Serving edgy fashions, exciting numbers and slapping original tracks, young queen Zaraiya Yōkø is now part of an exciting new drag house making its family show premiere this weekend.
Thotyssey: Hello Zeraiya, how is May treating you so far?
Zaraiya Yōkø: Hello Thotyssey! May is treating me really well so far, actually. A lot of promising opportunities… and of course the excitement of summer around the corner never fails to make this month a happy one for me!
Summer’s good and all, but… not the best drag weather, lol! Are you worried about melting?
Haha, you are not wrong! And mostly no, as I try to wear as little as possible to avoid a complete meltdown! But on those really hot days… honestly I just send a prayer, carry some final seal for insurance, and hope for the best, lol!
That’s the spirit!
How long have you been doing drag, by the way?
To make a long story short, I’ll say a little less than five years ago.
Oh wow! So are you a New York native?
Yup! Born and raised! I’ve actually lived in every borough for a period of time too, lol.
And we’re you always into stuff like fashion, music, performing etc. while growing up?
Actually, no. Believe it or not, I was a huge introvert growing up. I had terrible stage fright, two left feet, sucked in all things musical, and my fashion sense was out of wack as I struggled to find myself in my pre-teen youth, lol!
No way! Then how did you ultimately evolve into the lovely Zeraiya Yōkø?
By the time I was in college, I had already been experimenting in hair, fashion and makeup for many years… so naturally, drag felt like the next step. “Zeraiya” as a name came to be thanks to my two forever muses: Zendaya and Rihanna. They impacted my drag so much back then, that my name is actually a combination of theirs. The addition of “Yoko” wasn’t planned, actually; I wanted to be a mononymous queen. But then I decided to tack it on to show my love of foxes, anime and mythology — “Yoko” was taken from several animes, and means “monster fox.” Foxes in mythology are known to shapeshift into beautiful women.
How might you describe the “type” of drag you do these days, as far as your looks and numbers go?
I would say, sexy and fashion-forward. I market myself as a high fashion “It Girl,” and I’m definitely praised for it… but I’m not afraid to get a little out of pocket. I’m very “current” so to speak, but I try and keep it fresh by pushing my boundaries in presentation and what / how I perform. The girls have been saying I’m becoming something of a comedy queen too, so I guess that means I’m showing versatility!
And you’ve got original music to boot! “First Place” is slaps!
Oh, thank you! The reception I received to my new single was really warm and positive! I’m glad y’all love it as much as I do. The experience was definitely novel, but super fun… and I’m very open to stepping further into the music world. Nothing planned yet, but who knows… NY might have another rapper in their hands!
Yourself, Islaya and Miss Bussy together are the new Haus of Official!
Yes! It was literally inevitable. I met Bussy back during her first day of drag while I simultaneously celebrated my one year anniversary, and we hit it off immediately. Islaya I met through the scene, and also instantly bonded. She’s always been a sweetheart, and such a support to me. I was supporting one of her shows this year, actually, when after her set she popped the question… and bitch, I froze. Not out of shock, but because it just clicked–it felt right. After I happily accepted, Bussy caught wind and instantly felt like we needed to form a unit, and we were more than happy to do it; ergo Haus of Official!
The Haus, in short, is a house full of bad bitches. We’re all really strong personalities… and what we do, we do it fully, to the best of our abilities And when we do it, we shut it down. Officially.
This coming Sunday, you all will be making your official-Official onstage debut together has a Haus, care of your very own Stonewall Invasion! What do y’all have in store for us?
Oh my God, we are so excited for that… you cannot even imagine! To have an Invasion so soon after our Haus reveal is just so cunt! As for what we have in store: my girls have my lips sealed. If you really wanna know, you’re gonna have to come to the Invasion and find out.
You’re also gonna be in the cast of Devo Monique’s “Tyra Banks Tribute Show” at C’mon Everybody on Tuesday, May 17!
Yes! Shoutout to my divas casted, it’s gonna be so much fun.
Do you have an all-time favorite Tyra Moment?
To be honest, I don’t even know where to begin… she is just so unhinged. All her moments in America’s Next Top Model feel like a fever dream, lol. I guess if I were to choose one, it’d have to be the infamous fainting bit where she was gonna teach the girls about acting. I mean, talk about dramatic!
Anything else coming up for you?
Yes! I do have a couple shows coming up for the rest of this month as well, that I’ll be announcing on my socials very soon. So stay tuned for that, divas!
We shall! Okay lastly: it’s almost time for Drag Race All Stars 7! Who’s team are you on?
Team Everybody Black… and Raja.
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Zeraiya Yōkø’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. Download or stream her music here.