“1950” is the fifth and final track from New York born and raised musician
King Princess’ (real name Mikaela Straus) 2018 EP “Make My Bed”.
The singer at the tender age of 20, has made a name for herself not only in the music community, but the LGBTQI+ community. King Princess identifies as gay, and aims to create music that doesn’t just discuss heterosexual relationships and issues as a majority of love songs and music do; but create those that are inclusive for those who fall outside heteronormative narratives of life that society has held on for so long.
In an interview with i-D magazine, King Princess revealed that “1950” was a tribute to a 1952 novel, “The Price of Salt” by Patricia Highsmith. “I was reading a lot of gay literature and there was one book, The Price of Salt that really stuck with me because it’s just a beautiful story, and I think what I loved about it was it took place in the ‘50s and the way that queer people were allowed to be public was so censored it and it was all about body language and this kind of icy interaction because you had to hide yourself and so I was interested in the parallel between the metaphor of 1950 being how queer love looks in public and how it’s very similar to having a very cold relationship.”
Speaking to Genius.com about the track, King Princess opened up about the inspiration behind the incredible, punchy yet soft love track. “The light bulb went off when I was in the shower. I was humming that melody, and I kind of raced out of the shower. I was like, “Oh fuck!” I picked up a guitar and went back and recorded on my phone. I sat down with it and was like, “Oh shit, this is good.” I wrote down those lines, just kind of came out. I wanted the first line to make a statement. I wanted it to be something about gender and sexuality and throw the listener directly into it from line one. It was the shower.” When asked if the track was about a certain person, King Princess had a lot to say: “Of course it’s about a real person. Could you imagine me pulling this out of my ass and never felt this way? That’d be iconic. Somebody really smart once said something like, “When you really feel something, and you’re somebody who makes art, makes anything, you’re just a maker of things. You use those feelings and you ride that wave for as long as possible, and you try to get as much out of it.” You try to squeeze all the shit you can out of it so you can get the best material. I was definitely riding a wave of sadness and heartbreak. The result was a body of work that I feel encapsulates that whole time period of my life. I feel really fortunate for those experiences. It’s nice to be able to have a token from that point. These songs will end up being these little tokens that remind me of what I felt like. I love that. I love that about music and I hope that I’m giving people some of that.”
The music video was directed by Clare Gillen and was released alongside the track on the 23rd February 2018, and features King Princess herself and her band members, as well as a woman who acts as her lover, taking photos of her, dancing, and smoking. King Princess ends the video with her singing on stage with a moustache without her lover, smoking a cigarette. As of September 2019, the video has almost 10 million views.
Release Date: 23rd February 2018
Songwriter/s: Mikaela Straus & Nick Long
Producer/s: King Princess & Mike Malchicoff
Label/s: Columbia Records & Zelig Records
Music Video Release Date: 23rd February 2018
Music Video Director: Clare Gillen
Chart Rankings & Certifications: “1950” hit the charts globally in its year of release, ranking #25 in Australia, #75 in Austria, #48 in Belgium, #82 in Canada, #83 in Denmark, #87 in Sweden, #94 in Switzerland and #29 on the US Billboard Rock Airplay chart. The song also received Gold certification in both Canada and the US, but is certified 2x Platinum in Australia.
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