An Interview With Artist, Actress & Activist Katja Glieson


Kat Harlton

Originally from Australia, Katja Glieson made the move to LA a few years ago, knowing that it would be the best place for her to bring her dreams of performing to life. Since arriving she has become known for her unique ability to create incredible digital content compliments of her classical theatre background.

Currently in the process of filming season two of her Barbie IRL series “Barbie Origins,” Katja has also seen great success on the music front since moving to LA. In 2017 she released “Come Thru” ft. King Bach, which peaked at #3 on the Billboard charts, with the music video amassing more than 3M views on YouTube.

We had the opportunity to chat Katja about her music, how she’s managed to grow an incredibly engaged audience on her digital platforms and how she’s leveraging this audience to support the 2SLGBTQ+ community.

Kat: Can you talk about the inspiration behind your Barbie IRL series “Barbie Origins,” and what you hope fans take from the show?

Katja: Just like everything on TikTok, it was initially a joke! Ever since I started posting online, I kept getting comments saying that I reminded people of Barbie IRL. I’ve always loved the Stanislavsky magical phrase “what if?” … What if Barbie DID come to life? How would she cope with being incarnated into a human body? When I was little, I always wished my dolls would come to life and now, because it’s me incarnating her, Barbie is gonna have a hilarious journey becoming a woman. 

During the course of the series, we saw her make decisions to go against the stereotype and has taken on the responsibility of becoming the best kind of woman she can be. I had no idea it would resonate so much. Season One garnered over 100 Million views so I am really excited to expand upon this world. We’re working on the second season now, which will catch up with Barbie saving Ken from the clutches of corporate giants. I have been researching the origins of Barbie and discovered a secret dark past. I am super excited to show the world how I have incorporated facts into a fictional narrative of a girl breaking through stereotypes, making mistakes and becoming a hero.

Stay tuned because season two is about to be EPIC.

Kat: You’ve had a number of high profile singles many of which have been used in marketing campaigns, and In 2017 you released “Come Thru” ft. King Bach, which peaked at #3 on the Billboard charts. How did that collaboration end up happening? and what was it like working with King Bach?

Katja: It’s so funny, Bach and I were neighbors for quite some time. We had a few mutual friends and hung around similar social circles. At the time, I hadn’t done any of my own social media. I had only ever been an actress cast in projects or been working on my original music. One evening I was hanging out with a few friends, and one of my friends took my phone and started playing my song. I’m not usually the type of person who likes to ‘show off,’ so I didn’t relish it and got a little embarrassed! I saw it as an opportunity to ask innocently if he knew anyone that would KILL a feature on my track, and his response was “…yeah me!” It all kind of snowballed from there. He was great in the studio. He is so open to learning new things and tackles new challenges with the best attitude. It’s very inspiring.

Kat: What do you find is the most challenging part of being on social media and creating digital content and how are you using your digital presence to support the 2SLGBTQ+ community?

Katja: Other than the algorithms which keep us on the mouse exercise wheel and on the verge of insanity, it’s been difficult finding genuine, real connections with people. Social media has a tendency to corrupt people’s minds by digging into the ego. It’s difficult for some people to maintain a healthy emotional state when living with so much uncertainty. I am always on the lookout for people in my vibe tribe. I am at my creative best when I am alone, or surrounded by the right energy.

Kat: What has been a career highlight for you? What have you learned along the way?

Katja: I saved the second part of the last question for this one because they tie in together. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to bring my energy, my music and my show touring to PRIDE events all over America. This is pre-COVID of course. The highlight of the tour was performing for LA Pride. Supporting unconditional love through music and celebration is the best way to get through to those who still don’t get it yet. It’s inspiring to those who suffer at the hands of prejudice. And I love creating a safe and happy space for all walks of life to feel loved and included and inspired to spread that love to their lives.

Kat: What’s next?

Katja: Ahhhh the question that is the main cause for my insomnia.

I am so creative that I have the absolute WORST organizational skills. I am very lucky to have a few amazingly patient people in my team that understand what I am building and help me navigate through my vast imagination, to bring these ideas to fruition. I want to incorporate music, dance, comedy and inspiration in everything I do, and I understand that being a multifaceted artist can be confusing to people. It’s up to me to create a body of work that incorporates everything I want to do, makes sense and is enjoyable to watch.

But up next right now is pre-production of Barbie SZN 2. I am starting with a 15 minute short film/teaser that meets Barbie where we have missed her for the past year. It then opens up the narrative for Barbie origins where we discover and explore Barbie’s origins. Expect the unexpected! 

For more on Katja visit:

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