A recent Brooklyn competition winner is slaying shows on both sides of the river these days, and is soon about to take on Queen RiRi herself for a special Super Bowl Halftime showcase… Lola Latte! [Cover photo: Pretty Habiti]
Thotyssey: Hello Lola! I just saw you at Pieces on Saturday for a fun installment of “Get Happy” with Heidi Haux! The crowd was loving you two. Is that a fun show to do?
Lola Latte: The show was absolutely a great time! And it’s even better when the crowd is into it like last night, lol! I went to Pieces to meet a friend for happy hour, and stumbled on Heidi’s show. I had so much fun just being in the audience, that it’s great to be a part of it now.
Where are some of your other favorite spots to perform?
Metropolitan is up there for me; that’s the first time I saw drag in NYC, and where I got my start in the city. That community of Metro is so inviting, and the energy is infectious.
In fact, you’re the 2022 finale winner of the Merrie Cherry-hosted Dragnet competition that happens there!
Yes! I am the current reigning Dragnet winner. Which reminds me… I have to get my crowning look together!
So where are you from originally, and was performing always a part of your life?
I’m a little bit from all over. I was born and raised in New Jersey, but I moved to the Caribbean when I was 11. I came back to the US for college and was in DC, LA and Dallas before coming to NY.
Doing drag was the first time I’ve performed. I’ve always had an admiration for dance and drag… but the most I’ve ever done was, like, playing the trumpet growing up!
We all gotta start somewhere! How did drag get on your radar, and how did Lola premiere?
Watching drag on TV was my introduction to it. But then I started going out to shows in LA, and I really saw what it meant to captivate a crowd and elicit emotion from them.
So I did an amateur night at Hamburger Mary’s, and realized I actually had promise with performing. Unfortunately though, that’s when the pandemic hit… so I didn’t get to go out to shows after that. I moved to Dallas, and that’s when I really got out doing shows. Like, LA showed me what drag could do… but a lot of my foundation comes from Dallas drag.
LA, Dallas, New York… those are very different drag scenes!
Yes, they’re very different. The LA scene is so diverse ,with pretty much any type of performer you could think of. Dallas is full glamour and pageant. To this day, I still have not seen queens who paint as well as the Dallas girls.
How would you describe the Lola Latte Experience today, for anyone who hasn’t seen you perform yet?
At a Lola show, you can never really know what you’re going to get. My style is an amalgamation of everywhere I’ve lived. Some days you’ll get a high energy pop number, or a mix with a rapper I love, or a slow, seductive, glamorous moment where I barely move. At the end of the day, I just want the audience to feel connected to whatever I’m doing on stage.
So, how do you think Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show is gonna go? Does she still got it?
Oh, I know it’s about to be everything. Ms. Fenty has taken too much time away from performing to not give us a great show.
You’ll be taking part in a fun Super Bowl Sunday (February 12th) tribute to her discography: “Night of 1000 Rihannas” at 3 Dollar Bill! Nicky O is producing, and the cast is huge and fierce! What’s in store for us?
Baby, the best way to follow up the gag of Rihanna’s comeback is going to be this show. Nicky booked so much talent, and we’re all very excited to give tribute to Rihanna. The girls are planning their stunts and tricks, so be ready for a killer show.
Amazing! Anything else coming up that the children should know about?
Yes! I’ll be at Dragnet this month on the 16th as a judge, and I have a monthly drag brunch at Amor Loco on the 19th. My M.O. for brunch is to make sure we all have a drunk-ass time.
Perfection! Okay, lastly: what’s the best thing about drag… and what’s the worst?
The best thing about drag is that is allows you to connect with people from all different facets of queer life. The worst is nails; no matter how cunty they make you feel, they’re always a hassle.
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Lola Latte’s upcoming appearances, and follow her on Instagram.