Xunami Muse On New York City Drag & The Her New Music With A ‘Drag Race’ Alum

Xunami Muse. Credit: World of Wonder/MTV.

Xunami Muse’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” journey saw her participating in iconic challenges, giving killer runway looks, and revealing intimate parts of her own life. As Muse departs the competition after a stunning lip sync with her sister Morphine Love Dion, we sat down for an extensive chat. We got to catch up on her “Drag Race” experience, her thoughts on being part of the New York City drag renaissance, and why the core of her drag career is sisterhood.

Michael Cook: You had a fantastic run onRuPaul's Drag Race” this season, how do you feel about it looking back?

Xunami Muse: I totally agree, that is absolutely how I feel. I am so proud of everything that I gave at all moments while I was there. I feel like even though it is an exit, it is such a good thing; I am in the Ru-niverse now!

MC: Having a challenge or a lip sync go down in herstory is one of the true marks of a “Drag Race” superstar. How does it feel to have had a lip sync versus Morphine Love Dion that was so completely and totally joyous.

XM: Thank you! You know what, I love that you said that because that is exactly what it was. I don’t think that, at that point, I was really fighting to take a competitor out. If you think about it, maybe I should have been, but I was having such a great time. I just wanted to showcase what I do which is, I love to lip sync and at the moment lip-syncing with my friend; it just felt like, “Yeah let's do this.” Let’s give them a beautiful moment. I love to celebrate her, I feel like it was a combination of all of that; I was having a great time.

MC: What do you think your rose and thorn are of your “Drag Race” experience?

XM: I would say that my highs were definitely my runways. Every time I was on the runway, it was a different look, a different walk, a different attitude and a different energy. I love to do presentation; it is just so much fun to tell a story with your body. That is one of my highs, along with the performances. As for the lows, Snatch Game sent me home so... (laughs)!

MC: One thing that you did that was a nod to “Drag Race” herstory was recreating your drag mother Kandy Muse’s runway look with the large boombox. Did she impart any words of wisdom for you about the “Drag Race” experience, or did she simply say, “Go off and do it and carve your own path?”

XM: That is exactly what it was. Even though we have the same last name, we are on two very different paths and do our own unique things. It's when we come together that people really love the chemistry. For example, we came from doing our show Queen 4 Queen, before Kandy was on “Drag Race,” that’s where you could find her every Monday night at Pieces. The show is still running for six years and with a new cast. Now in this universe, they’ve been introduced to both of us. They get to see that and they get to see why there are two Muses! They got to Kandy in her season as an individual, and in my season they got to know me. Then what comes after, they get to know the two of us and see what the fuck it is about!

MC: In the werkroom for Season 16, there is so much New York City talent packed into the cast. New York City is going through a renaissance of drag somewhat, with queens like yourself, Jolina Jasmine, Lexington Banks, Selma Nilla and of course, your Season 16 “Drag Race” sisters from the Big Apple leading the charge. How does it feel to be part of this moment in drag for New York City?

XM: I came from the ground up, I came from doing the competitions and there is just so much talent. To be able to represent the hard work that comes with doing a show and the camaraderie … The thing about New York City drag is that the girls really support each other and are really there for each other; and it’s the same in other states. That is really the only way to thrive, if you are trying to lift other people up. There is definitely enough space, especially here in New York City. I feel like in some cities there is a bit more competition because there are fewer bars that you can perform in, but you come here and the girls really help each other out; if anything, there are too many venues that you can perform in.

My favorite type of shows are the type where you have a comedy girl, a dancer, a beauty … When you have all the aspects of drag in one show and the audience gets to see why the diversity is so important. Coming from that and representing that on “Drag Race,” to me that is a badge of honor. I’m cool with the girls, the girls are cool with me and to be able to not only share the platform that I have with them … I can’t do everything alone. That is why I liked Kandy and Aja and all of them. When I saw Aja on “Hey Qween,” she brought her girls. She was the one on “Drag Race,” but she brought her girls to the show so they also could gain a platform. To me, that is what being from New York represents and I am so proud to be one of the girls that made it on from the scene!

MC: You and Geneva Karr spoke very openly in the werkroom about your DACA experience on the show. Was that something you intentionally planned to do?

XM: I was very scared about it. It’s intimate, there are a lot of uncertainty and fears; but it is a reality. At the end of the day though, no matter how you look at it, we are protected. Whether some or not fully, we are still protected. That was the thing that let my guard down, and when I found out that she was having the same experience, I thought that this could be a nice moment for other people who didn’t know that people are going through this, and we could share it with them. They could be a little bit more aware and maybe a little more compassionate. There are certain obstacles that people face in silence. Despite that, we are still out there fighting to do the thing and reach the heights and do what we love … Girl drag is so much fun!

MC: What does the future hold for you in your next chapter?

XM: There is more. I love all of these doors that are opening and all of these conversations that are being started. I am a trier and I love to try, and I love a challenge, even if it is not familiar to me or not. For example, Kandy and I have a song coming out. There is more music, shows being talked about, and I am so excited to do all of it. There is a lot. DragCon is coming, and I am so excited about all the things that I'm working on for that. I am really big about meeting the fans live. I cannot wait for all of it.

Follow Xunami Muse on Instagram @xunamimuse.


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