Sixty million views and counting...
Katja Glieson, is an Australian recording artist from Melbourne, Australia. Glieson first gained recognition in 2014 for playing 'Elsa' in a viral YouTube video 'Princess Rap Battle' where she raps with Snow White. George R Vaughan caught up with the aspiring artist who answers our quick-fire questions.
Did you always want to pursue a career in music?
“I have always loved music. Ever since I could remember, I was putting on live shows in my lounge and making my family sit through performances!
“Unfortunately, while I was in elementary school and for the start of high school, I was very self-conscious. I didn’t have the confidence to sing in front of people. I put on a lot of weight, and started to be teased for it.
“That's when music and singing became something even more special. It became my friend. I was able to express how I felt through music. Even though I kept it to myself for a while. It wasn't until after I made the conscious choice to get healthy and lose weight, that I began contemplating making an actual career out music. I thought that I could encourage others to benefit from music as I had done.”
What kind of music influenced you as you were growing
“I love mixing up my music genres! From Fats Domino, Roy Orbison and Bette Midler to Michael Jackson, Carlos Santana and Fall Out Boy. There is so much variety out there. Each genre and every artist has something unique and special about them. It's important to discover what artists and genres you resonate with.”
Were your parents supportive of your decision to make
career in music?\
“Absolutely! Although, I don’t think they quite understand it. I come from a very working class community. Every time I speak to them about what I am doing over here, they always offer me words of support and encouragement.”
How difficult was it to get into the music business
“Anything worth creating takes a lot of hard work. The music business is not a regular job that you study to qualify for and go into every day. Of course it still does require that. It takes self-discipline. I had to commit to being open with my emotions and being willing to put all of my heart and soul on display. There is no fast track. There is no rulebook or step-by-step guide. It’s a journey and a different one for every individual.”
Do you enjoy the writing process?
“I absolutely love writing! I used to write poetry when I was really little. These then turned into little jingles. Now they have extended to songs. I am really enjoying the collaborative writing process. It is very different for me; I'm used to writing everything on my own. I am a firm believer in never waiting around expecting someone to do something for you. I am all about taking action and learning to do something yourself first. Even if you are scared or inexperienced. You will get better at it, and you will probably attract people into your life that will help you learn and grow. “
How would you classify your music?
“My instant response would be Pop. However, what that even means anymore is questionable because Pop is used to define so many different genres. I would say what I am currently working on is very Pop-Fusion. I like to take elements of different genres and “smoosh” them together.”
How did the Princess Rap Battle come about?
“The Princess Rap Battle was a hilarious concept that the creator Whitney Avalon came up with. She told me about it, and I was hooked! Not only did I think it was funny, but I found it really interesting. I loved the idea of comparing women as role models back from when Snow White was created, to now, Disney’s newest female heroine, Elsa from Frozen.
“Over so many decades, Disney has created female characters that have shaped a lot of young girls beliefs on how to grow into a woman. I love the playful banter between Snow White and Elsa, while they both have a timeless debate.”
How important is social media to your projects?
“Social Media is simply amazing! It has allowed me, as an artist, to be able to directly connect with people that listen to my music. I am able to share experiences outside of my work with so many people. We get to be on the journey together. It breaks down the barriers and we learn truths about one another.”
Tell us a little more about your charity pursuits?
“The Beagle Freedom Project is a charity I love working with. A lot of people don't realise this, but Beagle dogs are used for laboratory research. Sweet, docile, trusting and forgiving beagles are subjected to living in a cage and used to test household cleaning products, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. The Beagle Freedom Project is committed to rescuing and rehabilitating these little bundles of unconditional love. To learn more about how to get involved, please visit beaglefreedomproject.org”
What are your main interests outside of music?
“I love it that my job incorporates my main interests of singing, music and dancing. I really enjoy everything that goes into that as well.
“I love designing costumes, creative direction and making music videos. I immerse myself into it and I am so grateful every day to be able to continue growing as an artist.
“I also love cooking! I grew up fat, so clearly, I love food. But being vegan and adopting a healthy lifestyle, I love experimenting with different recipes that aren't only healthy but extremely “yummy” too.
“I have a white Samoyed dog named Kestra who is the love of my life and I relish taking her on hikes and teaching her tricks.
“I also love studying Shakespeare and theatre. The acting world is one that is intertwined but also parallel to music. I love catching up with my fanly (fans that have become like family) on social media- particularly Periscope.”
What is your pet hate?
“Hypocrites! Individuals that give people a hard time for thinking or behaving a certain way, then go right ahead and do it themselves! I have probably been one a few times in my life, but I try my best to always stay true to my word."
What’s your favourite film?
“GREASE! I know that movie off by heart!”
What’s your star sign?
Do you have a favourite food?
“I love food! I tend to go through phases. At the moment, I am craving some good, chunky Guacamole!”
What's next for you in terms of music and how can
“I have been in the studio almost every night for the past few weeks working on new tracks. So I cannot wait to incorporate them into my live show! My new single “Look At Us” was just released worldwide! I love that I can finally say that! It was playing in parts of Europe for a while before it came back to me. Like a boomerang! “
For more information on Katja Glieson visit her Facebook and Twitter pages here.
George R Vaughan