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Spotlight On: Princess Atlantis

March 30, 2022

Introducing Heaps Decent’s first feature artist: Princess Atlantis! HD writer Amy was lucky enough to interview the rising star recently, on the back of her first live performance at Saferoom (Gadigal land/Chippendale).

“I was really nervous, but it was exciting as well… I got through it!”

Fierce, fresh and raw 17-year-old Princess Atlantis (Barkindji), has released two singles so far and is steadily carving out her space in the Sydney music scene. Her genre-bending work blends rap and hyper-pop, with her main musical influences ranging from Kanye West to Azealia Banks. 

“I try to embody an element of being unique. Being yourself and having a strong, defined character – I think audiences love to see that,” said Princess Atlantis. “And as much as I try to look up to my icons and replicate them, I try to do it in a way that’s me – that’s totally unique.”

While Princess Atlantis takes sonically from one world, performance-wise her influences differ greatly.

“It’s more Lana Del Rey and it’s a different vibe. I have different kinds of personas when it comes to my music than how I visually present myself.”

One look at the @princessatlantisforever Instagram reinforces exactly that. She notes icons such as Amy Winehouse and Paris Hilton amongst others, marking a clear directory for audiences to know exactly who Princess Atlantis looks to for inspiration.

“Princess Atlantis is my alter ego. I just think she’s fierce. She’s funny. She’s confident. She’s everything that I never could be when I was younger. And so it’s just me channeling this fierce, boss bitch energy.” 

One listen to both of the artist’s singles showcases just this: sharp lyrics filled with a self-assured tone and a solid flow.

It’s been a unique and long journey for the young talent, who’s been making music with Heaps Decent producer Adam Bozzetto (For Life, Meltemi) for around a year now. Though, Princess Atlantis has been writing material since a young age. 

“I’ve always had an interest in lyrics and poetry and stuff since I was a kid, but I only seriously took it up around the age of 14 or 15,” said Princess Atlantis. “I actually met [Adam] while incarcerated because he does free programs for the kids in juvie with Heaps Decent, and from there once I got out, I texted him, emailed him and then eventually got on a call with him and he said, ’come into the studio’ and I’ve never looked back.” 

From writing poetry as a child to performing live for the first time, Princess Atlantis says her music-making has positively altered her self-perception and grown her confidence.

“Well, I was a lot less comfortable when I was younger and I thought nobody would want to hear my music if I ever created it. I didn’t think that they would want to hear a Trans kid… But as I grew older and I was more confident and mature, I’ve learned that there are people out there that are willing to hear me rap and sing.” she said.

Princess Atlantis says her first single ‘New Sensation’ was a big learning curve, as she navigated releasing and launching the project on her own. “It was kind of a struggle when you’re not with a distributor, you know, but I figured out everything, I was really in disbelief.” The track landed her instant street cred with glowing reviews and radio play on Triple J and FBI. 

“I released it a few months ago, actually. It was monumental…” Said Princess Atlantis. She revealed that the release had made waves with some big names, “One of Adam’s mutual friends Nina (Nina Las Vegas) had shown a producer my song, New Sensation. She loved it so much that she sent me a few beats to rap over. I thought that was so nice of her, but also so crazy that someone loved my songs so much that they wanted to hear me on them!”

Since then, Princess Atlantis has had a similar enthusiastic response to her second (and her favourite) single ‘Coolest In The Room’ – on all accounts, she is being acknowledged as exactly that, “I have the best hype people in the world that whenever my songs are on FBI they’re always screaming. They always put it on, I can’t get away from my music sometimes!”

Though she wouldn’t divulge much about her future releases, we’re told there may be some big sonic changes for the artist. Princess Atlantis mentioned a few dream collaborations, with singer-songwriters including the likes of Larrakia/Darwin’s Stevie Jean and Naarm/Melbourne’s June Jones. The latter of which she recognises as a queer-identifying artist that she thinks deserves more spotlight. 

Speaking on her identity in the Sydney music scene, Princess Atlantis notes that she “hasn’t really seen other people like [her]” around. “I want to see more diversity. I want to see every skin colour. I want to see every gender identity.” She said, and was emphatic on wanting to be a part of creating this community. “I’m trying to occupy that space, but there’s also new space for even bigger improvements or a bigger sort of impact, as well.”

It seems like Princess Atlantis is on the precipice of a breakthrough. “I’m interested in a lot of music styles, but I don’t want to spill the tea!” Perhaps some inspiration from the likes of the aforementioned Jean and Jones is helping to shape the young talent’s future sound. “There’s a few songs in the works. So watch out for them!”

Whatever the next few singles entail, whether it be Lana Del Rey adjacent, sticking to her Kanye loyalty, or something new completely, Princess Atlantis has said it best herself in New Sensation – “Princess Atlantis: the new fixation, I’m the face of a new generation”.

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