For Trixie Mattel, drag is an art form. It is also his empire.


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Trixie Mattel, drag queen extraordinaire, was introduced to the world seven years ago with a thick contour and a Dolly Parton-style blonde wig on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Her over-the-top Barbie appearance in season 7 gave way to a character who captivated fans with a biting sense of humor and sharp musical talents, and she won the third installment of “Rupaul’s Drag Race All Stars.” a few years later. And while drag queens are known for their ability to lip-sync and perform, Trixie stands out for focusing on the importance of lyricism.

She is now releasing “The Blonde & Pink Albums,” a double album due out June 24 that showcases her sunny new style.

“If I quit drag tomorrow, I’ll still be writing songs for the rest of my life, because that’s kind of my first love,” said Trixie, known outside of drag as Brian Firkus.

His favorite art form is in the political hot seat, as elected officials in Arizona, Texas and Florida recently suggested they would try to ban children from drag shows. Although she declined to comment on the growing controversy surrounding the article, her signature humor on the subject is still evident on her Twitter. (In response to a user telling her to stay away from children, Trixie just answered “Girl, I hate kids.”)

The comedian, singer and entrepreneur only started playing guitar and singing because she was interested in songwriting. “The artists I liked on the radio all played guitar. It was the days of Avril Lavigne and Michelle Branch, Sheryl Crow and Green Day, and a lot of the music I listened to was guitar driven,” she said.

Part of his fondness for the guitar was born out of necessity. “I grew up in the extremely broke country,” explained Trixie, who is originally from Wisconsin. “That’s what the poor play at.”

Her debut album, “Two Birds,” was heavily folk and country inspired because she wrote it about a breakup with a guy she was dating at her house. But Trixie is now a California girl, and the music on her fourth studio album reflects that change. “You can just feel the California sun in this music,” she said of her new songs, most of which were written in her pink-interior apartment.

“The Blonde & Pink Albums” also sees a shift in tone more than just style: for the first time she can remember, some tracks are written from Trixie’s point of view as a drag queen. “At first I thought there was a fallacy in writing for the character in a certain way, which is why my first records in particular are very personal and very dark. … It was at a time when I was trying to prove my musical savvy, so I thought that if I didn’t make serious music, no one would take me seriously,” she said.

Drag queens are not the ones who sexualize story time

“Hello Hello,” about a drag queen hitting on a guy in a bar, isn’t something Trixie actually did. But the latest albums, crafted during quarantine, are full of fantasy.

“A lot of the songs are imaginary scenarios, like ‘Girl of Your Dreams’. … It’s based on a fantasy of something that didn’t happen because I was stuck inside for two years,” Trixie said “You can see I was using this record as a little distraction as I was writing it, so that’s why we’re getting out of my head a little bit more and getting into fantasy scenarios or fables or other people’s stories. ”

Trixie is still extracting material from her real life. “White Rabbit” was written while she was on a birthday trip to Lake Arrowhead, California with her partner of six years, producer David Silver. Although she owns a motel with him – the subject of her new Discovery Plus show “Trixie Motel”, which follows her as she renovates the rose-laden seven-bedroom business in Palm Springs – the duo aren’t living together. “I’m a very difficult person to approach and in relationships when things are going well I tend to panic and look for the door. …I ended up writing a song about a white rabbit being the metaphor of the person checking the clock and looking for the door in a relationship. Head between knees, ready for impact.

Trixie’s other long-term relationship, with her comedy partner, drag queen Katya Zamolodchikova, also has its limits. The “best friends on camera” have worked together on the YouTube series “UNHhhh,” Netflix’s “I Love to Watch,” the book “Trixie and Katya’s Guide to Modern Womanhood,” and are on comedy tours.

“We keep all the magic for the studio, so unless we’re doing podcasting or YouTube or whatever, we keep it really concise so that when we come together we have something to say,” Trixie said. “…We kind of let our friendship exist within the confines of when it needs to be showcased.”

Trixie also thinks part of the magic of their chemistry comes from their opposite personalities: she describes herself as “terribly ambitious” while Katya is easier to live with in her career. Katya “doesn’t care about being recognized or noticed or rewarded or rewarded or anything, whereas I think I always want whatever recognition or recognition I can get,” Trixie said. “She really helps me relax sometimes – reminds me that it’s not brain surgery, it’s just drag. And I think I always help her commodify the art a bit. … I’m still trying to plan our estate and she’s still trying to make sure we don’t kill the fun.

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ is more than a TV show. It is a movement.

Trixie’s ability to commodify and plan is evident in her own brand. She has her own makeup line, Trixie Cosmetics, her motel and her music. As host of “Drag Race” RuPaul told Jimmy Kimmel on the latter’s late-night show, “Trixie Mattel is so rich now. She is so rich. She has TV specials, albums and ornaments. And that’s largely by design.

“Usually the moment something is in motion, I’ve thought about it or wanted it long enough that I have to force it to move or pay for it to be in motion,” Trixie said.

Trixie, who is Native American, compares her business acumen to putting her ear to the ground and listening to the bison. “If I think something is a good idea, I usually can’t be convinced otherwise. I either have to see it fail or see it succeed,” she said. “It’s not so much analytical as it is instinctual.”

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