Kim Petras used Britney Spears’ interviews to teach herself English

When Britney Spears posted a video of herself dancing to Kim Petras‘ latest single, “Malibu,” on Instagram this Spring, the German singer was shook.

The short clip, which was shared to her Story, shows Spears, 38, dancing in her signature short-shorts and puffy-sleeved crop-top with a big smile on her face. Petras, 27, reposted the video onto her grid, calling it “the best day of my life ever.”

Spears holds more significance in Petras’ life than meets the eye: In addition to serving as an inspiration for Petras’ career as a pop star, she was also integral to Petras when she learned to speak English years ago.

“I literally learned to speak English because I recorded Britney’s interviews and would play them again and again and again until I could say the words and understand the words,” Petras told In The Know’s Gibson Johns during a recent interview. “So, Britney literally taught me English.”

All of this made Spears’ inherent endorsement of her latest hit even more surreal.

“I was dying. It was so crazy,” she said. “That she was dancing to that song, made me … like, I was crying. I was so happy. It was amazing.”

Petras released “Malibu” during quarantine but, because she hadn’t shot a proper music video for the euphoric jam, she had to do what a lot of other content creators have had to do over the past several months: get resourceful and improvise.

For Petras, that meant reaching out to both friends and fans to ask for videos of them singing along to her latest song, resulting in a carefree, star-studded compilation video featuring the likes of Paris Hilton and “Riverdale” star Madelaine Petsch.

“I wanted to make a legit music video, of course, but then this whole pandemic happened. And I was just like, ‘OK, I’m going to hit up my friends and we’re going to take people to the beach and just bring the beach home,” Petras told ITK. “I just asked my friends if they wanted to send me videos in bikinis dancing to the song, and they all did. And I was really, really surprised at the people that sent me videos back. And just felt very blessed that my artist friends [sent] me videos back and that my fans sent me over 5,000 submissions.”

“It was a really fun editing process. We had so much fun and just watching it makes me so happy. And, also, that I gave my fans something fun to do during this time [was something] that they were all super excited about,” she added. “It was just like a really happy thing for everybody involved. I’m so, so thankful to all my friends who sent submissions to this video and all my fans.”

Even though the music video for “Malibu” wasn’t part of Petras’ plan for the song, it still encapsulates everything that she was trying to accomplish with it, which was to provide pure pop escapism for her fans at a time when, perhaps, they needed it most.

“I think it’s one of my very escapist, feel-good songs. I personally put it on, and I’m having a good time, and I forget about my issues or that I can’t see a lot of my friends in person and stuff like that, you know? So, I felt very happy that I had it ready to go during this time because I just think it brightens a lot of people’s days,” she explained. “I’ve always been all about escapism, and I love that about music, that it takes me somewhere else for three and a half minutes.”

“Even though it’s also very important to be very present these days, I think and to be a part of everything and be a part of this revolution,” Petras clarified. “But, you know, why I love pop is because it allows me to forget about any of my negative feelings or sadness.”

Fans who are eager for more from Petras will soon be satisfied: In addition to her recent collaboration with Kygo, “Broken Glass,” the singer has much more on the way, saying that “Malibu” is “part of a new era and a new sound and a new album.”

“I’ve been working kind of non-stop every day. I have a home studio set-up,” Petras teased. “And I’m just really making progress and I’m really headed in an exciting direction.”

Listen to our full interview with Kim Petras below:

If you enjoyed this article, check out In The Know’s recent interview with “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Heidi N Closet here.

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