By Reid Cammack
Drag Race is in the midst of it’s tenth season and is bigger than ever! In a season full of fierce queens, any slipup can send you home and unfortunately that’s what happened with fan favorite Yuhua Hamasaki. After being voted one of the most popular queens on the RuPaul’s Drag Race Reddit page, fans were shocked to see her leave so early in the competition. But armed with a couple rolls of caution tape, an ankh and some determination Yuhua is ready to take the world by storm. As she prepares for her May 6 performance at Beaux, Gloss sat down with the Yuhua to talk about the show, her New York sisters and her new music video.
First of all, congrats on your run on Drag Race. How’s your touring going so far?
It’s good! Very busy. I’m like in three to four different cities a week. It is something that wouldn’t have come along if it wasn’t for the show, so I’m very, very grateful for it. It’s been crazy, but at the same time it’s very rewarding. It’s been an amazing, amazing ride so far.
You were eliminated a couple weeks ago but I don’t know if you noticed but you’re still number three in the most requested flair for the RuPaul Reddit page.
Oh, really? That’s awesome!
Do you ever stalk the reddit page? What’s your thought on being that ultimate fan favorite?
I don’t read it, I don’t follow it. I know that there will be negative things and there’s gonna be positive things. I don’t want to hear the negative things because they will get in my head and it’s gonna bring me down. And I don’t want to hear the positive things because it’s gonna make me too big-headed and turn me into a completely different person, so I’d rather just keep doing me and I know that will be fine.
With Drag Race, you came into the competition and you were known as the seamstress queen – you made a lot of your own outfits. What was your process for preparing for the show, did you make a lot of your own things?
I did make a lot of my own things. I also made a lot of things for other New York City queens as well. Coming to the competition, I just know that I can’t worry about other people. I can’t worry about sewing for other people, I just have to focus on myself. But if they need help and I am available, I’ll help them if I can. I just have to do me first.
Funnily enough, Miz Cracker said in one of her review videos that she asked you to make outfits for her last summer but you said you were too busy. Did that actually happen? You denied her outfits?
(Laughs) Yes, I did! She called me – I think that’s when we all got the call at the same time. But I got the call already, she got the call already. I didn’t tell her I was on, but the fact she was asking me to make costumes for her, she was describing them and I was like, this looks like the list that I got too! So I already knew that she was going to be on, but I didn’t say anything. But I told her I was busy with other orders. I’m sorry, but I can recommend you to other people or other designers that will help you make some stuff and she went along. Same thing with Dusty, I told her I was too busy. Same thing with Monét, I told her I was too busy.
So were any of the other New York queens being on the show a surprise?
No, because always before everybody disappears to go into filming, there’s always speculation of who’s on and who’s not. Who’s leaving on a hiatus, who’s quitting their gigs and who’s having someone replace her shows. It’s always in the air of who is going to be on it. But the thing with me, I didn’t tell anybody until I was on the plane. Like, literally on the plane. I was texting my employers. I was like, “Sorry I had to go away. My grandfather just died and I have to go back to China. I won’t be there for a few weeks, but I will have someone replace me.” So I didn’t tell anybody at all.
So my favorite clap back moment right now is you on Twitter. Someone asked you when you were going to stop using the Ankh and you replied that you were going to stop using it when you stopped making money off of it. So what’s it like post-Drag Race making a brand and merch for yourself?
Here’s how I see things, if you want to make something happen, you have to go for it. It’s up to you to make it happen. Other people are not going to make it happen for you. Same thing with Bob’s Purse First, it wasn’t a thing until she made it a thing. And also, Alaska’s Anus. She kept plugging it and plugging it and plugging it throughout All Stars 2 and then afterwards as well. So, if you want to make a brand for yourself, just go out there and do it. Same thing as when someone says, “Stop making a thing happen.” Well, I’m making money off of it, so why should I stop?
Are we going to be expecting you at DragCon this year?
Yes, I will be there!
Do you have any plans for your booth? Any sneak peek you can give us?
No, you have to come and find out! This is my first time doing it in LA and I cannot wait to see everyone. It’s going to be bigger and better than ever because it is season 10.
So you recently made your own version of the sponge dress and you recently auctioned it off to a LGBT center in New York. What made you want to do that?
(Laughs) As Michelle Visage said, I like to clap back! That was my clap back towards Monét X Change. She said I was just a seamstress, I wasn’t a designer. So I was like, hmmm, your sponge dress is ugly! So let me make a better version of it. So I clapped back at her with another sponge dress that I thought was better.
With your charity work, are there certain things that are close to your heart that you focus on and support?
Trans youth. Just like, LGBT youth. They don’t have the same resources as someone who’s straight growing up, you know what I mean? Growing up for them is really hard. Even on Instagram, a lot of young teens, like 12, 13, 14, 15, are telling me their stories and how hard it is to grow up with parents that don’t support them. They don’t know what to do. They feel lost. They feel like cutting themselves. They feel like hurting themselves. They feel like running away. They just don’t feel like they’re fitting in and that’s so heartbreaking to hear.
So you just released a music video, for your single The Ankh Song. Can you give us a little behind the scenes on that?
Well, I’m not trying to be Beyoncé or Mariah Carey or Britney Spears. I made it out of fun. It’s basically me in the video talking about an ankh. An ankh is basically the symbol of life. It gives you life, liberty, happiness – that’s the meaning behind it. So I have like kids up there, telling you guys to buy it and you guys need it. Almost like a nursery rhyme where you’re watching Sesame Street where you have the grown up singing the song with the children singing along with you. It’s almost like an allegory on how society tries to brainwash you at such a young age to do certain things, to believe in certain things, to have certain values.
Should we expecting any other songs or music videos from you?
I like to be Beyoncé. I like to just drop it whenever I feel like it.
Amazing. And then one last question – the obligatory question for every RuGirl. Who are you rooting for this season?
I’m rooting for myself even though I got eliminated! Because I am what? Delusional!
Catch Yuhua Hamasaki at Beaux on May 6.