by Adelie Salagnac
Australia-native pop artist Katja Glieson recently released a cover of Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” – and that’s exactly what she is. Everyone should keep an eye on her because she is about to take over the world. She took some time off to have a lovely chat with me – talking to her was like a breath of fresh air and put a smile on my face for the rest of the day. That’s the power Glieson has on people.
As much as it has been over-used to introduce Glieson, I can’t write a story on her without mentioning the hit “Princess Rap Battle” (link here). With more than 100 million views, the YouTube video blew up all over the internet sphere and somehow even ended up being studied at various high school.
Glieson says: “I don’t know about you, but I definitely grew up watching Disney movies, and princesses sort of end up being our role models when we were little. It was really cool to be able to do that.” Making a satirical comparison between women and how they were perceived and expected to act, back in the ’30s versus now, the video features Snow White, first Disney princess ever made in 1936, put next to Elsa, played by Glieson, who is the most modern Disney princess.
However, there is definitely more to her than that, and hearing Glieson’s story was both heartwarming and hope inducing. This talented artist admits her life could be summed up with four components: music, food, dogs, and video games. Growing up in Australia, young Glieson had to deal with a lot, being bullied and feeling uncomfortable in her own skin. Today, she shares her story, in hopes of helping out kids going through the same:
“My bullying experience changed dramatically over a short period of time. When I was at the start of high school, I was overweight, so I was bullied primarily about that. I got to about 200 pounds and I thought the reason I was being bullied was the thing I was bullied about. But I found out the moment I got healthy, people found another reason to bully me about. So all of a sudden, people would call you a slut, or say that you are too skinny. The main thing I try to express to people is that if you are being bullied about something, it is not about you; the people that are bullying you actually are going through their own issues and they need to project it onto someone who seems like a good target for bullying. Unfortunately, it is usually the people that don’t speak up and try to be nice to everyone. It is definitely a difficult thing that a lot of people go through. The main thing is for people to know it is never about them, it is always about the bully.”
Passionate about making the world a better place, in her own small ways, Glieson makes a point of raising awareness about issues such as bullying and health. Glieson will be performing on April 30th in Atlanta for Relay For Life. All about fighting cancer, bringing people together to have fun, and promoting a healthier lifestyle, the Relay For Life concert means a lot to Katja Glieson. She remembers how she first got involved, after releasing one of her songs, “Shooting Stars”, which is all about rising above the horrible things that can happen in your life:
“It was amazing that they resonated with the song. As I said I was being bullied for being overweight, and you can let it go one of two ways; you can either let it bring you down and get worse into an unhealthy state, but despite that you can also make a choice and get healthy. They found out about my personal story, because it deals a lot with getting healthy; now I’m vegan and I have a pretty active lifestyle.”
Many more songs are coming our way. Glieson told me that lately, she’s been busy working in the studio, teaching herself a bit more about production, and writing, not only for herself, but also with other artists in mind.“I am really enjoying branching out,” she says, “rather than just writing for myself; connecting with other people, collaborating, hearing other people’s stories and writing about another perspective.”
Glieson is very excited about sharing her new music with the people that are following her – and I am equally excited. Eager to get my hands on an album from her, I asked her if we could expect a full-length any time soon. Her answer? “I don’t know if I will wait until a whole album is together to release it, or if I will just release it in an EP. I am so impatient! It’s just the way independent music is, we just kind of make music, and go with the flow and see how it goes!”
Now, Glieson has moved to Los Angeles to focus on her career and has a whole lot of music coming up for us to enjoy. “Ever since I was little I always wanted to live here. That was something inside me that really really badly wanted to live in America,” says Glieson. Living the American Dream. She adds: “A lot of us Australians actually come here, make music, and then go back home, but I love writing and collaborating so it is just easier and a lot cheaper as well to not come back! I just love it here. You guys are amazing!”
Of course, the young woman often misses her friends and family – but thankfully, out of sight does not mean out of mind. And sometimes, nice surprises come along the way. She shares: “It was a crazy blessing, just [recently], one of my friends was flying to Guatemala and she got stuck in LA, so she let me know and I went straight to the airport and we hung out for a couple of hours. It was overwhelming!”
Glieson also makes the most out of new technologies. The Internet, social media and Skype are a blessing for any expat…and for any artist, really. Named the #1 Artist on Periscope last year, Glieson would know. However, she admits she feels like she uses social media a little bit differently:
“I just kind of use it to connect with people. I don’t create content and then put it out there just to be like ‘Go to this page and like that!’ I just use social media to talk and connect to people, meet new people, and get to know each other. I honestly believe that, despite the fact that there is online bullying and trolling and hate, social media can be used to connect with people all over the world, and make the world a better place in our very own, unique ways. I know that sounds kind of tacky but it is something I am passionate about.”
Check out the just released video for Katja’s song, “I Would Kill”. She says:
“It is a song that came out from having to deal with tragedy and all that kind of stuff. It is the place that we go to, whenever we are going through a hard time in our lives, where a lot of people end up, in an abusive cycle; some people start drinking, some people start eating, some people end up in toxic relationships. When you finally start being honest with yourself, you realize you are actually dealing with something a little bit deeper. It is about looking at that sort of horrible toxic cycle that you put yourself in, and really dealing with the reason why you are in it.”