As a contestant on Series 3 of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, which aired last year, Anubis was voted Miss Congeniality by her fellow Queen contestants after the show, and she is set to head out on The Official RuPaul’s Drag UK Series 3 Tour starting in Bradford in August. Anubis has recently finished her one-woman UK Tour and she made her West End debut last year in Born This Way at the Garrick Theatre performing Lady Gaga’s hits. Along with the upcoming The Official RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Series 3 Tour, Anubis will be a guest at RuPaul’s Drag Con in London in 2023, and this month, she will be announcing some future TV projects. Also a singer-songwriter, Anubis has released original music and she collaborated with DJ Freejak with Don’t You Want Me by The Human League, which reached number two in the pop charts. We spoke to Anubis about her time on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, the upcoming Series 3 Tour and making her West End debut in Born This Way.
Last year, you were a contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, how did it feel finding out you’d be part of the show?
Quite other-worldly, to be honest. When I first got the call, I was absolutely ecstatic, and extremely stressed and nervous. There are obviously a lot of things you have to prepare, like outfits and wigs, and not only that, but the mental preparation of being a television star for the first time and thinking about all the different possibilities of what could happen by going on the show. I’ve been a huge fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK for a good few years, so it was very, very exciting. It also felt like a really good step in my drag career.
How was it preparing for filming and what did you enjoy most about being a contestant on Series 3?
As I said, it was very stressful. I think what I enjoyed most about being a Queen on Drag Race was probably the people that I met. I have extremely good friends from the show, not only from Series 3, but from Series 1 and 2 of the UK, from international seasons, and also from the American and All Stars seasons too. It’s allowed me to make connections literally across the world, which is wonderful. I have an incredibly amazing friendship with Krystal Versace, and I’m very close with Victoria Scone, Charity Kase and Scarlett Harlett. We all catch up and see how each other are getting on. It’s really lovely that the show allowed me to find so many amazing friendships with people that I have loads in common with. We all have an instant bond because of that experience that we’ve all been through. It’s also allowed me to meet some amazing inspirations of mine and become friends with them, like Jinkx Monsoon, Sasha Velour, and Raja from Season 3. It’s amazing that I can have this rapport with people that I’ve looked up to for years and years.
What can audiences expect from the upcoming The Official RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Series 3 Tour and how do you think it will be reuniting with the rest of the cast?
I think they don’t know what’s going to hit them, haha! I am extremely excited to tour with the cast. I have got all my outfits being made by my lovely custom designers at the moment – they’re all very exciting and strange and wonderfully weird. I’m going to be singing, lip syncing, doing some comedy and some impressions, and I’m going to be doing something absolutely new that no one expects from Anubis. I’m really excited to show off all the skills and showcase the talents that I didn’t get to on television. I can’t wait to see all the rest of the girls too.
You were announced as winner of Miss Congeniality as voted for by the other Queens, how did this feel?
It made me feel very warm and fuzzy. It was lovely to know that my kindship, my friendly rapport and my demeanour means something. It just showed me that the other girls respect me and what I do, and they thought I deserved a moment to shine, which maybe the show didn’t allow me to do because of my first out elimination. I was really, really happy! It was also amazing to be a winner with Krystal as the two 19 year olds at the time. We’re really good friends and I think we both felt more connected being the two winners of the titles of this other season.
What are you looking forward to for being a guest at RuPaul’s Drag Con in London in 2023?
My booth is going to be fantastic! It’s going to be very high glamour, very horror, very Egyptian, very regal, and I’m so, so excited for everyone to see what I pull out. I’m really excited to meet everyone as well! It’s really lovely to be able to meet all these different people from all walks of life that feel like drag, art, theatre, music and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK has changed and affected their lives in a positive way.
Last year, you made your West End debut in Born This Way, how was this?
It was such an incredible experience. I actually met my current backing dancers on that West End show. It was incredible performing Lady Gaga on a West End stage! She’s been one of my inspirations since I was seven years old, so that was an absolute dream come true. And I looked bloody incredible doing it, haha!
Do you have any events coming up in the next few months where fans can see you?
