Your favorite drag queen’s favorite drag queen is ready to give you all the affirmation you could hope for — all she asks is that you match her energy.
On Wednesday (Oct. 18), RuPaul’s Drag Race season 15 winner Sasha Colby revealed the release date for her brand new single “Feel the Power.” Featuring producer Glovibes and vocalist Luciana and due out everywhere on Friday (Oct. 20), the house single sees Colby entering her club banger era as she celebrates her own impressive influence.
For fans who want to celebrate the new single with Colby live and in person, the drag icon also announced her upcoming headlining tour, Sasha Colby: Stripped, in partnership with Live Nation. Kicking off in February 2024, the 22-date tour will see America’s Next Drag Superstar giving fans live music, drag, dancing and much more.
But what exactly can fans expect to see on this tour? Below, Billboard chats with Colby about plotting out her first-ever headlining run, her debut single and how drag has taken over the mainstream:
Congratulations on the single This is huge. I’m so happy for you. How are you feeling with everything that’s literally just about to happen?
You know, it’s been non-stop, and it’s been amazing. To be able to do a lovely victory lap, as far as Drag Race goes, feels amazing. Like, my bucket list has slowly been checked off. And it hasn’t even been a whole year yet! So I’m really excited.
Let’s start with the single — “Feel the Power” has these really great house vibes, and it’s so nice to hear you having this much fun. At what point did you know that you wanted to get into music?
Probably about 10 years into my drag career. I already knew, especially watching Drag Race happen for the past 15 seasons and not being on the show trying to figure out ways to to express my art and play bigger venues, more and more people want to come and see me be me instead of me performing other people’s material. That’s always been a big deal for me. Now, the opportunities are coming where I can actually do that. I’m really excited that this is all allowing me to create and find my own sound and experiment with amazing producers. So yeah, I wanted a feel-good party anthem. I wanted something that would help the Drag Race fans ease into what I wanted for my next chapter of me.
What was it about the house genre that immediately felt appealing for your music?
Well, I don’t know if anybody really knows this except for the people from Hawaii, but I used to be part of this group. I danced growing up — ballet, jazz, hip hop, all at a dance studio called Dance Company. After high school and transitioning, my good friend Ruby created this house music night every Sunday in Hawaii in the early 2000s. It was all of our friends having the space to go and dance to house songs; you’d have the B-boys there, people would be voguing, and I would get to be Queen Sasha.
So, I’ve always loved house music; I love a good chill house and I love a good disco house, but I knew I needed this first single to be a little more amp-y as a good way to show what I want. I even told Luciano and Glovibes when we were coming up with the song that I wanted to it to be “Satisfaction” mixed with Cascada; just all the things that I grew up on.
When you were getting started on this song, what artists did you find yourself looking towards as inspiration, either musically or professionally?
I genuinely don’t think there is a model for someone like myself. I think my model has been my drag persona, and how to extend that through music. For me, my power is when people are watching me live on stage; you can watch me on TV, but there’s something special that I think has a lot to do with my indigenous culture and my hula performance and my storytelling that comes through. A great way to show me live is to have music, so it all kind of coincides.
When I thought of the type of music I want to do, it was very much like “Blame It on the Edit.” That’s kind of where my pocket is, you know? I’m not a singer singer, but I have fun stories to tell and great musicality. I take pride in my performances, because a lot of people will hear a song that they would never hear before they saw me doing it. I like being able to open people’s perceptions.
How did Glovibes and Luciana get involved on “Feel the Power?”
My management team works pretty closely with both Glovibes and Luciana, and we actually met during DragCon! We really just hit it off from the jump, Luciana said, “I would love to do music with you.” They could both feel the energy and really wanted to create something with me. They allowed me to give my input on the song and explain my whole purpose for the song, because “Feel the Power” is my daily motto. Every time I hit the stage, every time I do something that is in the public’s view and for public use, I always want somebody to leave feeling empowered. That’s what the song is about — yes, I’ve got the power, but it is also attainable for everyone else. It’s not just that I got lucky. It’s all about that manifestation, that ascension, all the witchiness that I love.
You also have this headlining show, Sasha Colby: Stripped, that you’re going to be heading out on next year — what can fans expect to see from this show?
