Your dad just calls her Katya, but the ghost of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is about to label her the lithe ingenue coming for his crown as the most iconic musician of all time.
The drag icon has made a (super Russian) name for herself as one of the world’s premier comedy queens, but after climbing the New York Times best-seller list and maintaining her comedic reign over digital streaming, for her next career move, the Boston native exclusively tells EW she “wanted to answer the [call] that so many fans have been asking: Please don’t do music” by, well, doing music.
“I’m not a planner. I’ve actually been working on it for two or three years just trying to get all the melodies right,” Katya says of her forthcoming EP Vampire Fitness on a recent installment of EW’s Instagram Live show Queening Out, though it’s unclear whether she’s speaking earnestly or in jest as she references the onslaught of fellow RuPaul’s Drag Race alums who have taken a stab at recording careers, whether vocally inclined or otherwise. Luckily, Katya falls into the former category, just not in ways you might expect. “I’ve been at the piano for two or three years. I had to take a break so I kind of shelved it…. I’m vacillating between periods of humiliation and enthusiasm about the project.”
The result is an experimental digital distortion of European dance, sex, orgasmic wailing, the sounds of murder, spoken sermons about self-administered dentistry, and, of course, Italian cuisine, all tied together as a “multi-pronged, many-tiered assault” on listeners with “consonant clusters” found in Russian pop songs.
“I wanted to do music that you could hear, like, in a club that I’ve never been to,” Katya promises. “Maybe in a Diane Keaton movie.”
Vampire Fitness is out Nov. 13. Read on for EW’s exclusive track-by-track breakdown with Katya.
“Come in Brazil”
Drag superstar Alaska joins Katya for a divine intercontinental expression of lust as the pair crafts a lush soundscape inspired by incessant fan pleas for drag queens to perform in the song’s titular South American nation. “The chorus is in Portuguese,” Katya reveals of the EP’s first single, though the lyrical content is far too explicit to list here, but we can confirm that it does involve commanding a derriere onto one’s facial region. “These are things I learned not through reading books or watching television programs, but through people screaming them at me all the time,” recalls Katya.
Katya describes her collaboration with longtime professional partner Trixie Mattel as a “bar mitzvah barn-burner,” and that her fellow Drag Race alum and Trixie and Katya’s Guide to Modern Womanhood co-author was “really cooperative” in the songwriting process. “To me, this is such a joke, because once you hear the song, it’s like four words from a movie,” Katya says of the number that takes cues from Ukrainian star Svetlana Loboda’s “Boom Boom” and Eurodance — a stark genre departure from