Alaska talks about her new album, her upcoming musical and the 5,000 other projects she’s planning

Photo by Albert Sanchez

Someone has to tell Mrs.”very perished“that its time is up. With everything the Alaska 5000 has done in 2022, the Pantone color of the year has to be red.

The At Rupaul’s drag race all stars The winner has been a ball of ambition since she first came to the public’s attention on season five, in 2013. Nearly ten years later, she’s a picture of ambition realized.

That said, neither the crown nor the music career nor the adoring fans will have her resting on her laurels anytime soon. She just released a new album, is currently hosting a live show, and is ready to hit the road in a few weeks. Phew!

We caught up with Alaska to dive into Red 4 Dirt, Drag: the musicalher Drag Queen of the Year contest and the other 5,000 shining entries on her to-do list.

Alaska’s last record, Red 4 Dirt, is the year 2000 steeped triumph that fans have been waiting for years. Well, partially expected; the 13-track album was preceded by nine (9) single drops.

“Just a few hit singles,” she said coldly, before joking, “I feel like we’ve been ahead of everyone else for months and months.”

As fun as the build is, fans are definitely enjoying the full build. The album plays through and through like a comprehensive exploration of turn-of-the-century sounds, with some distinctly odd twists.

“It’s like time travel,” she explains. “This period is kind of sweet and innocent to me, because it was a time before the internet, smartphones and social media completely took over culture and society. We were just on the cusp of that, so it was a hopeful time.

It’s this levity that breaks the record through dance and pop tunes like “XOXOY2K” and “Girlz Night” (with drag girl group THEE, Stephanie’s Child).

“We looked at the music from that period, and it felt like all those songs were about love, relationships, attraction, and friendship,” she notes. “It was new territory for me, because I usually write songs about eyelashes and nail polish and drag race.”

Since his debut, his music has ranged from silly to deep confession. Her 2016 hit “The T” with Adore Delano explored her time on Drag Race All Stars and accepted her past friendships, while her debut single “Ru Girl” featured her naming each single drag race competitor at that point in the order of elimination.

“I wanted to go into new territory that I had never seen before,” she says. “I think these songs are really personal and really sweet. We talked about love in a romantic sense, but we also talked about friendships, we talked about empowerment, we talked about hanging out with your girlfriends and having a good time.

As she goes on to mention, “red is the color of the heart,” and songs like “Without Your Love” and “Mmm Mmm Mmm” surely have that idyllic sheen of pop-romance sprinkled throughout.

Along with that ruby ​​romance is the swirling scarlet of anger, a component of the era that she was also keen to address.

“Thinking back to that period, there was also a lot of screwed up stuff. I mean, there were things that were happening below the surface and people that weren’t being heard or represented.

That anger is best represented on the breakup pop punk track, “wow,” a genre to which Alaska’s vocals unexpectedly lend themselves.

At least it’s presented as a breaking track. With its turbulent past with drag race production company World of Wonder, aka WOW, and the track’s closing line “Oh, how in the world do I wonder,” the veiled reference doesn’t feel veiled at all. However, when asked if the title is more of an exclamation or an acronym, Alaska still plays it a bit coyly.

“This song resonates with a lot of people, and I think that’s why people read like, ‘What does this mean? Who is this about?’” she said.

“I think it’s about who you want it to be. Everyone has this abandoned ex-lover in their life, so I don’t know. This is that person for you. We have all these songs about love and friendship and feeling good, and then it was this song about revenge and anger that really hit people. ”

As juicy as this piece of beef is, there’s something very compelling about the early 2000s Bush-era frustration at the sound of this song being renamed. Especially since it’s been rebranded in a weird way for post-Trump America still freshly unleashed.

“I think people have a lot of anger right now and in their lives around the world,” she notes. “And people have the right to be angry!” So it makes sense that this particular song would resonate with people.

“I Am Her (She Is Me)”, a scintillating empowerment track that is itself enhanced by the charming Ts Madison. Like the rest of us, Alaska is a huge fan.

” She is incredible. I’m obsessed with her, always have been.

Apparently, the feeling is mutual, as Madison has come on the right path to surpassing herself. Just for this track, she re-recorded her iconic “Be yourself, bitch!” monologue.

“I just wanted her to come in and do the hook, you know, nice and easy, and she came like, ‘I wrote a verse!'” Alaska recalled. “It was perfect, and it elevated the whole song.”

