Violet Chachki spills the T on the new world of touring, RuPaul’s Drag Race and her career highlights.
The burlesque and drag superstar has come a long way since winning season seven of RuPaul’s Drag Race. From a recent advertising campaign with Juan Paul Gautier, to touring the world with the biggest names in burlesque and drag, Violet has accomplished so much with so much more to go!
Secret Atlanta sat down with the hometown hero to discuss all things drag, including a new COVID-safe drive-in-drag-show planned to save 2021.
SA: Good Afternoon Violet! Hope you’re doing well. How are you? Where are you? What are you up to?
V: I’m great thanks. I am in Los Angeles, in the car speaking with you. I’m about to run a couple of errands.
SA: Well, thank you so much for speaking with us. You’re on tour soon! The Drive n’ Drag tour. How excited are you to return to the stage?
V: I am so excited. Touring is not my favorite thing to do in the world, but at this point I’m so excited to just get out of the house, do something safely and be a part of an ensemble. It’s going to be nice to be with the other girls, hang out together. And we’re all going to be tested so it’s safe. I’m really looking forward to that human interaction, and the behind-the-scenes stuff. Finally.
SA: Who are you looking forward to reuniting with on the tour? The cast is pretty stellar with an array of RuGirls such as Bianca Del Rio, Asia O´Hara and Aquaria.
V: We are kind of all friends at this point as we’ve been working together for so long. I’m really close with Naomi (Smalls). We have that young and fashion girl thing going on together. But everyone is excited and just happy to be together. The whole world’s been going through it so to have the opportunity to work again is great.
SA: Do you have your number planned? Can you give us any hints or spoilers?
V: Well, it’s Superhero themed and I’m totally more of a villain (laughs). My character is villainess, so I’ve definitely gone in that direction because I have to be different to everybody else. I’m going to be a villain, but you won’t be able to tell what side I’m actually on. Kind of like Catwoman, kind of good, kind of bad, but totally out for herself.
SA: Ob-sessed! Sounds like you’re super excited to get back to work. What has the past year been like for you, with the pandemic and isolation?
V: I think people have shown their true colors, where their priorities are, even myself. I’ve learnt to sit with myself, and be alone. I was on the road and touring for almost five years before this happened, so it was my first, sort of, break. I was picturing that it would’ve been more self-inflicted than forced. That’s out of our control, but the chance to reset was nice.
SA: What were you like as a child?
V: I was really creative and really loud. Always in trouble too (laughs).
SA: Typical Gemini. And you grew up in Atlanta, how would you describe the ATL?
V: It’s just super diverse. You have a bit of everything in Atlanta. So many different types of people and ideas. Especially with drag too, there’s so much drag. I got to see every class, every belief system, everything!
SA: You mentioned Atlanta drag. How did you get into that scene?
V: I started going out before I started doing drag. I would go to the drag shows and I was kind of, not impressed.
SA: Shade! (laughs)
V: I couldn’t identify with any of the queens that were performing! So, I was like, ‘Okay, I’m going to do this now. I’m going to be the performer that I want to see, and be.’ That’s just, sort of how it happened. I kept going out, getting the attention and loving it.
SA: Any Queens from Atlanta that you think don’t have the recognition they deserve? Maybe our readers could go and support them once it’s safe to return to the drag bars.
V: There’s my sister Brigitte Bidet who I started drag with. Social media has become such a huge part of drag, and I don’t really like that. I started with Brigitte, doing shows and hustling, going to bars and getting fans. Brigitte is definitely an in-person experience and you should definitely see her in person. She performs all over the country now too, so keep your eyes peeled. She’s one to look out for.
SA: You won Season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race and its popularity seems to be constantly growing. How do you feel about the show now and what it’s becoming?
V: You know, that’s a loaded question. I don’t even know any more. My feelings about drag, and Drag Race, and everything changes day to day. I think it’s become such a parody of itself at this point, like many reality shows do. The first few seasons were so great, so iconic. I actually get offended when someone says they’re a fan but hasn’t seen season 1. There was so much talent and raw beauty and courage. Now it’s closer to being just a reality show. I take drag very seriously and to me it’s such a sacred and special art form. I think sometimes the TV shenanigans eliminates the validity of drag as an art form and at times can discredit the competition itself as a whole. There are pros and cons to everything and like I said, my opinion changes day to day.
SA: I think that’s common feeling from certain members in the drag community, when the show directly capitalizes from queens.
V: Sometimes I watch the show and think, ‘Wow, this is amazing stuff,’ but I feel like that used to happen much more frequently. We could really get into it and discuss the commodification and homogenization of drag but that’s a whole other extremely long discussion.
SA: Political queen! Thanks for sharing that with us… You´ve worked with Dita Von Teese, you’ve released an album. What’s been your career highlight?
V: Oh God, there’s been so many. I’ve done so many amazing things and I hope to achieve more in the future. Going to the MET Gala was a great accomplishment. Like you said, working with Dita Von Teese is something I’d been wanting to do forever, so that was incredible.
SA: So many amazing memories I’m sure. Before we part, are there any future projects you’d like to share and plug?
V: There were so many things that’ve been put on hold because of COVID. My North America tour has been rescheduled three or four times now, but will hopefully happen eventually. There’s a couple of music projects I’m working on. Even though the majority are on standstill, there’s a lot in the works!
SA: Thank you so much Violet, it was such a pleasure talking to you! Enjoy Drag n’ Drive. I’m sure it’ll be some much-needed fun, for all the queens and the fans!
V: Thank you so much babe! Bye!
Make sure you snatch up your tickets for Drag N’ Drive, premiering in Atlanta next month and making several stops all over the U.S. But don’t worry if you’re not able to make it, you can also watch it virtually this coming April
Interviewer: Jack Rattenbury
Featured Image: @violetchachki on Instagram