Lagoona Bloo wants to become the first drag pop star chart-topper: ‘I see myself at the Grammys’
Lagoona Bloo has big, bottle blond ambitions. The New York City musician wants to become the first US drag queen to become a mega mainstream pop girl. Even bigger than that? She wants to win a Grammy Award.
“We have not had a drag queen on the Billboard [Hot 100] charts since RuPaul,” Lagoona tells PinkNews. RuPaul’s staple single “Supermodel (You Better Work)” reached the top 50, but that was back in 1992, more than 30 years ago.
“When I sat down to meet with my manager for the first time, she asked me: ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ I didn’t even flinch. I didn’t even blink. I was like: ‘The Grammys.’”
The first weapon in Lagoona Bloo’s arsenal to become a drag queen turned pop queen is her new single, “Elle Woods”. Inspired – obviously – by Reese Witherspoon’s character in ‘00s film series Legally Blonde starring, Lagoona describes the bubblegum banger as an ode to “overcoming being underestimated, overcoming being overlooked”, much like Elle Woods did.
The second part of her Billboard Hot 100 attack plan? The brand new, hot pink, dragged-up dreamscape that is the “Elle Woods” music video.
Then, there’s part three. The self-described “Mermaid Pop Star”, will launch her debut album, Underwater Bubble Pop in the very near future.
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PinkNews chatted to Lagoona Bloo about her dream of pop superstardom, the queer icons she wants to work with, and what to expect from her new record.
Firstly, Lagoona, have you heard anything from Reese Witherspoon about “Elle Woods”?
I haven’t! I haven’t heard back from Reese. Listen, I am on a mission. We have the internet at our disposal so I’m gonna go ham and tag her until she hears it.
You’ve got a song about her, so Elle Woods must mean a lot to you, right?
As I was growing up and discovering who I was, I felt so empowered by this blonde bombshell that I thought I could never be. The story of the song is anyone can be Elle Woods. It’s about overcoming being underestimated, about overcoming being overlooked and just owning who you are.
The music video is giving production values the haus down. You’ve got Drag Race stars, and even a cameo from Kirsten ‘Kiwi’ Smith and Karen McCullah, who wrote Legally Blonde. How’d you come up with the concept?
It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I’m so proud of it. I wanted to create this powder pink explosion of colour, and I couldn’t find a set. My option was either build a set in New York or fly to LA and make it happen. We found this amazing site called the RagDoll Pink Palace and I was like: ‘I want to make a music video here!’
My concept was to have a bunch of Elles come over to my house. I wanted to incorporate as much from the movie that I could. Laganja Estranja – not only did she choreograph, but she made a little cameo as (Jennifer Coolidge’s character) Paulette.
This was my first time conceptualising and storyboarding a music video, and I love what we put together because it was exactly what I was thinking.
Why did you want to get the two Legally Blonde writers involved, too?
The biggest thing that is such a gag is that I performed Elle Woods months ago at a Legally Blonde party, and both Kirsten Kiwi Smith and Karen McCullah were there. They saw me perform and they loved the song and we connected a little bit. We asked [if they would be in the video] and they were ecstatic.
Is your goal to become the first chart-topping drag pop star?
I want to be the first! Especially in the States, we don’t really have a drag pop girl. Obviously we have incredible drag musicians, however, I do feel that drag music has been pushed into a box.
I find that a lot of people don’t take me very seriously because I do drag. When they hear me live or when they hear my music, they’re like: ‘Oh!’. I would really love to build that bridge into the mainstream music industry.
Music has always been a healing source for me. I’ve been singing since I was two and I never thought that I would be able to be a pop star, so when I discovered drag and the possibility of that happening together, I knew it’s exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.
Can fans expect your upcoming debut album Underwater Bubble Pop to be filled with “Elle Woods” level bops?
Everything is bop, bop, bop! I wanted to create a body of work that just made you feel good, from top to bottom. When I was a kid, I found a lot of safety in my headphones. I grew up in a very conservative world and in a Mexican-American house and a very evangelical Christian home. I was not allowed to be myself: where I discovered myself was in pop music.
Underwater Bubble Pop has songs like “Elle Woods”; it has a bit of camp to it. But then you have songs like “Tunnel Vision” and “Toys” and “TMFO” that are more pop.
I’m excited too because there’s three tracks in Spanish. No skips. Bops, bops, bops. I’ve really come into an era of self discovery and owning who I am and falling in love with myself and I wanted to create a body of work that really encapsulates that.
You’ve said before your musical idols include Britney Spears, Christina Augilera and Shakira. You’ve also worked with Drag Race icons like Alaska and Lemon. Who is on top of your collaboration wish list now?
I would really love to explore working with more queer artists. I would s**t on a brick if I could work with Kim Petras. I recently had the honour of performing at her album release party for Feed the Beast and I got to meet her. It was amazing to just stand in front of somebody who’s inspired you and someone who’s made you feel so empowered.
Also, to work with Sam Smith? I remember when Sam Smith’s first album came out, I felt so seen because, I was like, this queer person is very boldly expressing themselves. I love that they’ve been able to express themselves fully and be so accepted by this music industry.
It’s so interesting to me how the music industry is so heteronormative, and so it’s really exciting to see queer artists start to build that bridge. I would love to follow suit and use my voice to be a light.
“Elle Woods” is out now.
This interview has been condensed for length and clarity.
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