Perhaps the best video belongs to his cover of “All That She Wants”, in which his colleague drag race Contestant Bosco dances scantily clad as “the perfect specimen of femininity trapped in a space capsule by an evil creator”. And yes, Ace of Base in Space is every bit as fun as it sounds.

“I’m obsessed with Ace of Base,” Alaska gushed. “I have been since I was little. It was really fun to take one of their songs and make it even more gay.

For anyone who needs to hear these songs in person ASAP, you won’t have to wait much longer. The Red 4 Dirt the tour hits the road in just a few weeks!

We start in October and we visit about 30 North American cities,” she says. “I invite everyone to go and find out, because we’re probably coming to a city near you, wherever you are.

Fans may want to find out as soon as possible, as several parties are already sold out.

Alaska is understandably taking some time to rest between the release of her album and her upcoming months-long North American tour. Unless you’re planning on putting her on her original stage production Drag: the musical for four shows per weekend, that is.

The musical began its run on September 23, Red 4 Dirt‘s release night, and stretches to just days before Alaska hits the stage in Orlando for the tour. In this interim, she took up a residency at The Bourbon Room in Los Angeles to put on a show full of laughter, heartbreak, and most importantly, drag.

“The cast is incredible,” she says. “I mean, Nick Adams, Peppermint, Lagoona Bloo, Jan, Jackie Cox, Jujubee! It was really a question of who we could bring to LA for a month and do this show with us. It’s really amazing to see everyone bring it to life.

The original concept album that inspired the show was itself a row of killer queens and talent, and the stage version looks no different.

When asked if any of the album’s other features like Bob the Drag Queen, Monét X Change or Ginger Minj will appear, she simply said, “Stay tuned, who knows? Musical theater is wild.

The story revolves around two rival drag houses, both in financial trouble. The Fishtank and Cathouse queens have been at each other’s throats for longer than they can remember, all stemming from a situation that seems a bit familiar.

The two leaders of the club were, once upon a time, a couple. A rift appeared between the two when they stepped out for the same televised drag competition, which only one of them booked. Ring a bell?

“Yeah, there’s definitely some real-life inspiration in there,” she laughs.

“Everybody loves drag queens, but they love drag queens the most when they’re mean and at each other’s throats. We had to give them something really beefy to be mad at each other. .

“The biggest thing that I’ve personally experienced was having Drag Race just out of reach and then my boyfriend had it. I mean, that was the fucking worst. Obviously, this n It wasn’t the end of the road for this drag mogul.

Alaska is far from needing a scepter and crown at this point (another, we mean). After all, she herself organizes one of the most renowned drag contests in the country, Drag queen of the year.

This year’s contest was one of the most watched to date, with all eyes on San Francisco Militia Scunt as she narrowly grabbed the crown.

“It was very, very close,” admits Alaska. “I think the last three were separated by a point? It was very, very impossibly close.

“I knew she had winning energy from the moment she came out of a body bag as an upside-down person. I was like, ‘Okay, she’s off to a good start. ‘ The moment she arrived at her talent show, it was like we not only heard that voice – she has a voice like no one else, she’s an amazing singer – but she gets into that dance, and the message was really, really strong.”

Overall, the quality that put Scunt above and in the winner’s circle was the same unique and singular quality that Alaska itself possesses.

“She took the audience to a place where I don’t know if they were sure they were ready to go,” she says. “That ability to be surprising and shocking, I think that’s what earned him that day.”

As if the album, tour, musical and contest weren’t enough for a year, Alaska has another big project she couldn’t help but mention. No, not his role in the film God Save the Queen his Tribeca debut, or his place in the Shudder docuseries Queer for fearor his cameo on Dr Jackieor… oh my god, we’re out of breath.

“The podcast is something I’m really proud of,” she says. “And the MOM network that grew out of it is a gift that keeps on giving.”

Alaska started it drag race revision issue, the race hunter podcast with Willam Belli, back in 2018, and his success grew rapidly. So quickly, in fact, that the couple tapped into it to form the Moguls of Media network, which produced several podcasts from other drag and queer artists.

“I feel like we’re able to connect with people in a very personal and long-lasting way,” she says. “We got to share it with our favorite fucking drag queens. It’s really rewarding.

And, humble as ever, she makes sure to underline: “I love and I thank all those who listen!