Petros: "C'mon, Maureen."
IvyGate: "What? Lena Chen had one!"
Petros: "Sex tapes propel career that are already set. We still have to work on mine for a bit. I'd say 2015."
More from everyone's favorite Greek-American singing sensation on sexual politics, the state of pop music, and why he'll never actually be Britney Spears. After the jump.
Interview edited for length and clarity, mostly to remove awkward LOL's and embarrassing typos.
PETROS ON BRITNEY VS. XTINA, AND HIS NEW SONG
IG: "first: Harvard's Britney Spears or Harvard's Xtina Aguilera. Which do you prefer?"
Petros: "the male britney spears, no question"
Petros: "i dont have the pipes and i tend to think of myself as an "entertainer" rather than a singer"
Petros: "also my music is supposed to be party music; im never trying to propose that there's any merit other than its pure unadulterated fun factor"
IG: "Tell me about your new video and song! Did you film it on campus? I saw some suspiciously academic-looking books and leather upholstery..."
Petros: "yeah it was all filmed on campus, in a matter of hours"
IG:" hours! that's all?"
Petros: "yeah. i spend summers on music, and then focus on extracurrics on campus and academics during the year"
Petros:" i wrote predator in july and august and although i dont take the "artistry" of my music too seriously, i make sure that every second of it lives up to my own standard of perfection so the writing goes on forever until I'm totally satisfied"
Petros:" [shooting] the video is a much quicker process. the editing took a few weeks"
...ON HIS CAREER AND WHY HE'LL NEVER REALLY BE BRITNEY:
IG: do you want to go into music professionally?
Petros: i do, probably as a producer
Petros: A&R is something i'm very interested in. it means artist & repertoire and its the name assigned to people who seek out talent, work with producers, and brand a product that can be unleashed on the masses
Petros: britney's a&r, for example, is my idol. best A&R'ing of the past decade
IG: so you don't want to be a pop star after all this??
Petros: hahah no. i do love to perform
Petros: im very passionate about theater and music
IG: but i JUST WATCHED YOUR ENTIRE YOUTUBE REPERTOIRE are you telling me that was for nought?
Petros: really exciting things are happening in music right now
Petros: i would love to be a popstar
Petros: in years past there wasn't really a chance, but now its really all about self promotion, about having the ambition to learn every facet of the industry and inject yourself into it, with no inhibitions
IG: ...and are you going to take the bait?
Petros: ive gotten scouted by a label, my favorite label actually, but i don't really know if anything will come of it
IG: why not?
Petros: what i really want is to make sure that music is always the focus of my life whether im producing, managing, or performing because luck is such a HUGE factor in the whole process
Petros: i dont necessarily have the "look" or the "talent" to be signed to a boyband, for example
Petros: but i have the ambition and the drive to succeed in music, I believe. it all depends on what executives believe will sell and that part is out of my hands
IG: very pragmatic.
Petros: yeah, but im definitely an optimist, otherwise i would never pursue such a ridiculous field
IG: speaking of optimism and your outlook:
You want to marry a millionaire
You were born with product in your hair
You know what you want and you don't care
How I feel [a direct quote from "Predator"]
IG: Is this based on real life? Like, say... floozies from BC trying to snag Harvard dudes??
Petros: i was in new york this summer and i met someone who me that everyone wants to marry a harvardy boy because "everyone wants a millionaire husband" - i found it really interesting that they equated the two and wanted to put it in my song in an ironic context
Petros: i think of "predator" as more of a parody of a culture we've grown up in
...ON BEING OUT OF THE CLOSET:
IG: is your sexuality on the record?
Petros: im very open about it
IG: what is it?
Petros: oh, sorry
Petros: im gay
Petros: but i mean, i dont see sexuality as constant either. but thats a longer interview
IG: then why do you make songs about hetero guys chasing hot chicks?
Petros: oh but predator is explicitly gay
Petros: especially in the gloryhole scene
Petros: when im on the opposite side of mySELF
IG: so you are gay... because you want to have sex with yourself?
Petros: i try to employ some subtlety so that i dont completely alienate either sexuality
Petros: EXACTLY. who doesnt
IG: ah-ha! this is what we call the "harvard homo"
IG: (that was an inappropriate joke and may not make it into my post)
Petros: i think that there are a lot of artists out there who "wont discuss their sexuality" because it doesnt make a difference to the music. to me that's bullshit because in this political and cultural climate, its crucial to the music and to the artist, to the fans. i dont think it should be relevant, but unfortunately - it is. and artists have to really consider that. i know you didnt ask but its something i think is important.
IG: Do you have many fans?
Petros: i have a lot of FRIENDS, who support very loyally and who im very appreciative of
Petros: there is an online community of people that is expanding every day, the pop conoisseurs who are friending me on myspace, giving me great feedback. and that means a lot - because most of the time they're into the music im into. lady gaga, britney spears, etc.
IG: do random people ever see the videos of you, like, taking your shirt off and stalk you at Harvard parties and stuff?
Petros: im known on campus, but mostly in jest, which is completely intentional
Petros: i think my work in other arts and facets redeems my legitimacy
IG: where ARE the good gloryholes at Harvard, anyway?
Petros: hush you
Petros: that was only for those observers who were in tune enough to notice
Petros: apparently you werent one of them ;)
IG: i was a terrible english major
Petros: lol. im english too
IG: regarding the "in jest" thing -- how much of Petros is ironic, and how much is in earnest?
Petros: i mean, im definitely playing into a gimmick
Petros: what people would expect from a euro-trash electro pop kid
Petros: but i do believe in what i'm doing in that i think people enjoy it; whether its for the camp factor or because they can actually connect with it - i don't care. i'm just down with the idea that people can dig my lyrics and my tunes. thats the most exciting part
IG: very britney spears "piece of me"
Petros: i mean, what part of my life isn't inspired by a britney spears song, really?
Petros: also - just to clarify "body glow" - the video is about a girl. there's not supposed to be a romance, but its usually understood. i made that over a year ago and i think it accurately reflects the "artist" i was then, whereas predator has seen me "grow" into something quite different
Petros: the very reason i got into "writing music" was because in 2005, britney was launching that hiatus that she never really returned from - and rap was dominating the radio waves. i wanted to make pop music i could love and that maybe other people could get into? thats why i started, and i just see myself as continually experimenting
...ON THIS VERY INTERVIEW (meta!):
Petros: im going to come off as the FLAMBO of the century in this interview, arent i
IG: i have this effect on people
Petros: well dont entirely castrate me
Petros: im gay
Petros: but i consider myself masculine
Petros: i just love britney spears okAY?!
...ON HIS WEIRD OTHER VIDEO:
IG: let's talk Body Glow. what IS "body glow" anyway? Was my co-editor Jacob's guess -- "Petros' jizzum" -- accurate?
Petros: body glow is anything you want it to be. i cant disclose more than that.
IG: dammit. this is another English major test i'm failing, isn't it.
Petros: i wrote it thinking more about sexuality. like, be yourself
Petros: it was just supposed to highlight any kind of oppression, and give a means to release yourself
IG: omg! the church thing! and the BLOOD!
Petros: the blood thing was just weird
IG: haha. you realized this in retrospect?
Petros: eh, a lot of things happen on a video shoot. they're not always intentional
...ON SEX TAPES:
IG: Both "Body Glow" and "Predator" refer to making "videos." Can we expect a Petros sex tape any time soon?
Petros: cmon maureen
IG: What? Lena Chen had one!
Petros: sex tapes propel career that are already set. we have to work on mine for a bit
Petros: id say 2015