Kim Petras is having a moment. Coming off the heels of "Unholy," her chart-topping and Grammy Award-winning hit with Sam Smith earlier this year, the pop singer took to Twitter on May 15 to announce her major-label debut album, Feed the Beast. The album, set to come out on June 23, is her first full-length LP on Republic Records/Amigo Records. Petras is also on the cover of this month's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, which was announced earlier this week. The "iconic" cover shoot marks only the second time there's been a trans cover model in the magazine's history.
"Being on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit is incredible and such a cool moment for me, and I really can't wait to release my album Feed The Beast next month," Petras tells New Times via email. "These songs mean the world to me, and I think it's something that hasn't really been heard from me before."
Petras is gearing up for a show tonight, May 19, at the Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, presented by Sports Illustrated Swimsuit.
"It's just going to be a really fun night celebrating each other and having the best time. Sports Illustrated and the Hard Rock are going to throw the best party," the German artist promises. The show marks Petras' first performance in South Florida since January 2022. "I really look forward to spending time in Miami," she adds.
The concert also comes at a time when Florida has cemented itself as the poster child for a wave of transphobia taking over Republican politics nationwide. Gov. Ron DeSantis' administration has spent the past year introducing a dizzying array of repressive, anti-trans measures in the state, especially targeting young trans Floridians.
"I think it is important to be visible and create inclusive spaces everywhere, especially now," Petras says ahead of the South Florida show. "We really have to come together to protect the most vulnerable people in our communities."
Petras has spoken in the past about her experience growing up in Cologne in the early 2000s, when, at 13 years old, she was featured on television to discuss her gender journey. The press responded to her story with transphobic coverage that deadnamed and misgendered her.
"It's so sad to see trans kids and queer people going through the same things I went through as a kid," she says. "So many people who aren't trans and could never understand the experience have an opinion about trans people, and I just don't understand why people can be so hateful toward others that are just trying to be happy."
"Everyone should have the right to define and live their own lives," Petras adds. "I'm just grateful for all the people that are speaking out and supporting the community, and that's why nights like this are so important — because we can all come together and enjoy music and feel connected, which transcends any of our differences."
After tonight's performance, Petras will keep busy with the album release and a new tour in the works — including some shows at the 2023 Governors Ball.
"I'm looking forward to sharing the album with the world and performing new songs for my fans, especially at Governors Ball in NYC and on the Today plaza as part of their Summer Concert Series on release day," Petras says. "A lot of iconic shit has happened on that stage!"
You can already pre-save Feed the Beast and get a taste of what's to come with Petras' latest single, "Alone," featuring Nicki Minaj.
"I love performing, and I love being on stage, so it always feels really special. I live for it," Petras says.
Kim Petras. 9 p.m. Friday, May 19, at Hard Rock Live, 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood; 954-797-5531; myhrl.com. Tickets cost $55 to $105 via ticketmaster.com.