I’ve just finished my one-woman UK tour and, amazingly, that was an absolute sell-out success. I will be performing across the UK again throughout the year in Birmingham, Blackpool, Scotland, Ireland, London, and hopefully Brighton towards the end of the year. Obviously, I will also be on the RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Tour, so that’s great.
Where does your love of drag come from and how did you start?
I started about a decade ago, and I started by doing makeup from YouTube videos and from wanting to be a Disney villain. I started off dressing up as Ursula from The Little Mermaid, Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmatians and Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty and it kind of grew from there. I slowly became obsessed with wigs, dresses, extravagant outfits, really badass sharp wit, acid attitude and crazy, crazy women in power, which was empowering in itself as a young, bisexual, non binary kid from Brighton in England. I’ve just always loved dressing up, being creative, being colourful and expressing myself through being strange and through art.
Did you have any favourite drag queens you enjoyed watching while growing up?
Yes, my favourite drag queens growing up were Sasha Velour, Jinkx Monsoon, Bianca Del Rio, Raja Gemini, Manila Luzon… I have quite a few actually. A lot were from the earliest seasons of Drag Race that were really performance-based because that’s what I wanted to do, and that’s what I am now – a performance-led Queen. I love looking great, I love a cinched waist, a big boob and all of that, but it’s not necessarily my drag. My drag is camp, outrageous, chaotic, stupid, and centres itself in high art, concept and theatre.
How do you come up with your makeup ideas and how long does it take you to perfect a whole look?
My makeup ideas usually come from drawing inspiration from, like I said before, the Disney villains and cartoon characters. I also take huge inspiration from colour palettes and anything that is abstract, like Pablo Picasso or Dalí. People like that have really inspired my makeup look. It usually takes me about two hours to do my full face.
Have you been given any advice over your career so far that has stuck with you and what advice would you give young drag queens starting out?
The advice that I’ve been given in my career that has stuck with me was actually from Bianca Del Rio. We were in London together and she told me to always treat every single person with the same level of respect and kindness. Whether that’s a person that comes to meet you in a meet and greet for 60 seconds or a person that could put you on the Wembley stage, always treat them with the same amount of level and kindness because you never know what’s going to come around and who’s going to help you out in the future. She just basically taught me to be congenial really! Maybe Bianca Del Rio is the true winner of Miss Congeniality!
Also, the advice I got from Sasha Velour. She told me to keep on doing what I’m doing and how she feels so connected to my art and that she feels that we are part of the same drag family, which was an absolute dream to hear from her as I’ve admired her for a long time.
We understand you are also involved with music, can you say about this?
I used to be a backing singer and work with Columbia Records, Decca and Three Fire Music. I performed since the age of 13 and toured the continent of Europe. I performed in Italy as a singer, mainly doing jazz vocals, and I’ve also provided some demo and backing vocals for the likes of Zara Larsson, Paloma Faith, Adam Lambert, Rita Ora, and other major artists in the music scene. I also got to number two in the pop charts with my remix single of Don’t You Want Me by The Human League, which I collaborated on with the DJ Freejak. I am still doing music to this day. I’ve written over 300 songs, some of which are on Spotify and streaming services. Maybe I have some music coming up soon… who knows?
How do you like to spend your free time?
I like to spend it writing, being creative, painting, having sex with my beautiful boyfriend and playing with my dogs. I love dogs. All that wonderful stuff, and eating. I love eating!
Do you have any upcoming career plans that you can tell us about?
Yes, I have some exciting TV things coming up soon. I can’t go into too much detail, but they will be announced soon. Stay tuned to all of my social media accounts for some very exciting projects that will be revealed in June. There are some really, really major things going to be announced by me very soon.
What do you enjoy most about having a drag career?
I really, really love performing across the world. I love meeting creative queer people whose voices have been silenced in other places, but in my theatre, my shows and my meet and greets, their voices are listened to and respected and agreed with most of the time. I just love that drag and RuPaul’s Drag Race UK has allowed people to come together that might not necessarily have been brave enough to or had the resources to or had the courage to before, but have seen people like me and the other Queens of my season and seasons before me and seasons to come. When you really want to do something in life, you need to go out and do it and be brave, be bold, make choices – good and bad ones – that allow us to grow and change and respect each other. That’s what I love about drag.
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