This was this is the first time that I got to create a world from scratch. Usually I’m entering another person’s world or another person’s show, so this is really exciting for me to allow people to see the inner workings of my brain and what I find exciting. So, I wanted to do this tour in a way that was devoid of a lot of the high tech, you know? Because really, I feel like I’m most effective when it’s just stripped down — it could be just a bare stage and me creating the world through my drag.
I love watching Sasha Velour do her Nightgowns show and getting to perform in that show, and one of my favorite things is how she stays on stage and watches the other performers. That’s such a special thing. So I wanted, in some way, to bring that essence. What we’re coming up with is actually that my quick change room will never leave the stage — it’s actually on part of the set. It will be opaque, then you’ll get a little silhouette and then it’s fully transparent, and you’ll get to see me and my best friend who is my makeup artist, my other friend who does my hair and my best friend from high school who’s styling me, all in one beautiful dance.
I really like that Nightgowns comparison, because Sasha Velour has really made an effort out of making that stage show such a bold piece of collaborative art.
Exactly, and it’s also just the respect of the person putting this on. Like this is my show. I’m gonna sit right over here and watch what y’all are doing on stage, because that cues the audience to be invested. Also I just really want to see the rest of the show [laughs].
The story for the most part is going to revolve around the past, present and future. So we’ll have things I loved when I was growing up, whether that’s pageants, old school Hollywood, or even my hula performance. And then to make more than a one-woman show, we’re going to do a past, present and future for different each city — so we’re going to have a legend from that city or that area, and then some up-and-coming drag performer guests. I just want to show people that if you like mother, then you’re gonna love what mother likes. You really don’t know the story of drag until you know the history, right? Once you know what what has happened, then you feel more invested.
It’s also worth pointing out that you’re doing this headlining tour in partnership with Live Nation, marking the first time they have signed on to promote a trans drag artist’s solo tour. What does that mean to you, as an artist, having the backing of a tour promoter as massive as Live Nation?
We both have a lot of faith in each other and we’re really excited because we’re kind of making this cool path. A lot of the touring drag shows that do really well are usually focused a little more on comedy, like Trixie [Mattel] or Bianca [del Rio]. They can hold a show on their own, but I think my strong suit is a little different from that. So we’re definitely trying new things.
To be honest, it all feels feels like the culmination of my 20 years of hard work. I’m excited to be able to feel appreciated as a performer, as a trans woman of color and as someone who’s been doing this for so long. To have my voice count and have them invest in me means a lot. This kind of a partnership allows people to be like, ‘Oh, look at what she’s doing’ in a way that they wouldn’t necessarily before.
It also speaks to the fact that we’ve definitely entered a new era of recognition for drag artists in mainstream culture, even when lawmakers around the world are actively trying to legislate against the artform.
Oh, absolutely — I always say that drag has always been a mirror to pop culture, but since Drag Race and RuPaul and the platforming we’ve seen, now we are the tastemakers. We are pop culture instead of just mirroring it, which is so cool. We’re mingling with the same people that are making our clothes and are making clothes for pop stars. Who could have thought in 2023 that this would ever happen?
Tickets for Sasha Colby: Stripped go on-sale Friday, Oct. 20 at 9 a.m. ET on Sasha Colby’s website. Check out the official dates for the tour below:
Feb. 24 — Bella Concert Hall, Calgary, Alberta
March 1 — Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, BC
March 7 — Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, Calif.
March 8 — The Van Buren, Phoenix, Ariz.
March 9 — Palace Theater, Los Angeles, Calif.
March 14 — House of Blues, Houston, Texas
March 16 — House of Blues, Dallas, Texas
March 17 — Emo’s, Austin, Texas
March 20 — The Wilbur, Boston, Mass.*
March 21 — The Fillmore, Philadelphia, Pa.
March 22 — Marathon Music Works, Nashville, Tenn.
March 23 — Buckhead Theater, Atlanta, Ga.
March 27 — Howard Theater, Washington, D.C.
March 28 — Town Hall, New York, N.Y.
March 29 — Theatre Beanfield, Montreal, Quebec
March 30 — Danforth Music Hall, Toronto, Ontario
April 4 — Saint Andrews Hall, Detroit, Mich.
April 6 — Thalia Hall, Chicago, Ill.*
April 7 — The Fillmore, Minneapolis, Minn.
April 12 — Revolution Hall, Portland, Ore.
April 13 — Neptune Theatre, Seattle, Wash.
April 19 — Hawaii Theatre, Honolulu, Hawaii
*Independent shows outside the Live Nation tour