The preview snippets for “Alone,” the latest single from Kim Petras with a guest verse from Nicki Minaj, teased the arrival of the song of the summer. “It’s Barbie and it’s Kim Petras,” the rapper introduced in the first TikTok confirming the collaboration, punctuated by the singer’s signature “Woo-Ah!” That was two weeks ago and now the record is here in full.
“It doesn’t feel real still. Her singing ‘It’s Barbie and it’s Kim Petras,’ I cried, I was on the floor and then she calls me Kim Petty in it, which all my friends are like, ‘How do we not come up with that our entire lives?’ So she just changed my life in so many ways with that verse and that verse rips,” Petras recently told Apple Music’s Zane Lowe. “I love her and I’m so inspired by her always, it’s crazy to me. I don’t know how she does it, but she’s just the greatest ever. I’m so happy that she likes the song.”
“Alone” would have been a surefire song of the summer contender if only it were released 13 years earlier. The track builds around a sample of the 1990 club classic “Better Off Alone” by Alice Deejay, the Dutch Europop duo, with Petras asking: “I’ve been tryna give it to you all night, what’s it gonna take to get you all alone?” Dr. Luke and Rocco Did It Again!, who both collaborate with Petras frequently, produced the record.
“Alone” is the first major collaborative release from the singer since she teamed up with Sam Smith on “Unholy,” which crowned her the first openly transgender artist to receive a Grammy Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. It was also the biggest hit she’d had that didn’t involve Dr. Luke, whose defamation lawsuit against Kesha — who accused him of alleged sexual, physical, and emotional abuse — goes to trial in July. The producer most recently worked with Minaj on “Super Freaky Girl,” among other records.
“I’ve always been a songwriter. Anything I’ve done, I’ve been a big part of writing. I’ve always collaborated with different people and producers,” Petras told Billboard earlier this year. “Luke is the one person people like to pick out and be like, ‘This is obviously who has to write all of this girl’s music because she can’t be talented and that’s a big name.’ But I am here because I’m good at writing, and I do my shit.”
On “Alone,” Petras channeled her experiences hearing “Better Off Alone” in clubs throughout Europe. “I was born and raised in Germany, and that song is a classic in clubs all over Europe, so I grew up to it,” she told Zane Lowe. “I had a lot of amazing moments, some bad moments, so many club moments in general to that song, so that song is just in me, and I feel like it inspired me to make music. I’m just so honored that Alice Deejay let us do this shit because it’s epic.”
The singer also teased that a music video for the record is on its way. Minaj recently appeared in the bright pink music video for “Princess Diana,” the Ice Spice single that she hopped on the remix for.
“We shot the music video together and she was like, ‘Ugh, when I heard the song, I just loved it,’ and that just made so happy,” Petras shared. “I feel like I’ve learned so much. I feel like I love her more. When the camera’s on, it’s crazy. She just goes into full superstar. Not that she’s ever not a superstar, but she just turns it on so effortlessly and it’s amazing to watch, and she was so nice to me and the dancers and everyone and was just really inspiring to see and to watch, and she was super encouraging and we just had a blast, so it was the best thing ever.”