It’s during a dinner with famous producer Mark Ronson that Brooklyn born singer-songwriter Mikaela Straus officially became King Princess. Her mentor signed her on his own record label that last summer saw the release of her debut EP “Make my Bed”. Since then, she became one of the new queer artists changing the pop music industry with their own political point of view. We met her in Paris to know more about how a nineteen years old deals with her sexuality as well as her music.

Your song “1950” is about the famous queer book “The Prince of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith, did finding writings like this, especially from another era, help you to accept your sexuality today?

When I was in high school, I felt isolated as the culture of private schools was essentially straight ones. I knew I was gay after trying boys and dicks.  I was interested in finding as much material as possible having queer characters. “The Price of Salt” was a big inspiration for me as well as “Mrs Dalloway” by Virgina Woolf.  The concept of a society having queer characters for me was iconic.

When did you feel you were officially a lesbian?

Definitely, once I’ve got my first girlfriend, I knew I was gay. That made sense to me.

And how did your ex-boyfriends react?

It’s hilarious as I only had one boyfriend and we talked about it a lot. For me, the best way to hang out with a dude is to sleep with him haha.

How is it to be in a relationship while traveling the world?

It’s interesting as I feel I always wanted to do this: traveling, having a tour and focusing on my music.  I realized that it’s the best way to date someone who is also in this industry as we understand each other… we both travel. It’s challenging being on tour meaning being away from home.

What’s most punk thing you did on tour?

We drove from Vancouver to Portland in a van was pretty badass, drinking beers, me and my band like college kids. It was cute and punk.

If I told you that your song “Holy” was my summer song…

Haha, every gay needs a lesbian summer song no?

How did everything all happen with Mark Ronson?

I met him for dinner. At the time, I was miserable so I wanted to be in the studio rather than school. I was writing a lot and producing in the studio during the weekends. Then my manager sent some tracks so Sony and then we got a call from Mark who wanted to invite me for dinner and I was like “Let’s make it”.

What did you eat?

We had chicken in a very nice French restaurant. He is very sweet and charming.  He was interested in how I grew up, my life. He never made a bad comment, he wanted me to put all these materials out.  He was there when I was signing the deal for example. I remember when we both decided on the first single, I wanted “1950” and Mark told me “you’re right as it’s you, your identity.”

We respect each other and now more as we work on some productions together.

How does a nineteen years old lesbian girl deal with the music industry in 2018?

That’s crazy as I think in the past there were many factors which were scary and challenging because  I feel like you need to be a beautiful girl in this music industry. And being gay was complicated, in mainstream media… but now there’s an oversaturation with all this bullshit. Now people are looking for authenticity and respect more and more than the gender of their artist. I feel very lucky as five years ago it was not like this. My team doesn’t give a fuck about being gay and young as this represents our time, people can’t hide now. Then you know, music is so gay, making mainstream songs is gay so now it’s the best time to be gay in music except if you are in Russia. Or the US…


Interview by Ivica Mamedy

Photography by Céline Bischoff