Music

Tia Kofi on her plans for global pop domination – and whether she’d return to Drag Race

Gary Grimes April 29, 2022
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Drag Race UK alum Tia Kofi is your new favourite pop girl.

A firm fan favourite during her season, Tia graduated from a class of Drag Race UK that was jam-packed with future stars.

Along with Tia and winner Lawrence Chaney, the likes of Tayce and Bimini continue to grace TV screens, red carpets and magazine covers to this day.

Tia isn’t too concerned with what her former castmates are up to however, as she remains laser-focused on her own path to success.

“Anytime anyone elevates drag into a new sphere it just elevates everyone,” she tells PinkNews.

“We’re competitive on a TV show for entertainment purposes, but in the real world I don’t feel any additional pressure because Bim’s in Vogue.

“We’re all walking our own path and doing our own thing. I’m sure Bimini doesn’t want to be on Celebrity Masterchef like Baga, but Baga wants to be.

“The path that [Bimini’s] walking is quite similar to RuPaul herself, who sort of took fashion and makeup by storm, and even did music. So I think no matter who we are, no matter how well we’re doing, we’re all treading in the footsteps of people who came before us.”

Drag Race UK season 2 queens, each dressed in one of the colours of the Progress Pride flag
The cast of Drag Race UK season two. (BBC)

Tia has her own sights set on doing something few queens have achieved: becoming a bona fide pop star.

Of course, she’s not the first drag queen to take a stab a career as a recording artist – it is an avenue many queens pursue after being launched out of the Drag Race cannon – but Tia wants to prove her prowess as both a vocalist and songwriter by delivering something with a little more heart.

Much of the music released by Drag Race queens capitalising on their newfound exposure follows a basic formula – gay club-ready and laced with cocky zingers about being the fiercest of them all.

“Some people want to get out there and do the sort of drag music thing, and that’s fine,” Tia says. “That’s totally valid and it’s really enjoyable. We all listen to it. But for me, I think authenticity is key.

Her new single, “Heart Beating”, is a collaboration with none other than K-Pop’s first openly gay artist MRSHLL, who says he’s been a fan of Tia’s since season two of Drag Race UK.

MRSHLL
MRSHLL. (Supplied)

A pulsing electro-pop banger with lyrics about the tender early stages of falling in love, it’s the second single from Tia’s upcoming sophomore EP, Part 2: The Antidote.

“She was one of my favourite queens on that season,” he says. For MRSHLL, the track was also an opportunity to explore queer culture.

“I haven’t done any music with drag queens or this side of our culture yet,” he explains. “I feel like drag queens help push forward who we are as a community and as a culture, and they’re kind of like our teachers.”

Tia’s hopeful ascent to big pop girl is something she’s been eyeing long before Drag Race UK.

“Music was always something that I always wanted to do but I didn’t always have that platform for it,” she says.

“Even before I got on the show, I was writing music for people. I wrote ‘Crossfire’ for Sum Ting Wong, and a couple of other [Drag Race queens], but I’m only going to mention ‘Crossfire’ because that’s the best one.”

Tia Kofi.
Tia Kofi. (Supplied)

One topic of Drag Race UK, Tia Kofi remains firmly tight-lipped.

Earlier this year, Baga Chipz, Cheryl Hole and Blu Hydrangea became the first UK queens to have a second run on the franchise, competing in Drag Race UK vs The World (which Blu won), and soon, The Vivienne will appear on All Stars 7, the long-awaited all-winners edition.

Fans are desperate for a fully-fledged UK All Stars season, and Tia would surely be top of producers’ wish lists.

Tia only goes as far as to say that she could could certainly imagine herself returning to Drag Race one day.

“For contractual reasons, I cannot tell you whether I am or am not contracted to return to the show,” she teases. For now, it seems, Tia fans will have to be satiated by the ambitious queen’s foray into pop stardom.

“Heart Beating” by Tia Kofi and MRSHLL is available to stream on all major platforms.

More: Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race, Tia Kofi

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