Fairly new to the scene, this queen is already slaying with ferocious beats and stage moves. And soon, she’ll be a pageant queen as well when the revamped Mr(s) BK returns to Bushwig. Get into the fresh fierceness of Harajuku!
[Editor’s note: in 2020, this performer changed their stage name to Chiquitita.]
Thotyssey: Hi Harajuku, how was Metropolis at Webster Hall Saturday night?
Harajuku: Metropolis was really cute. Finally getting up from last night, though!
Did you turn a look?
Yeah. I had a look planned out originally, but Aja wanted to go with a cute anime superhero theme, so I ended up making something out of her fabric scaps in an hour. You know, cause that’s how I do!
So you can basically pull together something amazing out of nothing?
I don’t know about amazing, but definitely something!
How would you describe your drag style, and what inspires it?
I have dozens of inspirations: anything in the lines of abstract art, obnoxious colors, anything large, anything monstrous that I can make beautiful. I enjoy playing with reality and creating my own. Instead of impersonating women, I create my own fantasy to impersonate; something that’s my own, that you can’t find anywhere else.
Where’s your hometown?
I was born and raised in the south side… in Jamaica, Queens. The little ghetto girl I have in my heart will never leave!
What were you into back then, creatively?
Nothing really, not until high school at least. I was involved with psychedelics for a large period of time, and it really helped me open up a creative outlet I never knew I had. I began sketching a lot more, sculpting, painting & sewing. It’s all led up to this, drag is what allows me to incorporate all of that into one to create & build.
“Harajuku” is a region in Japan, and the name of a street style there. What exactly inspired you to make it your drag name?
I got it from a friend, actually. I was really into anime in high school, and she asked if I’ve ever heard of harajuku, and how a lot of the guys and girls there dress a certain way. To see kids my age at the time dressing the way they were was brand new to me, so I fell in love. That’s when I realized I could create anything I envisioned, and that the sky isn’t the limit.
What was your first night out in drag like?
Oh girl, I looked a mess. But it was great! That was actually the first time I met Aja and Momo. They were nothing but sweet to me, even though I looked like a brick. I had on a black bra, black hair, black panties and black sneakers. It was definitely a look.
Did they give you some pointers over time, or did you learn to refine your look all on your own?
Aja has definitely given me some pointers that I’m appreciative of; that’s why I call her my drag mom in my head. Shes definitely another inspiration of mine.
Over all though, I’ve fine tuned (and face-tuned) my own aesthetic. So if you ever hear anyone try and brag about how they have helped me (believe me, it’s happened before), it’s definitely not true. I’ve built myself from the ground up, and it’s something I take tremendous pride in.
As well you should! Where was your first performance, and what was the song?
The first place I performed at was Pride Lounge in Queens. You can’t find it now, ’cause it’s a straight bar. But my first song was “Toxic” by Britney Spears. Every time it comes up on my playlist I have to skip it! The performance was so bad, it made me hate one of my favorite songs!
I’m sure it wasn’t as bad as you remembered. You make the rounds in a lot of these weekly drag competitions (Star Search, Chosen, Shequida’s Drag Wars, etc.) Is this generally just for fun and to try out new stuff, or are you always in it to win it?
Well drag isn’t cheap, so I definitely go into these competitions with confidence, and knowing I have to win or earn something for the night. I was really only starting these competitions to get my name out there for the most part, though. But now that that’s done, I think its time to take a break from the competitions!
Well, it’s just about pageant time now: Mr(s) BK! You’re gonna compete in the first preliminary round at Macri Park on February 3rd. What made you want to try out for that one?
Well, Aja is the reigning queen, so if I won I think it’d just give me a lot of validation for myself as an artist–that I am as good as I think I am.
Also, it’d be really cute to win some extra money to fund my drag!
What’re the competition categories… and are you happy with your package so far?
What package? And I’m not sure if there are categories. Each queen gets a q&a, and then one performance.
Got it… good luck and have fun!
And before that, coming up this Tuesday you’ll be at Boots & Saddle guesting for Ari Kikii’s show! Have you performed with her before?
I have a handful of times, she’s the best!
Okay, so here’s a final–controversial!–question: as an anime fan, is it weird that Scarlett Johansson, a white actress, is playing the lead in the upcoming Ghost in the Shell movie adaptation?
IT’S. SO. ANNOYING. Don’t get me wrong, I love Scarlett. But I’m tired of whitewashing absolutely everything we put in media. And you’d think with all the controversy around it, Hollywood would stop. Hopefully that trend will die out soon… fingers crossed!
Let’s hope! In the mean time, keep slaying, Harajuku!
Harajuku is guest performing at Ari Kiki’s show at Boots & Saddle on Tuesday, January 31st (8pm), and then competing in the first preliminary round of Mr(s) BK at Macri Park on Friday, February 3rd (10:30pm). Click here for a full list of upcoming appearances. Harajuku can be followed on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.