Raja, Ooh La La

Newly crowned the third winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Raja opens up about her controversial Ru connection, her upcoming single, and her responsibility as a rebellious role model.



RAJA 1 X390 (LOGO) | ADVOCATE.COMHow will your reign as America’s Next Drag Superstar differ from that of previous winners BeBe Zahara Benet and Tyra Sanchez?
I’m just going to do what I do, but I do want to be more present. I don’t really get to see a lot of them, so I would like to be the one who’s really out there. I’m going to do everything in my power to stay on the radar.

BeBe Zahara Benet dropped a dance single during her reign. Does something like that interest you?
Actually, yeah, I am experimenting with music. I have a song coming out next week.

Why have I not heard about this?
Because I’m telling you now. You might actually be the first person to know. We put together a track called “Diamond Crown Queen,” which is a kitschy homage to Nine Inch Nails with a little bit of “Native Love” from Divine. We’re just having fun, throwing it out there to give people something to chew on for a minute.

If you continue to pursue a music career, with which artists would you like to collaborate?
Someone once called me the M.I.A. of drag. I’m a big fan of hers, and I’d love to meet her. I also love Sia. I’ve actually been talking about collaborating with some friends of mine like Dirty Sanchez, so we’ll see what happens.

If your “Heathers” clique got a spin-off show, what would be the premise?
It would just be about us trying to keep Carmen’s clothes on and getting Manila to shut up, because she’s really loud. That’s actually a great idea, though. When we came up with the Heathers during the show, I actually thought about us doing a Heathers tour, so maybe that’s something we can do this summer.

Critics of Drag Race have complained in the past that humor and personality take a backseat to feminine realness and glamour, but you bucked that trend by having it all. Do you feel that your humorous genderfuck style was key to your victory?
It was definitely key to my victory. All I really wanted to do was to represent all different types of drag and drag influences I’ve seen in my life. I understand that drag isn’t just about hip pads, sequins, and pageantry all the time. There’s a lot more to drag that’s important, and that should be embraced.

Does a plus-size girl really have a chance of winning Drag Race?
Totally. This isn’t America’s Next Top Model. This is about finding America’s next drag superstar, and that has nothing to do with size. It has everything to do with how strong you are, how much confidence you have, and how much you believe in yourself. Stacy Layne Matthews and I text message each other every day, and I tell her I love her as many times as I can. She’s my girl. We shared a bucket of chicken last night before I went onstage and had a great time.

Speaking of Top Model, you were a makeup artist on six cycles of the show. Who was easier to work with – Ru or Tyra Banks?
[Laughs] Probably Ru.

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