Laganja Estranja is gracing the cover of our ‘Sickening’ digital issue. Laganja is the multi-talented choreographer, drag queen and activist who left an everlasting impression on both judges & viewers in Rupaul’s Drag Race Season 6. Laganja’s gravity-defying death drop and array of hilarious catchphrases served her a rightful place as drag royalty. The LA-based icon is a proud advocate for marijuana, using her platform to speak openly about the benefits and generate awareness with brand collabs. Join us as we get sickening with Laganja Estranja in this vibrantly delicious digital issue.
You made your drag debut in 2011 at Micky’s in West Hollywood for an amateur contest. How has your style and performance techniques evolved since then?
To be honest, when I watch old videos of myself performing, I’m actually quite inspired. The beginning of my drag career was an artistically rich time for me. Discovering who Laganja was and what she could be was beyond magic, especially because being a female impersonator was something I had desired to be from a young age.
Do you have any advice to give to budding drag performers who are just starting out?
Invest in an authentic personality. Anyone can buy expensive drag, but to be your real self is priceless.
What are your 3 tips for perfecting any drag look?
1. Have confidence in yourself. It is key to believe you are the ONE at all times, even if that means you have to fake it till you make it.
2. Know the proportions of your body. Accentuate the parts you love and celebrate the parts you don’t.
3. Skindinavia Bridal Setting Spray. Mist your face with this and your mug won’t melt off. Trust and believe!
What are your thoughts on the recent S11 contestants and the winner Yvie Oddly?
I love all my sisters from season 11. Evie’s sickening…I am always excited when the “different” or “the oddball” is celebrated.
There’s rumors that you are joining the cast of All Stars 6. Is this true?
Let’s just say if I do, it will be SIXENING!!!
Your entrance to RPDRS6 has been praised as being one of the most iconic entrances of all time. How do you prepare (mentally or physically) for the legendary death drop?
I smoke a lot of cannabis.
You and Gia Gunn have remained great friends since RPDR, having recently performed together with Brooke Candy at the Queer X opening. Do you have any more projects planned together for the future?
Actually, Brooke and I are currently shooting a feature film directed by Darren Aronofsky starring Tilda Swinton and Alan Cumming. (Due to scheduling conflicts, Gia was unable to be part of the project.)
Do you still stay in touch with any other contestants?
Yes. Definitely. I stay in touch with tons of the girls. It really is a family for those who make it that way.
You’re a big cannabis supporter, have been crowned the ‘Princess of Pot’ and recently partnered up with Fruit Slabs to release a special edition cannabis-infused, vegan, real-fruit square ‘Pride Passion Fruit flavor’. Can you tell us more about this collaboration and the importance of it for you?
First and foremost, our product will be celebrating pride year-round. We believe you should be #PROUDAF always and that is why our edible is not available only once a year. Secondly, this #notagummy is a healthy alternative to get medicated in comparison to the other sugary products available.
What’s next on your agenda for the cannabis world?
I am currently working on releasing a line of CBD bath salts. Everyone is always asking me, “How do you keep yourself pain-free from all the explosive dance moves?” I have been using Om Edibles bath salts for YEARS, and that is why I am so excited to be creating my own products to be sold in a smoke shop near you soon.
Can you share with us the inspiration behind the visually captivating ‘Orange’ series?
We were inspired by Phillip Chbeeb and Makenzie Dustman’s house and orange tree. I was so fortunate to stay in their beautiful home while they were in China choreographing, and I wanted to create homage to the space as it helped me get back on my feet and inspired me to stay in Los Angeles.
What messages are you hoping to convey with this series?
The message is of joy and whimsy with an accent on not taking one’s life too seriously. Orange you glad I didn’t say banana?
What does being non-binary mean to you in today’s political climate?
For me, being non-binary means identifying as neither male nor female but somewhere in between. In this black and white political climate, this expression is important as it is an exploration of the gray space.
How can the drag community encourage inclusion & awareness for trans & non-binary people?
Popular drag queens need to come forward more often in celebrating trans and non-binary people. We need celebrities and influencers who have larger platforms to amplify the voices of their brothers and sisters.
Do you have any upcoming performances that fans can catch Laganja Estranja at?
The best way to keep find where I am on the road is my website www.laganjaestranja.com/calendar
Model: Laganja Estranja @laganjaestranja
Photographer: Ash Danielsen @ashdanielsen
Interview: Sahar Nicolette