHead
  • Format: Streaming
Turn Off the Light, Vol. 1
  • Release date: 1 October 2018
  • Label: BunHead
  • Format: Digital download, streaming

Singles

Title Year Peaks Album
US
Dance
[33]
"I Don't Want It at All" 2017 54 TBA
"Hillside Boys"
"Hills"
(featuring Baby E)
"Slow It Down"
"Faded"
(featuring Lil Aaron)
"Heart to Break" 2018 52
"Can't Do Better"
"All the Time"
Promotional singles
Title Year Album
"Fade Away" 2008 Non-album singles
"Last Forever" 2009
"Die for You"
"Boomerang"
"STFU" 2014
"Hills" 2018 Spotify Singles
"Human"

Appearances

Year Title Other artist(s) Album
2009 "Taste" Sobertruth
2011 "Magnetic" KeeMo
2013 "Flight to Paris" Klaas
"Heartbeat" Klaas
2017 "Unlock It" Charli XCX, Jay Park Pop 2
2018 "Anymore" Lil Aaron Rock$tar Famou$ EP

Songwriting credits

Year Title Aritst(s) Album Ref.
2010 "Fade Away" (unreleased) N/A N/A [34]
2013 "Flight to Paris" Klaas Non-album singles [35]
"Heartbeat" [36]
2014 "Love a Little Harder" JoJo Mad Love
"Strip"
"Tell Me" [37]
2015 "That's What's Up" Skylar Stecker This Is Me [38]
"Bratz What's Up" Non-album single
"Hardest Part" JoJo Mad Love
(unreleased)
"Doin' It"
2016 "Taste"
2017 "Limousines" Vali TBA [39]
N/A "Boomerang" (unreleased) N/A N/A [40]
"Buerger Der Welt" (unreleased) [41]
"Demolition" (unreleased) [42]
"Die for You" (unreleased) [43]
"Feel It" (unreleased) [43]
"Hidden Affeir" (unreleased) [44]
"Ice Cold" (unreleased) [45]
"Last Forever" (unreleased) [46]
"Magnetic" (unreleased) [47]
"Money Got Her Hot" (unreleased) [48]
"Real Me" (unreleased) [49]
"Supersonic" (unreleased) [50]
"When Dreams Come True" (unreleased) [51]
"Whenever I Am Alone" (unreleased) [52]

Videography

Music videos
Year Title Director
2009 "Die for You"
2011 "Feel It" Maison Kelmd
"One Piece of Tape" Kim Petras & Linestyle Artwork
2013 "Heartbeat"
(Klaas featuring Kim Petras)
2017 "I Don't Want It at All" Charlotte Rutherford
2018 "Faded" Nicholas Harwood
"Heart to Break"

Tours

Supporting act

  • Bloom Tour (Troye Sivan) (2018)