A year ago this month, drag queen Priyanka was crowned the first winner of the RuPaul’s Drag Race spinoff Canada’s Drag Race.
It was a moment to be completely immersed in doing only 3 years of pulling at the time and to highlight her South Asian heritage on such a massive platform. However, being a more hustler than she is, Priyanka knows she’s only as good as one of her last performances.
“When you are Drag racing, all your participation, all your popularity is very high. Whether you get knocked out first or you win like I did, you have to create a Drag Race,” she said. “What is my project that people are interested in? What do people want to see? “
That project is Taste Experiments, a visual EP coming out in July with music videos continuing to roll out over the coming months and will eventually form a full mini-movie. It’s a substantial effort that Priyanka hopes will further push the boundaries of “pulled music”.
Priyanka released two singles in 2018 and 2019—“Say My Name” and “You Look So Good”—but “it seemed like I hid it from everyone,” she admitted. “I’m embarrassed to say I can sing, because drag queens don’t sing. The queens drag and drop catchy catchphrases. “
For a while, the music from Drag Racing alumni would primarily include some references from their time on the program over a club beat. This was, without a doubt, fueled by the popularity of Drag Racing, the songwriting challenge of queens who wrote their own daring verses to RuPaul’s songs. Should that sentence be iconic enough, you could go viral, become a meme, or at least have a recognizable song to lip-sync at post-show gigs.
There have been several Drag Race stars including Trixie Mattel, Blair St. Clair, Jujubee, Adore Delano and Shea Coulée, who have created chart-breaking singles and albums for “drag music”—and Priyanka aims to take things a step further with Taste Experiment.
“I remember sitting down with [my co-writers]and I feel that all of these songs now sound like drag queen songs,” Priyanka said of the original development’s Taste Test. “And I know that I am a drag queen, but I want to talk about my breakup. That’s where ‘Bitch I’m Busy’ comes from. And ‘Come Through’, I want it to be about the guy who tried to date even Lemon [a fellow Canada’s Drag Race contestant] and me—and the one who dumped me right after my uncle died. “
The Taste Test CompanionFive Songs are music videos that come together to tell a full story of a murder mystery, ultimately answering the question: Who killed Priyanka?
Of course, shooting a short film is by nature an ambitious project and does not come cheap. “Don’t get me wrong, the diva won her over [Canada’s Drag Race prize] money. But you have to get grants to help pay for your work because my idea is bigger than my bank account,” Priyanka said. “I still have to put a lot of my money into videos. But there’s something about investing in your own things that makes it so much better. “
The mentality to do that dates back to when Priyanka became better known as Mark “Suki” Suknanan, the host of Canada’s children’s show Zone and the reality competition series The Next Star.
Before starting her drag career in 2017, Priyanka saw herself as a TV-entertainer and was clearly on the right track. But there is always something missing.
“There are people who lead…
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