The Oracle

Review: King Princess’ ‘Make My Bed’ reveals musical voice for future

King Princess poses for a picture. The 19-year-old from Brooklyn is changing the music business as we know it by rejecting the status quo and developing her unapologetic lyrics.

Photo credit: King Princess promotional materials

King Princess poses for a picture. The 19-year-old from Brooklyn is changing the music business as we know it by rejecting the status quo and developing her unapologetic lyrics.

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From Elton John coming out as gay in 1988 to George Michael publicly acknowledging his sexuality in the 1980s, musicians have made positive strides in the representation of the LGBTQ+ community for decades. However, the music industry currently craves a fresh, Generation Z icon who unapologetically represents the LGBTQ+ community. The next generation of queer youth needs a musical voice on the radio who they can connect and relate to. 

The answer to this is a 19-year-old lesbian singer-songwriter from Brooklyn named Mikaela Straus. Known by her stage name as King Princess, Straus is an up-and-coming artist whose raw lyrics centered around queer love unflinchingly shed light on the societal struggles the LGBTQ+ community faces.

Straus’ connection with producer Mark Ronson led the passionate teenager to create her promising debut EP “Make My Bed” with Ronson’s label Zelig Records, becoming the first signee to his record label. The album consists of five songs: “Make My Bed,” “Talia,” “Upper West Side,” “Holy” and “1950.” 

“Make My Bed,” the one-minute melancholy intro to the album, creates a dismal vibe with simply a piano accompanying King Princess’ voice.

Leading into the second song, “Talia,” the same dark theme continues; however, the sound production allows Straus’ raw vocals to shine through. The lyrics tell of a desperate longing for a love Straus no longer has in her life.  

My personal favorite song on the album, “1950,” centers on unrequited love. King Princess needs no autotune nor unnecessary sound production, as her voice and overtly queer lyrics are the components of her music which make it so unique.

“Queer love was only able to exist privately for a long time, expressed in society through coded art forms. I wrote this song as a story of unrequited love in my own life, doing my best to acknowledge and pay homage to that part of history,” Straus said to media company Genius.

Even with more openness and acceptance for queer love in society, young queer artists, as well as queer love songs, are still hard to come by. King Princess is one of the rare singer-songwriters who has broken into the world of mainstream pop with the underlying musical theme of celebrating and representing the LGBTQ+ community.

“Everybody has a choice of how they want to express their queerness and for me it just, if this is the way that I can provide for people to like attach themselves to my art and feel like I’m voicing something for them, then f— yeah,” she said in an interview about how she expresses her sexuality with online publication Them. 

The fact that such an authentic artist like King Princess has made a prominent impact in today’s music industry proves she is the type of role model LGBTQ+ youth needs today.  Whether it is Billboard naming her single “1950” one of the 50 Best Songs of 2018 or her worldwide tour selling out at only 19-years-old, she is on fire.

I have seen the firsthand effect King Princess’ lyrics and raw personality have had on not only me but my peers as well.

“I’m very queer, and so is King Princess, and there’s not a lot of queer role models for people our age,” sophomore Madis Kennedy said. “[King Princess] really helped me understand that queer people can be cool and she’s really been an icon who you can look up to and connect with queer culture.”

Whether people identify as LGBTQ+ or not, the beauty of King Princess’ music is the fact that it can reach any type of person as the bottom-line message is never to apologize for who you are, but rather to celebrate and honor it.

“I want people to listen to this music gay straight whatever the f— and take something out of it,” she said

Mikaela Straus is creating beautiful disruption to music and society. And frankly, we need it. 

Catch her next tour stop on Nov. 2 in Melbourne, Australia.

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  • Originality
  • Lyrics
  • Technical Quality
  • Enjoyment
  • Impact
4.8

Summary

Make My Bed by King Princess is an album for the new generation. With songs carrying a theme of queer love and loss, the lyrics are relatable to any type of person. At only the age of 19, her mature vocals relate to the struggle of love anyone can face.

About the Writer
Lola Lamberg, Voices Editor

Lola Lamberg joined the Oracle in 2017 as a political columnist and is now the Voices Editor. In her spare time she enjoys listening to 90’s music, reading and traveling. This year, she is excited to play varsity tennis for Archer, participate in Model United Nations and Human Rights Watch Student Task Force. She also co-founds a feminism art club entitled HerArts.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Review: King Princess’ ‘Make My Bed’ reveals musical voice for future”

  1. Christy Hobart on October 6th, 2018 1:15 pm

    Great review!
    My daughter introduced me to King Princess and her music. You know she’s talented if even PARENTS are fans!
    I look forward to more of your writing.

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