Kim Petras has had one hell of a year! The trans artist made history with her Grammy Award win for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance with Sam Smith for “Unholy,” graced the cover of the popular Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and recently released her debut studio album Feed The Beast. The international pop sensation is heading to Texas and bringing her larger-than-life live show to Houston at 713 Music Hall on November 14 as part of her Feed The Beast World Tour.
Petras took time out of her busy tour schedule to give OutSmart readers a glimpse into her world and what to expect when her tour lands in the Bayou City:
OSM: The images you’ve posted from the Feed The Beast World Tour have looked so stunning, complete with medieval set pieces and outfits equipped with armor. What was your process when determining the setlist, theme, and design of this tour?
Kim Petras: The tour is loosely based on the story of Dante’s Inferno. The show is kind of my manifesto as an artist and a performer, so the setlist includes music from the start of my career right through until now. It’s split into five sections that speak to me as an artist, which is why I wanted to release my album Problematique as a surprise. It’s definitely the most ambitious show I’ve done yet, and I’ve had so much fun putting it together!
The album is said to have been inspired by Eurodance hits that you grew up listening to. Is it particularly exciting that you are exposing audiences around the world to this genre of music?
Definitely! It’s really special to be able to share something that meant so much to me growing up. I loved listening to pop and Eurodance growing up, so I’m hoping that those listening to my music and coming to my shows experience it in the same way I did.
This is a no-skip album and features some deep lyricism against upbeat pop beats in a lot of cases. How do you describe the feeling of seeing your fans resonate with your music and lyrics so passionately, specifically while on tour?
It’s the most amazing experience in the world to have a crowd sing the lyrics you wrote back to you. It’s so special, especially for songs that mean a lot to me. I teared up singing “Minute” in Brooklyn a few nights ago because the crowd was singing with me. It really means everything!
Your impact on the music and pop culture landscape has been history-making, and you’ve done it all as an out trans artist. Although your impact as a performer is undeniably due to pure talent and relatable authenticity, how has being openly trans impacted your career in ways that cisgender artists perhaps haven’t experienced?
It’s complicated. I’ve had to work harder to make sure I’m recognized for my music. It’s why I chose to start as an independent artist on my own label. I always wanted my music to speak for itself as I had already spent so much of my life with people only being interested in my identity. I’m proud of who I am, and I always try to remember those that came before me and paved the way for me, but it’s not all I am. I’m an artist and a songwriter, and there are so many other talented trans people out there and we’re all individuals. There’s so much that makes up who we are.
You recently introduced us to Hans. Can you tell me a little about him and what role he plays in the tour?
He’s a Bi, Dom Top. He’s a Libra… I’m kidding. I don’t want to give too much away, but Hans makes an appearance during the show and I kind of dedicate a song to him. I had so much fun creating him, but I wish I could have kept the silicone body suit for Halloween!
Houston is lucky to have so many incredible artists stop here while on tour. Is there anything you’re particularly looking forward to experiencing while you’re here?
I’m most excited about seeing my fans. I haven’t toured in Houston since 2019 when I was there for The Clarity Tour, and so much has happened since then. I can’t wait to give my Houston fans a show that’s even bigger and better than before!
What is your message to your LGBTQ Houston fans who view you as a role model and beacon of hope while living in Texas—a state that is not always the most uplifting of the LGBTQ community?
With everything going on, it felt important to come to Texas and create a safe space—even if it’s for only one night—where people could be completely themselves. It’s so important to be proud of who you are and to not let anyone tell you that you can’t be who you want to be. I wouldn’t be here if I believed the people who told me that being myself would stop me from achieving my goals. And if I can do it, you can too!
After a summer of artists embracing the theme of career “eras” while on tour, I’m curious what this moment in your career represents for you right now.
It’s definitely a moment of growth for me. The past year has been life changing and I’m so thankful to the fans for making it happen. I’m so happy being on tour and seeing everyone. I can’t wait to go to Europe next year, and there are so many more exciting things to come.
WHAT: Kim Petras’ Feed The Beast World Tour
WHEN: November 14
WHERE: 713 Music Hall