This sexy and stylish sister act that’s emerged from lockdown to tear up New York’s drag stages and deeply slay us is now quite ready for their closeup, thank you. It’s Tré Way and Dev Doee, aka the (or rather, Thee) CoverGworls! [Cover photo: Dylan Thomas]
Thotyssey: Hello Gworls! Thanks so much for chatting today, and Happy May! Did you enjoy your “May the 4th Be With You” and Cinco De Mayo?
Tré Way: Yes! May the 4th, I was in bed resting dealing with my allergies. On Cinco de Mayo, I went out for one drink and Kiki with the Gworls.
Dev Doee: Honestly I didn’t do too much, haha! I stayed in and watched movies with my roommate. I’m boring!
Let’s be topical! I was wondering if you were following the fabulously complex and shady situation regarding recent Drag Race star Tamisha Iman’s social media call-outs and challenges towards Kandy Muse and Monet X Change? When you factor in all the other queens’ and fans’ reactions, it’s become this rather complex social media situation.
DD: I really don’t have thoughts about this. I love all three queens (especially Monet and Kandy), so that’s that! I’m not here for the inherent racism of some of the Drag Race fandom, but other than that let the girls get their coin! The drama is fun until it gets too serious, but it’s just a reality show… who really cares!
TW: I didn’t watch it, and I don’t have no reason to. One, because I’m not a drama kinda girl; I try my best to stay far away from it.
Things are looking somewhat positive, knock on wood, for NYC nightlife! Social distance restrictions are being eased little by little, and we’re expected to be free of all restriction by no later than July. Are you 100% excited, or do you have concerns / reservations?
DD: Bitch! I’m so excited. I’m ready for my hot gworl summer, baby!
TW: I’m so pumped–can’t wait til July 1st. Hopefully we don’t have to perform with a mask by then! Then I can pop out wearing gloss because I’m tired of Matte lipsticks! But I’ve felt very safe performing because every venue’s made sure everyone was following all the Covid restrictions.
DD: We’ve been performing for the past few weeks and everything has been really safe and fun, so it’s all excitement over here. It seems like people are really eager to be out and see shows, so it’s made the experience so much more enjoyable. It’s like, everyone needs to be out.
How might you best describe who The CoverGworls exactly are, for the uninitiated?
DD: My love, we’re for everybody! As a pair we always bring sex, comedy, and a cute 8-count.
TW: Thee CoverGworls are those bitches! When we perform, we definitely show our alter ego (somewhat a cocky side, lol), and off-stage we can be the sweetest person.
DD: Individually, I feel like I’m the edgy / dramatic one, and Tre is more of the pop star/ cute girl. There’s something for everyone!
Where are you both from, and were you always into music, fashion, performance, etc.?
TW: I’m originally from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. I grew up in the performing arts with dancing and musical theater, so performing has always been my thing I can relate on.
DD: I grew up in the DMV area (Maryland in particular), and I’ve always been into art as a whole. I went to school for dance and have created numerous works that range from modern, contemporary, and hip hop. I am addicted to the stage and putting on a show. Creativity really feeds my soul. Fashion is cute to me, but I’m definitely not a fashion girl in the way that other New York queens are. I love to put together a look, but I’ve never really cared about labels. I’m just here to put on a show and make people feel something!
How did you two meet and form the Gworls?
TW: we met each other at a dance class, and I reached out to Dev to do a photoshoot just because she was a pretty girl… and also had blonde wig, lol.
DD: We used to always go out and turn looks and dance in the club for free, and one day we were like, “wait let’s get paid to do this.” Tré is my sister through and through. Our first performance [together] was actually for Janelle No. 5’s “Are You the Next Diva” competition. We won, and the rest was history!
TW: We became closer through the years, and now she’s my sister forever.
As far as NYC nightlife goes, do you think you’ll always be performing together as the Gworls, or might you occasionally take gigs as individuals?
DD: Great question! We’ve actually already done solo gigs, so we’re super open to both.
TW: [As a solo performer] I go by Mo’Riah!
DD: Our ideal gig is when we get to do solo and duo performances, because as individuals we bring a very different experience. I love to create numbers that are a little more theatrical, and sometimes political, when I do solo gigs.
Between Covid and Black Lives Matter, it seems fair to say that the face of New York drag will change at least somewhat in the coming year, or arguably already has. What do venues and the nightlife community need to still do in order to keep that momentum going and maintain diversity and fair treatment in the bars towards the clientele, staff and entertainment?
TW: Hire more black queens to host shows!
DD: Hire and support black and POC queens, producers, bartenders, and staff. One of the many reasons I stan Janelle No. 5 is because she makes a point to hire a diverse cast in her shows. We need more producers and queens like her, who are intentional in their inclusivity. We also need to make sure when we book these queens, they feel comfortable and safe so they can do their job to the best of their ability. Let’s keep it going!
Besides performing, who or what has been Giving You Life during this otherwise kinda bleak year?
TW: Janelle’s just amazing what she does, she works very hard–the most booked girl in New York City! And she always looks out for us. We can’t thank her enough!
DD: Also, all of the new music coming out has been everything, from Doja to SZA… I’m fed!
The Gworls have more big shows coming up! First up, it’s “A Night in Sin” this coming Sunday at Side Door. That’s Dahlia Sin and Beaujangless’ new weekly, and you’ll be their guests alongside Nicky Ottav! You’re all fierce performers, so that should be the Ticket!
TW: Uh… duh!
DD: The gigs, the gigs, the gigs! Yes! It’s such an honor to perform alongside such staples in the scene! It’s going to be major.
Then on Wednesday, May 12th it’s “Sister! Sister! Sister!” at 3 Dollar Bill! That has you two sharing the stage with two more pairs of Sister Acts: the fierce Dragon Sisters whom you’ve performed with before, and Jersey brunch duo Hans and Ava Lanche. That’s a lot of Sisters for one stage!
TW: I’m super excited for this show. The Dragon Sisters is our big sis, we love them dearly. They definitely opened the doors for us, and welcomed us with open arms.
DD: They’ve been so supportive of us since we began, and they inspire us so much to be unapologetic. Super grateful to perform with them and develop a sisterhood!
TW: Also excited to meet Hans and Ava Lanche!
DD: We love a duo; I think it brings such an interesting energy to the room. We’re so used to seeing queens in competition or lip syncing against each other, but performing together is so powerful. Come out and see what it’s all about!
What else is coming up for you two?
DD: We’re in talks for more gigs, more shoots, etc! Make sure you’re following us on @covergworls and our personal handles to stay up to date! We do a lot, haha!
TW: You’ll just have to wait and see!
Finally: what must a bitch do to become a third Covergworl, if that position were ever to be made available?
DD: A bitch could never! You’d have to be one of our closest sisters. There’s no prerequisite to be a CoverGworl. We just love each other deeply, so you’d have to be a sister!
TW: We’re not taking any applications, sorry. JK, we will definitely let you know when the audition comes!
Thank you, Gworls!
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for The Covergworls’ upcoming events, and follow them on Instagram. Also, you can individually follow Tré Way on Instagram and Twitter, and Dev Doee on Instagram and Twitter.