This delightful staple of the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” franchise is well-known as a two time competitor, Miss Congeniality winner and all-in-all a fan favorite. But long before TV drag, the Puerto Rican-Texan star was a singer. And this season of her fifteenth year of drag, she gifts us with a super-charming new holiday anthem. Let’s have a Very CuCu Christmas with Cynthia Lee Fontaine!
Thotyssey: Hi Cynthia, thanks for talking to us today! How is November treating you so far?
Cynthia Lee Fontaine: November is treating me really well! Thanks for asking.
You just played The Official Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias tour pre-party! How did that go? And are you Team Ricky or Team Enrique, lol?
It was awesome! Working with Club Papi Events is always fun! Also, visiting different cities in California and seeing the people going out after everything we’ve been through is amazing. I’m Team Ricky, by the way! Boricua!
How did you pass the time during quarantine? Did you learn any new skills?
I passed the quarantine at home. I’ve been working from home until it was the right moment to start traveling again. I learned how to film, edit and produce my own content and videos for my social media.
Have you been watching the 600 seasons of Drag Race this past year? I kid… but there have been some great moments!
Yes! I know there’s a lot… but I am happy queer individuals have visibility on TV everywhere!
Many new international versions of Drag Race have been premiering these past few years; is there a still-unchosen country you’d like to see have their own version?
I would like to see an edition of Drag Race for Puerto Rico and Mexico.
Now that some time has passed since you have appeared on two seasons of Drag Race, does any moment from your time on either season stand out as your favorite?
There’s a couple of moments. For Season 8: my courtroom mini-challenge, and also my “Cha Cha Bitch” mini-challenge which I won with my sister Chi Chi DeVayne. For Season 9: my famous eulogy for the chair that Eureka broke in Untucked!
As a beloved Miss Congeniality from your first run, you must still get lots of love from fans all over the world. But these days it seems like several girls and other folks associated with Drag Race struggle to deal with online negativity from the fanbase. Do you think that is a serious problem, or is it just part of the gig?
I do believe that people using social media for negative comments is a big problem. My advice always is to focus on positive comments, and ignore the haters.
The recently announced Queen of the Universe competition features singing drag queens. Would you give that show a shot?
Absolutely… I would like to try it! I love that we now have a competition just for drag queens who sing! It’s a great opportunity. And I’m glad we are having, as drag queens, more options on TV! This is a dream for so many!
You’re no stranger to releasing original music, like the fun track “Pegajosa” back in 2018. You have such a nice richness to your voice–were you a singer before you were a drag queen?
I have been singing for twenty-five years! I was a singer way before I decided to be a drag queen. In fact, this year is my fifteenth anniversary doing drag. Time flies fast!
We’re near the holiday season! How do you usually like to celebrate at the end of December?
I love to celebrate the holidays with my family and friends, and with my boyfriend Armando. This year Armando and I will be celebrating with music, and a Puerto Rican and Tex Mex menu.
Speaking of both your music and the holidays, you just released a new holiday song: “Bring Me The Holidays!” It is super cute and gives us all the warm fuzzies, and it has lyrics in English and Spanish! Tell us about how this song got made, and what inspired you to record it.
The inspirations of my song were the experiences and memories from the past, when I used to celebrate Christmas in Puerto Rico and the almost fourteen years living here in Texas. I love the fusion between both cultures and traditions–the multicultural experience. Also, my main purpose is to bring joy and peace after almost two years dealing with a terrible pandemic.
The lyrics in English were written by my boyfriend, the songwriter and producer Armando Barrientos, and the lyrics in Spanish were written by me. The song and also the music video was produced by Armando as well. This is the very first official song and music video that we worked on together in our almost three year relationship. We are very excited and happy about this beautiful song because we can express artistically pure passion through music… and also our love for our favorite holiday, Christmas! I am so blessed to have my boyfriend in my life.
The video is very festive too! It must’ve been a challenge to find a Christmassy looking environment in Texas.
The video was filmed at the Barton Creek Greenbelt in Austin, Texas which has over twelve miles of gorgeous forest and hiking trails. But of course the time we filmed the video was October, and the weather was not in our favor because it was too hot, lol. But the final result was exactly what I was looking for!
So, will you let Mariah Carey cover “Bring Me the Holidays” for her next Christmas album?
Absolutely yes, yes, yes!
And might we be hearing any new music from Cynthia or her CuCu in the future? Or, are there any other upcoming projects or dates we should be mindful of?
Next year I will release more music! Also I will be touring Europe, and probably South America! And I will be attending RuPaul’s DragCon 2022 in Los Angeles, California. And more things to come!
How about any upcoming visits to New York? And, are there any NYC queens in particular you like to kiki or perform with?
I will be traveling to New York City next year. My sister Brita Filter is there, and she is a pleasure to work with… and I would love to see her. Also, I would love to work with the talented Lagoona Bloo while I am there!
Thanks for talking to us today, Cynthia! To close, what’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever gotten?
It was when I was five years-old, and my two big sisters and big brother surprised us by visiting us for Christmas. A beautiful memory!
Thank you so much to my CuCu fans for your love and support, with my music and Christmas song. You guys are awesome! Hope you put my song on your favorite playlist, and I wish everyone Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! Feliz Navidad y Próspero año nuevo!
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Cynthia Lee Fontaine’s upcoming area appearances, and follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Also check out Cynthia’s website, which includes links to all her music’s streaming and downloading platforms.