King Princess’ Energetic Performances Of ‘Hit The Back’ And ‘1950’ Were A Lively ‘SNL’ Debut

King Princess, the moniker of New York songstress Mikaela Straus, made her Saturday Night Live debut with textured, bellowing vocals and a lively guitar solo.

The 20-year-old singer started her performance with an intimate rendition of “1950,” a track about antiquated gender roles in modern relationships. Amidst a heavy smoke machine, King Princess crooned with an edgy delivery. “I hate it when dudes try to chase me / But I love it when you try to save me / ‘Cause I’m just a lady / I love it when we play 1950,” she sang. The singer impressed the crowd and showed off her skills during a brief guitar solo at the end of the track.

The performance that followed was her revved-up track “Hit the Back.” Forgoing the guitar with just a microphone in her hand, the singer made use of the small stage with spinning dance moves and bellowing vocals.

Both “Hit the Back” and “1950” appear on King Princess’ debut record Cheap Queen. After putting forth “1950,” the singer said the track was about queer relationships.

“Historically a publicly unaccepted but incredibly rich culture, queer love was only able to exist privately for a long time, expressed in society through coded art forms,” Straus wrote upon the song’s release. “I wrote this song as a story of unrequited love in my own life, doing my best to acknowledge and pay homage to that part of history.”

Watch King Princess perform “1950” and “Hit the Back” above.