"Being a transgender artist wouldn't have been possible 10 years ago," Petras told the magazine in a Wednesday interview. "Now is the time." She pointed to Lizzo, Megan Thee Stallion, and Cardi B as examples of artists that are "doing their own thing and don't fit into categories" in ways that inspire her.
Petras released her first album, Clarity, this summer after releasing a slew of singles since 2017, but it hasn't been an easy road for the 27-year-old German singer. Petras told V that she's afraid of attaching labels to her music. "I see so many unique and amazing people slowly become the 'L.A. pop girl group' that everyone becomes," she said. "I'm really scared of that."
"I've also had a lot of unique struggles because I am transgender," Petras continued. "I've had a lot of meetings with labels where the only thing they're able to talk about is me bieng transgender, not even the music."
The singer even says that some labels tried to figure out how to have her go "stealth," marketing her as a cis artist. She says she's been in rooms filled with people asking, "How do we market it? How do we keep it a secret?" and "debating if it's possible to be transgender and lucrative," instead of actually listening to her music or looking at songs she's written.
Seeing as Petras first came into the public eye as a young trans girl in 2009 appearing on the U.K. show This Morning to talk about her transition, keeping her identity a secret would be quite a feat.
Petras herself has had some of her own troubles in the industry, stemming from her frequent collaboration with producer Dr. Luke. Nearly all of her singles and her album were produced by the once-prolific Swedish producer, who has rightfully come under fire for alleged sexual and mental abuse of singer/songwriter Kesha and potentially other musicians.
Petras is one of the best rising singers in pop. She brings a unique voice to music and knows how to make her LGBTQ+ fanbase happy. Now that she's started to have some success, here's hoping she'll be able to thrive without having to deal with transphobic execs and "allegedly" abusive producers.