Monét X Change Brings Some Much-Needed Color Into the Drag Hall of Fame
Monét X Change may have strutted into the Drag Race Werk Room on Season 10, broom in hand and ready to sweep up the competition, but it wasn’t until All Stars 4 that fans really got to see what our favorite Sponge Queen could do.
It was raw talent that took her to the first-ever co-crowning, as both Monét X Change and Trinity ‘The Tuck’ Taylor snagged the All Stars 4 crown and prize package. (Read Hornet’s interview with Trinity here.)
Now, following the show’s finale episode, Hornet sat down to chat with Monét X Change post-crowning, and the newly anointed queen opens up about her new visual EP (watch it below), her reasons for heading back into the Werk Room so soon, and who she’ll be rooting for on Drag Race Season 11, starting up later this month.
Here’s our interview with All Stars 4 winner Monét X Change:
Monét X Change, congrats on your groundbreaking victory! Not only are you the first co-winner of Drag Race, but you’re the first queen of color to make it into the Drag Hall of Fame! You had such a great showing on Season 10. What made you want to turn right back around and do it all over again?
Well, you know, I think in Season 10 I didn’t represent myself to the best of my abilities. I know that everyone thinks they’re the fiercest queen in the world, but I really do think that about myself.
To see that my runways really held me back — I mean, I know that that’s something I really do know how to do, but for some reason I went with the bare minimum, and it kind of bit me in the butt. So for me, that’s something I could fix quickly. I wanted to go back to show everyone, make no mistake, this is who I am.
When you came into the Werk Room, who were you surprised not to see?
I was surprised I didn’t see Ongina from Season 1. She’s had a big presence on social media, so not seeing her was kind of surprising. I had some really good reads for her too! [Laughs]
Everyone goes into All Stars wanting a ru-demption. Do you think you accomplished that for yourself?
I did. I’m so proud of my performance on All Stars 4. I think I did great, except for the singing challenge, which is really ironic since that’s what I have a degree in. I think I showed really well on All Stars; I came in and did my best. There’s nothing that I would change, and I don’t regret anything. I really don’t think I could have done better at anything, and I gave my all and 150% every time. Sometimes it was good enough, sometimes it wasn’t. That’s just the facts.
I also believe that everything happens for a reason. Had I won a challenge that I didn’t win, maybe I would’ve sent someone home [who would’ve voted for me to stay later]. My All Stars path got me a crown, and I’m happy about it.
You had a strong opinion when Manila showed her lipstick after an elimination and your name was on it.
I was really honest. I tried to skim around the truth and all that, but I just can’t help but be an honest person and express how I feel. I felt really shaded, because I had been doing better than Latrice and we had all been talking about report card. The fact that she chose me really gagged me.
Season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race is upon us, and your drag mother Honey Davenport is part of the cast. What do you think Honey is going to bring to the cast this season?
I think Honey Davenport is gonna be a really fierce performer. God forbid she ever ends up in the bottom two. They’re gonna have a tough time sending her home.
Your podcast with Bob the Drag Queen called Sibling Rivalry has become one of the most buzzed-about podcasts, especially among the Drag Race fandom — so popular, in fact, that you now have the Sibling Rivalry live tour!
Sibling Rivalry is really fun. Like we tell everyone at the live show, Bob and I talk on the phone almost everyday for hours on end, and it normally ends with us arguing about silly, mundane things, and sometimes we talk about really important stuff. We thought, why not share this with the world?
I told Bob, I’m normally right, and I want other people to tell you that. That’s how the podcast came about. I love Bob a lot, and regardless of whether there’s a microphone there or not, we would still talk everyday. Why not let the world in on a little bit of our conversation so they can share them and we can maybe enlighten someone.
Your new EP has dropped, aptly titled Unapologetically. Tell me about it.
I’ve been working on Unapologetically for a while now, and I’m super excited about it. “Soak It Up” was co-written with a woman that I met, Eritza Laues. She has really great credits behind her name; she’s worked with literally almost everyone in the industry, and she has written some of the biggest songs you’ve heard on the radio.
She’s a drag fan, and she fell in love with me, and we wrote songs together. After “Soak It Up” I really wanted to release music that sounds like what I listen to — like SZA and Beyoncé and all that stuff. That was the premise of the album. I also have a classical piece that I’m singing, “Ave Maria.” It shows a different side of who both Monét and Kevin are.
As a New York City girl, you can look at Pride and Stonewall with a different set of eyes. As the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall is fast approaching, what gives you the most pride as a person and as a performer today?
What gives me the most pride is celebrating the Black experience in the type of music and lip sync that I do. Up until my early 20s, I was not proud of being Black. Through the lens of drag and a little more maturity, drag has really opened my mind up as to how beautiful being Black is. I love celebrating that experience every moment I can, in my drag and in my life.
On top of that, being a Black queer person of color, we are so essential to the gay experience, and many people are not aware of that. Being a Black person of color and being gay, girl — icing on the motherfucking cake.
Follow Monét X Change on Instagram
Featured image of Monét X Change by Preston Burford