Kim Petras' 'Really Bad Breakup' Inspired Single 'Broken': 'It Just Crushed Me'
Though she's gearing up to play new R&B tunes for larger audiences on her Broken Tour, Kim Petras' shows will still feel "more like parties"
Kim Petras’ new single is called “Broken,” but with chart success and a new tour quickly selling out, she tells PEOPLE her reality is now the opposite.
“I really feel that my fans have given me a lot of confidence,” says the 26-year-old German pop star, who went mainstream in the U.S. with her catchy summer anthem “I Don’t Want It at All” in 2017.
Though Petras was no stranger to the spotlight — at age 16, she was labeled the “world’s youngest transsexual” after opening up about her gender reassignment surgery in 2009 — as an adult, she wondered if she was worth music stardom.
“I didn’t know if anybody was going to like me. I was a pretty shy, insecure writer girl in L.A. and I had been writing for other people,” says Petras, who was nominated for GLAAD’s Outstanding Music Artist this year. “You start thinking, am I pretty enough? Is my voice good enough? All of that s—.”
Those days are over — and with it comes a new personal sound, evident in the R&B-tinged “Broken,” which recently cracked the top 10 of the iTunes Pop Chart. If her early single “Hillside Boys” was a carefree ode to being a passenger in some dude’s Range Rover in the Hollywood Hills, “Broken” finds Petras in the driver’s seat, getting over a man as she’s “lookin’ lavish, dipped in carats” she’s earned on her own.
“I got through a really bad breakup,” says Petras, whose inspiration for her song was “being cheated on, getting over that and letting somebody go” amid recent career milestones.
“It just crushed me,” she adds. “At the same time, everything was amazing and I was going on tour with Troye Sivan, and I was starting to gain momentum on the radio and all this exciting stuff happened, but when I came offstage, I was really upset sometimes. I felt really guilty for that, because I’m really grateful for the success I have, and I’ve worked so much for it.”
Ultimately, Petras says, the experience has made her more vulnerable in her new music.
“I had a breakthrough and was like, ‘Yo, this is legit. I can get over this, and feel all these types of things,'” shares Petras, who has more R&B tunes in the works.
Just this week, Petras released her new fan single “Got My Number,” and announced tour dates for her upcoming jaunt, fittingly titled the Broken Tour. (Get updated ticket information on her official website here.)
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Petras says she’s looking forward to playing for larger audiences — including her fans at World Pride in New York City this June — but that her shows will still feel “more like parties.”
“It’s really cool to see everything growing, and I feel like it’s been so many years of playing, that I’ve played every club there is,” she says. “I’ve hustled for years to build a solid fanbase. It’s going faster and faster now.”