Harry Styles has rescheduled his 2020 European tour for spring 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic. All tickets will be honored, refunds are not an option. His opening act, King Princess, is still set to tour with him.
Most of the world knows Harry Styles already. He is a former member of the extremely loved British boy-band One Direction. Since the band’s breakup in 2015, Styles has released two albums, Harry Styles and Fine Line, gaining his very own fan base, including those who are more like an army of fans called “Directioners” from his previous role in One Direction.
But who is King Princess?
Although she is lesser-known than Styles, Mikaela Straus (aka King Princess) is far from being some random underground artist.
Straus found her love of music as a child, spending hours in her father’s Mission Sound recording studio. She learned how to play bass, guitar, drums, and piano.
Her first single, 1950, came in February 2018. It blew up almost immediately among young millennials, Gen Z kids and the LGBT community. It gained even more popularity when Harry Styles tweeted a lyric from the song.
Straus’ first EP Make My Bed was released in June 2018. Five indie pop/pop-rock songs about love, written in a way that anyone can relate to the lyrics, no matter what their sexuality is.
Many of her songs have gained her notoriety among the LGBT+ community. Even her stage name, “King Princess,” speaks to her gender identity and sexual orientation: genderqueer and gay.
Genderqueer people, for those that may not know, are people who experience their gender as fluid, meaning sometimes they feel more masculine and other times more feminine.
Straus told Buzzfeed News, “I’m a great example of somebody who is gay but exists on a very complicated gender spectrum… I’m okay with that uncertainty, and I’m okay with existing in a gray area and not always being sure.”
Straus expresses this idea in the clothes she wears to perform in: suits or skirts, corsets or baggy pants, wife-beaters or silk button-up shirts, no makeup at all or full drag. In her music video for 1950 she had a mustache drawn on her upper lip.
Straus is quickly becoming an androgynous, queer icon of this generation. A person that young LGBTQ+ people can look up to.
“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 on writing already iconic 1950.
She has since released her first full album Cheap Queen in 2019 and even performed on Saturday Night Live in November 2019.
Straus continues to grow her fan base on love, acceptance and a rock-star stage presence. Which would explain why Harry Styles would connect with her and choose her as his opening act. He runs on those same principles.
Straus is still recording new music. She released a deluxe version of her album Cheap Queen just this February that had five extra songs on it, including a personal favorite rock song of hers: Ohio.
So hopefully her fans can anticipate another single someday soon. But for now, stream Ohio by King Princess.
Cover image by Zelig Records