Kim Petras is opening up about her rocky road to becoming the pop icon she is today.
The "Coconuts" singer recently spoke with BuzzFeed News about the hardships she faced when she was first starting out in the industry.
At 14 years old, Petras gained fame for starring in a German documentary that followed her journey in becoming one of the youngest people to medically transition in the country. However, the rise in her public profile didn’t quickly translate into a successful music career, she revealed. If anything, it made it more difficult, as her celebrity was often defined by her trans identity.
"I’m seen as a joke, and nobody wants to talk about my music, people don’t want to work with me," she told BuzzFeed. "I’m just, like, 'the tr*nny on TV' to people."
Petras decided to make the move to Los Angeles, in hopes of having more opportunities in the U.S, but still, nothing came easy.
"In the beginning when I did the rounds to major labels and played them the music, people didn’t really get it," Petras said. "It was kind of like almost a little bit like, 'You’re going to be a gay artist, and that’s niche and we don’t know.' So I got shitty deals offered to me."
Along with those deals came criticism from radio stations. Petras revealed that "all of [the radio stations] were weirded out." She speculated that "a lot of them had probably never met a trans person."
But Petras "wanted to get discovered more than anything," and learned that if she wanted it, she had to "do it myself." Spoiler alert, she did.
"I don’t really need a huge hit to feel successful. I’ve been feeling successful since I could tour," Petras shared. "That's what's driven me, my career and this goal of me on a huge stage, with people who sing my songs. That was all I’ve ever dreamt about."