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Exclusive Interview with Paris King

Paris King “Jealousy” (pop)


It all began at the famous Heaven Nightclub in London when a mere teenager followed his friend to a drag audition and decided to give it a go. Since then, pop artist Paris King has been impossible to put back into any kind of box. Raised by a Jamaican father and Celtic mother in London, Paris grew up in an atmosphere of music running blood-deep. While both lineages informed a broad range of musical influence, Paris’s journey in melding such disparate identities found its home in London’s all-inclusive, ever-expressive drag scene. Taking a bold leap into mainstream pop music, King began releasing singles and creating music videos in full drag, challenging stereotypes while calling in everyone she represents—which includes, well, just about everyone. Now, riding high off of a hot collaboration with Damon Elliot and generating waves on social media, Paris King is looking unstoppable. Hop on now before she blows up even more after releasing his anticipated EP, which is due out later this year.

A taste of what Paris King’s upcoming EP may hold, her new single “Jealousy” is a no-holds-barred anthem for owning all of who you are, haters be damned. Over pounding drums and lively horns reminiscent of her Caribbean roots, King exhibits an impressive range of expression in voice and lyrics to flex every asset of her rich and multifaceted personality. Rapping, belting, and groaning out her words like a lion declaring its dominance, King makes it clear that she’s not here to be anyone but her entire, unapologetic self.

Take an extra shot of Paris King’s infectious self-confidence with the music video for “Jealousy.” Directed by Paris herself, the video is a chic drag flaunt and celebration of human expression. Standing before a rotating projection of the flags of her nations of origin, King poses in utter authority and fabulousness. The video launches into high-energy choreography cut across seductive scenes, complete with gorgeous wardrobe and lighting work. The ecstatic vibe of badassery is absolutely irresistible—and good news: everyone is invited to twerk along.

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What message can people take away from “Jealousy”?

To be true to who you are, and do what you want to do. Naysayers and hecklers are jealous of the confidence you exude. People who are confident in their own skin and happy in their own skin don’t put other people down.

What inspired you to write “Jealousy”?

The fact that I grew up, surrounded by a very macho man, and felt I had to hide a part of myself, and it was only when I got older than I realised actually – I am who I am, and fuck what anyone else thinks. It’s amazing how many people come out of the woodwork after you show your true colours and say they wish they could do the same.

How has your culture influenced you and your music?

Immeasurably – growing up in a Jamaican and Celtic household, full of reggae and dancehall music majorly shaped my music taste and it’s guaranteed to give me goosebumps when a classic song comes on. Historically, homophobia is weaved through the lyrics in a lot of the big tracks, but I’ve managed to compartmentalise that and listen to the beat and do my own thing with it.

What was it like directing “Jealousy”?

Well, I knew what I wanted and it was important I have the right team of people around me to execute the vision. I had been having conversations with various members of the final team for quite some time before the actual shoot, and we’re all on the same page. I’m really happy with the result because it gives fierceness –  represents the LGBTQ+ community and our allies and is authentic.

“Jealousy” is a powerful song, what ways can this song help people?

I would like people to use this song as a voice of reason, and feeling down based on what others have to say about you, your life or how you look. “Who cares what anyone else thinks”  is a phrase that is chucked around so often, but actually – who cares what anyone else thinks?!

How does it feel to integrate your culture with your music?

Amazing! I like all types of music – I really do, however, this music really is in my blood, and I’m proud to have accomplished the sound that I wanted to with the visuals that I wanted. Queer people of colour exist and are weaved into the (often literal) fabric of everybody’s lives. The eight-year-old me inside of my mind is obsessed!

How was the creating process for “Jealousy”?

The truth is I listened to the beat first, and when I got to the chorus the words started flowing through me. I understand that sounds really philosophical, but it’s genuinely what happened and when in the recording booth I had to make sure that there was a “roar” at the base of my voice to show that I am not playing!

Is there anything in the works that people can look forward to?

Of course – lots more music and lots more visuals and a lot of fun to be had along the way. Watch this space because I got a lot of music in me.

About Michael Stover

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