As the current reigning “Miss Congeniality” RuPaul’s Drag Race standout Heidi N Closet may not have changed her name as many suggested, but she is branching out and expanding her brand since her time on Season 12. Closet dropped her brand new single ‘G.A.P.’ and invited an international group of Drag Race alumni to co-star in the video with her (along with plentiful eye candy for this house party-themed video). I sat down with Heidi to chat about her brand new single, how the video concept came together, and what she herself has learned since her truly remarkable year since Drag Race.
Michael Cook: Who knew that Heidi N Closet was a rapper on top of an a lip sync assassin?
Heidi N Closet: Surprise Surprise (laughs)!
MC: What is the origin of your new single G.A.P.?
HNC: The origin of the song comes from my fans and I. I was on Instagram Live one day and I always have music playing in the background. One of the songs that happened to come on was ‘W.A.P’. I was joking with the fans and I said “we should do this as a parody and call it ‘G.A.P.’! Afterward, I was thinking to myself “what am I waiting for, lets do it?!”. A couple months later, it’s out and here we are!
MC: The video itself is a complete and total party! From your Season 12 cast member Widow Von’du to accomplished artists like Manila Luzon and Canada’s Drag Race judge Brook Lynn Hytes, to Season 12 winner Jaida Essence Hall to Canada’s Drag Race Season 1 winner Priyanka, you chose a diverse and eclectic group to include in the video. How did some of these collaborations happen?
HNC: I actually befriended Manila while I was out here when I moved out to Los Angeles in the past six months. She has become a really good friend along with Brook Lynn Hytes. Brook Lynn and I were just hanging out and I mentioned wanting someone to do the Kylie Jenner part of the video and she just said “I’ll do it”; originally it was just going to by Widow, Jaida and myself. I had told Manila about the video a couple times and about a week before, the director Brad Hammer suggested having Manila do it, and I knew that she would do it. The same kind of thing happened with Priyanka as well. All of the girls are amazing.
MC: Brad Hammer consistently does a fantastic job, and some of your dancers like Mirro, Leonardo Martinez and Dakota Payne added some eye candy to the party. What did you intend for the vibe of the whole video to be?
HNC: I love Leo, and I love Mirro! I As for the video, I wanted to have the original essence of ‘W.A.P.’ and have it in a really nice house and have all of the different rooms. We tried to emulate a few of the things, such as Widow and I walking down the hallway like Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion did. We had our whole ‘Kylie Jenner moment with Brook Lynn as well. We had our whole essence of the video in there, but I wanted to take that and put my own Heidi-twist on it; which is fun, stupid, party, but still have a message and meaning behind it.
MC: It’s been a full year since your season premiered; what has life been like since then?
HNC: It’s what I thought it was going to be because of COVID; I think had COVID not been around it, definitely would have been. Honestly, I cannot complain; I have worked a lot even during COVID. When COVID first hit, I thought I would have a couple months off, but nope not me. I have been working non-stop up until I decided to make ‘G.A.P.’ I had been working non-stop, and then I decided to do ‘G.A.P.’ and that continued. I have been very fortunate to keep working because not all girls, especially from my season, can not say that they have worked a lot this year.
MC: Your Season 12 colleague Sherry Pie gave an interview on Tamron Hall recently and there are a great deal of opinions on both the content as well as what was actually said. As someone who was cast on the season with Sherry and went through the Drag Race experience with her, what is your perspective?
HNC: My thoughts, prayers, and emotions always goes to the victims; they were put at risk. They were the ones put at risk at most, so I always go one hundred percent with them. I do not agree with what she did and I think that it is horrible. I think you should just read the room; no one wanted this. Whether she decided to make a comeback or whatever she is trying to do, she was going to get backlash on it, whether it was ten years down the line or whether it was right after it happened, it was going to happen.
MC: What do you think is coming up next for Heidi N Closet?
HNC: I am thinking of making two more singles. Here’s a little exclusive; I have a sneaking suspicion that they will have the same acronyms as the first..It would be a whole ‘G.A.P.’ experience, but I’m going to keep you guessing as to what they might be. You just don’t know what ‘G.A.P.’ could stand for, there are just so many different things it could stand for you know?
MC: Not many girls like you come out of Drag Race and are universally beloved. Do you think you would take the chance of going back to an All Stars season and possibly tarnishing the reputation that you have worked hard to build?
HNC: Absolutely; I do think that I would take the shot at it. Honestly, the thing is, what people and the judges and the other girls loved about me the most is who I am as a person, that is actually what I was celebrated the most for. Not my drag, not my walk on the runway, I was praised the most for who I was and I have not changed who I am. I feel like for me, there is a very minimal chance for me to go in and shoot myself in the foot as long as I go in and just be me. I love me and I am always just going to be me; and that is me to a ‘T’ really. If people loved it the first time, they are gonna like it again. I want to just go in and have fun.
MC: What would the Heidi N Closet of today tell that young Southern Belle just starting on her RuPaul’s Drag Race journey?
HNC: Well, she’s still a Southern Belle (laughs); Stay calm, Take it all in. Don’t take anything for granted. Work hard and keep going; you have been blessed with an amazing opportunity. Take full advantage of it and stay true to who you are just be you.
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