Australian born musician, Katja Glieson, best known for her role as Elsa in the viral Princess Rap Battle video, started singing to herself as a way to get her mind of the bullying situation she was living at school for being an overweight child.
Now, many years later, living in LA, Katja made of music her profession and shares her music with the world.
Youthgasm had the chance to talk to her about opportunities, internationally moving, Periscope influence and more.
A lot have happened since you played Elsa in the Princess Rap Battle video came out. How beneficial would you say that exposure was for your career and what direct opportunities came from it?
Crazy and fun! It was such a great experience being a part of a video that unexpectedly went everywhere! What began as a funny and exciting concept, ended up the series it is today. It’s so cool it got the attention of superstars like Sarah Michelle Gellar who went on to play Cinderella in a later episode!
At the time of filming the Princess Rap Battle, I had been working on my music for quite a while. The music making process can take time. I’m so happy to be releasing my most recent music. I feel it really helps paint a picture of my life and everything I have been going through in recent times.
You turned to music because of bullying when you were young. At the time, did you take music classes?
I actually did not take formal music classes at the time. Unfortunately, my family could simply not afford it. That is what gave me the motivation to work when I was really young. The first job I ever had was helping my neighbor sell carpets at the Sunday market. Hey, I was a kid and it was cash in hand!
How was the move from Australia to Los Angeles for you?
I have always wanted to live in Los Angeles. It was just something I felt I needed to do since I was little. It’s hard to explain. Los Angeles feels like home to me. I do miss my family and friends. Missing family weddings, big birthday celebrations and Christmas are the hardest things to deal with.
You have made great use of Periscope to grow your audience, which is really unexpected for such platform. Can you tell us a little bit more about this concept?
I love Periscope and just live streaming in general. I also use Facebook Live and You Now! Direct interaction with the people that are with me on this crazy adventure is paramount to me. They are my family, my cheer squad. I love getting to know them and sharing the real life experiences I have here. We talk to each other about everything in life, from music to health & wellbeing to relationships. I love how strong and supportive our little community has become and it’s beautiful that it keeps growing.
Who are your biggest music influences right now?
At the moment, I am loving Ellie Goulding, Kygo, and I am dying over Beyonce’s latest album Lemonade! I can’t even!
What you aim to inspire within’ your music?
I hope that I can connect with people emotionally. I hope that people don’t feel alone in their experiences and are inspired to chase their dreams and desires.
You have just premiered “I Would Kill”. How has the response been so far?
Man, I tell you I was so scared when I first released “I Would Kill”. Simply because it is so honest and vulnerable. I was afraid of being judged, and that people wouldn’t understand me. I could not have been more wrong. So many people have said they can relate to it. And there are some people that have been keeping it locked up for a long time. I hope the song shows them that they have nothing to be afraid or ashamed of.
The music video for it is much different from what I have previously seen from you. It is much more vulnerable and sensible in a way. Why the change in the scenario?
When we go through experiences like what is described in “I Would Kill” we usually go through it alone. I wanted the visual to reflect that. I didn’t want any hype or distractions to take away from the raw performance. I only had 3 crew members on the day of the shoot. All of which were my close friends. The song is so powerful for me and there were a lot of tears on set. What you see in the video is real.
The dance is also a big part of your show, do you have a background in it too?
I do love to dance! I have been dancing since I was 3! There was a community center that offered free dance classes to the local community when I was little. I stopped for a few years because I was overweight and ashamed of my body. But I never lost my love for dance. It is yet another way of expressing emotion. Only this time through movement. I love combining singing and dance. But man is it freaking hard! I mean really hard. I need to keep up my cardio training or I simply cannot do it.
What are you current working on right now?
Right now, I am trying to get “I Would Kill” to as many ears as possible. There are a lot of people out there that need to know they aren’t alone or crazy when they are going through toxic self-destructive cycles. I also have more music and another music video to release soon.
Would you like to say something to our readers?
Thank you so much for reading, I hope you get a chance to check out my music and I would love to keep in touch over social media!
THANK YOU, GUYS! XXX
CONNECT WITH KATJA GLIESON!
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