RPKprincess talks ‘shallow’, e-girls and crafting a music persona

“Maybe I was RPK all along,” RPKprincess tells us of the persona behind her artistry, “maybe she created me.” 

Even a brief listen of RPKprincess’ work will reveal an artist who oozes charisma. With her latest single ‘shallow’ as evidence, it’s clear that the New York musician is carving out a lane that is entirely her own.

Forgoing sugary pop in pursuit of something grittier, the track pushes boundaries with shoegaze flairs and catchy turns of phrase, and RPKprincess pairs this with equally experimental visuals. 

RPKprincess interview

RPKprincess inhabits an e-girl aesthetic and persona, one she tells us may have been a part of her “all along.”

Below, we caught up with RPKprincess for an insightful chat about ‘shallow’, crafting music personas, and Kevin Parker’s “striking good looks.” Scroll down for the full interview, and listen to ‘shallow’ below. 

HAPPY: What are you up to today?

RPKPRINCESS: Answering some questions from a really cool Australian magazine while my air conditioning is broken. It is so hot in my room I might as well be in Australia right now. If New York gets any hotter I might just move there anyway.

HAPPY: You have described RPKprincess as an e-girl alter-ego. How important is crafting a persona when making music?

RPKPRINCESS: In my experience it isn’t important at all. I produced my first song when I was 9 on an iPad in GarageBand. I didn’t have a persona back then.

But I did use a chipmunk voice filter… Regardless, it was my best song to date. The file is lost forever. I remember the lyrics and the melody but the world may never know my greatness.

RPKprincess interview

HAPPY: Do you find that you write and make music from the perspective of this persona, from your own experience, or maybe both?

RPKPRINCESS: Before I created RPK this past August, I was somewhat under the impression I was making music from my own experience. But if you know what I know, you know time isn’t linear. Maybe I was RPK all along. Maybe she created me.

HAPPY: What is it about the e-girl aesthetic that speaks to you?

RPKPRINCESS: It’s marketable. If I am even half as successful at selling my songs as Belle Delphine was at selling bathwater, I will have made it.

HAPPY: More broadly, would you say that aesthetics and world-building and character-building are just as important as the music?

RPKPRINCESS: Not even close. You can judge a song by its cover but if the music sucks, I am not listening to that. Someone else definitely might. But not me.

HAPPY: You’ve been compared to Kevin Parker. Which aspects of his artistry inspire you? And in what ways do you differ?

RPKPRINCESS: Wow, that is so kind of people to say that. I am inspired by every aspect of his artistry. I admire his talent for creating pop hits, his lonerism, and his striking good looks.

Thinking about it now, I realize we aren’t different at all. Well, except for his Australian accent, which I adore—so it’s certainly not a dealbreaker.

HAPPY: Could you elaborate a little on what ‘shallow’ means to you?

RPKPRINCESS: The definition of the word “shallow” means “of little depth.” Even if you think the story of a song might reveal itself in music and lyrics, the beauty of pop music is that it doesn’t actually have to mean anything at all.

HAPPY: How did you conceive of the visuals and story for the ‘SHALLOW’ music video?

RPKPRINCESS: I didn’t. That was my director Sasha Shapiro and his team over at Laundrymen Productions. Bless their souls. I was just there to look pretty.

HAPPY: Anything else exciting on the horizon that you can tease for us?

RPKPRINCESS: The last two words in the previous RPKprincess happy mag article are coincidentally lyrics in the next single. Funny how stuff like that happens. I think I am going to drop it on June 10th.

HAPPY: What makes you happy?

RPKPRINCESS: I am still not sure. I know I love music. But I don’t think that love necessarily translates to happiness. I think gratitude does. Thank you for this interview. I’m having a good time.