Royal Welcome |

5 mins

Royal Welcome

Known for her eclectic style that blends hip-hop, electronica and punk rock influences, American rapper and DJ Princess Superstar has been a fixture of the international music scene for roughly three decades. Alice Linehan spoke to the artist ahead of her takeover of the Mother Pride Block Party stage on June 29, it promises a set that crowds won’t soon forget.

Also known as Concetta Kirschner, Princess Superstar started her career in the mid-’90s. Originally performing with the group, The Gamma Rays, she made her first demo tape under her new stage name in 1994. She describes her music as ‘flip-flop’, encompassing the different genres she explores. “It’s kind of hip hop, but it’s not at all,” she explained.

“I’m a rapper, but I also just love so many different genres of music, whether it’s dance or even punk rock… If you listen to my whole discography, you will hear indie rock, you’ll hear everything… Pull up a chair if you want to hear about 30 years of being a musician,” she laughed.

Reflecting on the early days of her career, she remembered: “In a nutshell, I started touring in a van, eating McDonald’s and sleeping at a Motel 6 in the ‘90s. And then I really worked hard, put out a few records on some indie label, then also a label I started myself.”

Princess Superstar released her debut album Strictly Platinum in 1996, followed by CEO in 1997. However, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that she enjoyed mainstream success. The witty lyrics and genre-blending production of her 2000 album Last of the Great 20th Century Composers initially captured audiences’ attention, but it was the hit ‘Bad Babysitter’ from her 2001 album Princess Superstar Is that broke the Top 20 UK Singles Chart.

“The British press called me an overnight sensation, and I’d been working so hard for like six years,” the musician recalled.

It took another six years before she enjoyed similar success with ‘Perfect (Exceeder)’, made in collaboration with Dutch DJ Mason and instantly recognisable by the now iconic lyrics “One, two, three, four, let me hear you scream if you want some more”.

“It really was a long trajectory before I had another hit,” Princess Superstar said. “And then I DJ’d after that, performed and did all that, but then I had a baby in 2011 and things sort of died down for me.

“I still kept putting out music, but I really wasn’t that successful after that. It was just sort of like a downward slump in my career.”

Although it may have felt like the best years were behindfast forward to 2023 and the release of a certain film. Saltburn. Emerald Fennell’s blockbuster has been instrumental in catapulting classic hits back into the charts, seen perhaps most prominently with Sophie Ellis-Bexter’s ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ which reached number two on the UK Singles Chart and broke the US Billboard Hot 100. Princess Superstar’s ‘Perfect (Exceeder)’ soundtracks a massive birthday party held in Saltburn for Ollie, played by Ireland’s own Barry Keoghan.

Explaining how it came about, the singer said the film’s music supervisor would have reached out to the music publisher asking for approval to use the song.

“They say who the actors are and who the director is, and, maybe because I’m American, I didn’t really recognise the names,” she admitted. “Although, one name I knew, which was Richard E Grant, and I was like ‘Oh, he’s cool!’ and then I just said yes.

“It was a relatively small fee,” Princess Superstar explained, “But oh, life-changing. But I didn’t know that back then, I just said yes. I mostly say yes to people who want to use my songs.”

Sharing her thoughts on the film, she commented: “I think it’s totally brilliant. It’s so incredibly done, so beautiful to watch. You’re on the edge of your seat the entire time and just artistically, it’s so beautiful and wellacted and well written.”

However, as someone who doesn’t like a lot of violence, she confessed that she didn’t like those aspects. “But I understand, that’s the world we’re living in today, sadly,” the star expressed.

Reflecting on how the inclusion of ‘Perfect (Exceeder)’ in the soundtrack has impacted her life, she added: “Boom, it’s as if the early 2000s never went away and I have a very full, robust career again. So it’s a wild story.” Now, Princess Superstar is once again booked and busy, but a lot has changed in the last 20 years. She joins the Zoom interview from her car in LA after dropping her daughter to school, shedding light on the reality of balancing her career as an international music star with day-to-day life.

“Luckily, I have a pretty awesome husband who really helps out…I’m so grateful. He’s amazing,” she explained.

“This time around is so wild, having a kid. For example, my song went viral and so all the little 12-year-olds and 13-year-olds in her class were going ‘One, two, three, four’ and singing it. At the end of the day, she’s still like a mini teenager embarrassed by her mom like we all were. It doesn’t matter how cool your mom is! So that’s been really surreal to watch.”

Princess Superstar has also become more connected to her spirituality in the last two decades.

“I did put down drinking and drugs about 20 years ago and started going down a more spiritual path,” she said, “But I really didn’t want to make music that was on-thenose spiritual…Because I do believe that if you actually are spiritual, then it’s just you being of service out in the world and trying to be of service to others; help them, and think about others rather than just being so focused on yourself.”

She continued: “In music, it’s not like now all I do is sing about God or something. It’s more just being an example in the world.”

As her performance at the Mother Pride Block Party quickly approaches, she remembers performing in Ireland “back in the day,” saying: “I love Dublin so much. Such a beautiful, beautiful city and I can’t wait to come back because it’s been many years. I would say it’s probably been over 12 years. Oh my gosh, I can’t wait. I cannot wait. I’m so excited.”

On what Pride-goers can expect from her set, she teased: “I’m gonna definitely be playing all my hits. Also gonna be playing some new stuff that’s unreleased and hasn’t really been heard much, so I’m really excited about that, personally. Just a really fun show with lots of good costumes!”

LGBTQ+ folks have been huge supporters of her career, something she does not take for granted. She feels that the fun and colourful presence of Princess Superstar “fits in so beautifully with the gay community” and added, “They’ve always accepted me and championed me.”

She also recognised the queer talent she has met along the way, who have helped with her image, make-up, outfits and album covers, saying she wouldn’t be who she is as an artist without them.

If you want some more of Princess Superstar, no need to scream, simply secure your place at the Mother Pride Block Party, taking place in the National Museum of Ireland, Collins Barracks, on Saturday, June 29.

Tickets are on sale now via Eventbrite, don’t miss out on what promises to be an incredible, rainbow-filled occasion.

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