Kim Petras: This is the real me, not a persona

Kim Petras Image copyright Thom Kerr

Many singers might agree a bit of old-fashioned heartbreak is what's needed to get the creative juices flowing.

"I got cheated on last year," says Kim Petras. "So I set out to make a really emo record.

"Then, in the studio I found the bright side of it and put a little twist on it."

What came out the other side was the German singer's latest album, Clarity.

Full of synths and big choruses, Kim says it's "trappier" than her previous material and - she's been told - has "no skips".

Kim started to get noticed a couple of years ago but admits she had the vibe of "a bratty, super-hyper-confident LA girl".

She says that was a persona to get her noticed when she moved to Los Angeles, USA from Cologne, Germany.

"I hustled to where I am and I thought it was a cool aesthetic. I didn't think I was interesting enough with what I had to say."

Things have now changed.

"My fans have given me the confidence. This is the real me, not a persona."

Recently, she says she's been inspired by acts including Post Malone, Travis Scott and Motown legends The Supremes.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kim says she's as much of a fan of her festival co-star Post Malone as she is Ariana Grande.

She now finds herself on the same bill as one of her favourites - Post Malone - at Reading + Leeds.

It's a busy weekend, with another gig alongside Years & Years, Cheryl Cole and Ariana Grande at Manchester Pride.

"I'm so stoked to be a part of Pride," she says. "Everyone will leave inspired.

"I remember my journey to where I'm at and it's amazing how far we've come. Obviously, there is still a long way to go."

Kim began transitioning following her twelfth birthday and later received gender reassignment surgery.

"I feel really proud of being transgender and what the transgender community has been through and where we've got to so far."

Asked to give her message to her younger self, she says there are now so many more people to get inspiration from.

"There are trans people on TV - actresses, singers and artists. All kinds of people you can look up to."

Image copyright Byron Spencer

Kim admits she doesn't live her Los Angeles life to the max and prefers to spend most of her time in the studio.

Famed for its endless sun, she says she actually prefers the "gloomy weather" of her home city Cologne.

"The rain and cloud makes me stay inside and write songs."

And she's also one of the few artists who actually wants a festival wash-out.

"I hope it rains. I hope I get drenched. I hope it pours."

No-one should mention to her that - for once - the British Bank Holiday weekend is looking up.

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