The recent cycle winner of Hell’s Kitchen’s hottest new drag competition, Daniella Darling is a true star on the rise.
Thotyssey: Hello Daniella, thanks for chatting with us today! How is Spring cheating you so far?
Daniella Darling: So lovely! I’m a Taurus, so spring is definitely my season!
Love that! May has already been a good month for you: congrats on winning this recent season of “Get Schooled,” the competition that Yasmeen Kennedy hosts at VERS! I had the privilege of being in the judge’s panel for that… you certainly had a lot of fans in the room!
Thank you, darling! It was such a lovely competition, and I could definitely feel the love in the room.
Overall, how did you enjoy the process of that particular competition, or the NYC drag competition shows in general?
I think NYC is truly some of the best drag the world has to offer, and the competitions are proof of that. I love this particular competition because it’s based off of lip syncing and pure talent–which is what I really pride myself on, which is giving a good performance. If you can’t afford big shiny costumes or can’t bring a thousand people, you can still win off of pure talent and passion alone.
So can you tell us a bit of your origin story?
Of course! I was originally adopted from Bogotá, Colombia but I grew up in a small town in Indiana. I moved to Brooklyn last September to pursue a cosmetology license and to be a showgirl!
Were you always into performance, fashion, music, etc.?
I’ve been singing and dancing my whole life, and my first time ever performing in drag was at 14! Yes, I’ve always loved fashion and performance! I’ve been singing since I was very young, and I sang live and went through many choirs all throughout middle and high school. But I didn’t really start drag until I got to New York.
What was Daniella’s first night out like?
Well I had my “drag mom” at the time paint me, and my grandma came to watch me perform in a hole-in-the-wall art installation in downtown Indianapolis. I did “Aura” by Lady Gaga and popped my tuck within seconds. It was very much a baby queen performance… the babiest of queens.
Aw, baby’s first tuck pop! Well you’ve certainly come a long way in a short time. What would you say Daniella is like as a queen today, as far as looks and performances go?
Three words: Intergalactic Latina Showgirl. Daniella darling is definitely glampy and high energy, and my drag always comes with a message or a meaning–whether that’s a political message or just representing Translatina excellence! There’s definitely a spookier, darker side to my drag that has yet to come.
You recently did a Kali Uchis tribute at All Night Skate… how did that go?
It was incredible! It was packed, and everyone was celebrating queerness and Latinidad! One of the most fun and most fulfilling shows I’ve done yet.
Another even bigger tribute is coming to Brooklyn that you’ll be a part of, this time in the form of Nicky O’s massive “Night of 1000 Missys” at 3 Dollar Bill on Friday!
Yes! I am so excited and grateful to be in a Night of 1000 production! Missy Elliot is a titan, and anyone who has seen me perform knows I love a fast-paced femme icon track!
What else is coming up for you?
As of late May / early June, I’ll be graduating cosmetology school and obtaining my license… so I’ll be able to focus full time on being a showgirl and making art! As well, I’ll be performing all over Manhattan and Brooklyn, and making my way over to my first ever show in Queens!
All things to look forward to! Let’s conclude with, of course: Drag Race All Stars, which premieres this weekend! Who’s team are you on for the win?
Baby, I’m team Kandy all the way!
Check Thotyssey’s calendar for Daniella Darling’s upomcoming appearances, and follow her on Instagram.