Kandy Muse has proven why she’s “the producer.”
The finalist of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 8 spoke with Shadow and Act in the midst of the Werk the World Tour about how it’s been since she went head-to-head against All Stars winner Jimbo with dueling original songs.
“I remember when we heard our songs, I thought to myself, oh, this is a really great song. And then when Miguel, the choreographer, gave us a choreography, I said, ‘Okay, we’re giving VMA pop star realness.’ And that is exactly what it was with the lights and the set and the dancers in the car and everything,” Muse said. “As a little gay boy, I’ve always dreamed of being a little pop star on the VMAs performing, and I got to live out my dream in a finale performance. And I knew going up against Jimbo, she was gonna tell a story to her performance, because I knew she wasn’t like a choreography killer. So I knew that even though she wasn’t gonna do choreography, [but] through her storytelling, she would still be amazing. So I knew that I had to bring my A game in that performance.”
Her friendship with Jimbo is one of the highlights of the season. Muse said that her newfound sisterhood with Jimbo means so much to her.
“Oh my God, it’s been amazing. People don’t get to see this softer side of Jimbo that I get to see all the time, and honestly, she is such an incredible friend. We just threw a crowning finale party in Brooklyn the night of the finale and it was honestly one of the best nights of my life. And even though the outcome was her as the winner, she made sure that I was okay,” she said.
“And I was feeling great because obviously getting to the finale you want to be the winner, you want to get crowned. And then when you don’t, it kind of stings a little, but she was doing the utmost making sure in a moment of her glory to make sure that I was doing okay,” she continued. “So truly it is incredible. We’re doing a cruise together in February with Heidi [N Closet] and Jessica Wild. So it’s incredible. I love Jimbo and I know people wanted me to send her home, but that’s one of my best friends and I would never walk into a competition and send my best friend home…Me and Jimbo are in two different age gaps and we come from two different walks of life. She’s from Vancouver, BC [and] Victoria, BC; I’m from the Bronx in New York. It’s two people that are completely opposite, so you would never think would work together that just somehow work perfectly.”
The platform Muse has capitalized on from Drag Race is something she said she’s grateful for. It adds to the accomplishment of having made it to the finale twice–once during her season and now on All Stars.
“It’s so crazy because I remember just starting drag and just doing drag full time in Brooklyn and being this grungy little Brooklyn queen who would just break the rules and kind of just do whatever she wanted to do,” she said. “And now being on RuPaul’s Drag Race, on this huge platform, making it to the final two on not only on my first original season, but on my first All Stars season, it is just incredible. It’s nice to know that RuPaul sees that my drags are on the caliber of icons that have been on drags before. So it feels amazing, honestly. I feel so grateful and so happy for my opportunity and my time on Drag Race. When I do Drag Race, Again, I would do it a million times. It’s like summer camp. I have nothing else to prove. I made it to the final twice already. But besides winning the crown, I think I’ve proved everything that I want to prove on Drag Race.”
Muse has been able to show not just her immense talent, but also her impressive fashion sense. Through her fashion, Muse has been able to show that from being a big girl doesn’t have to mean a comedic or silly presentation.
“I think as plus-size queens, people expect you to be comedy and funny and can be comedy. Funny is great. And that is some of my favorite kind of drag to see at a drag show. But there’s more than that,” she said. “I embody confidence. I embody sex. I embody fashion. These are things that people have named as taboo if you are of a plus-size stature. And to me, it’s like, no, f— that. Like you live your life the way you want to live your life. And if you want to be fashion, or you, if you want to be a fashion girl, the fashion girl title doesn’t only apply to skinny girls, to skinny white fashion girls, you know? You can be a fashion girlie, if you want to be a fashion girlie. Doesn’t matter what size and color you are.”
Muse added that sometimes Drag Race can lead people to think that queens must tick boxes, like being a funny queen if they look a certain way.
“At the end of the day, you are what you want to be, not what other people want to put you in a box for. My mission going into Drag Race, even on my original season, was to show the girls I can keep up with the skinny girls too. So I live, eat and breathe drag and I love fashion and I love playing with new things, whether some people may like it or not,” she continued. “I love playing with new silhouettes…because with drag, we do it so much [that] sometimes it can get kind of stale. So you have to bring the life back into it yourself. And with fashion, I find that it’s just so fun. Fashion is really art and art is subjective and it might not work for you, but it may work for someone else. So that’s just been my mission on Drag Race, just to show people and show girls that look like me and feel like me that it’s okay if you want to be whatever you want to be. It’s okay to be it, honestly.”
She also said that her mission is about emboldening people to live their fullest lives in all facets, not just in fashion.
Once we’re given this platform, it’s beyond the fierceness and the fashion and stuff. It really is people that feel like us, people that have similar stories to us, people that look [to] us for confidence, you know, that’s what we’re doing drag for,” she said. “And that’s my main mission in life and not just on Drag Race, but outside of Drag Race, how people you can literally be whatever you want to be in life. We are our own artists. We’re creating our own paintings and we’re creating our own walks of life. There’s no there’s no way of living life There are no rules. There are people that are trying to [imply] rules, but that doesn’t mean that those are you know those rules are true. You create your own walk of life. You are your own destiny, honestly.”
For Muse, her career is not just her livelihood, it is her destiny. She is not only celebrating reaching the top two twice in her drag race tenure; she is also celebrating her new WOW Presents Plus show, Inside the Producer’s Studio.
“It’s gonna be incredible. I’ve always dreamt about having my own talk show, at some point I wanna host The Pit Stop, but it’s gonna be incredible. We have a bunch of guests, Ru girls that have had some iconic moments on Drag Race and in Untucked and every single episode, we are going to talk about producing a certain part of your life,” she said. “They call me Kandy ‘The Producer’ Muse because I’m always producing something on the show. So it’s going to be incredible. It comes on August 7 and I’m so excited for everyone to see it. The first season is incredible and it’s something so different and so new and so fresh that honestly, I cannot wait to get renewed for a Season 2, but it is incredible. And I’m so excited for everyone to see it.”
Muse said that she will be happy to return to Drag Race in the future but for now she is focusing on her self-made destiny and what she can do in the future.
“I know a lot of people keep asking me, would you come back to Drag Race? I just did two seasons of Drag Race back to back in under three years. Right now I’m going to focus on touring, my show and doing more television work outside of Drag Race. Will I come back to Drag Race at some point? Yeah, sure. But I want to enjoy the life Drag Race has given me,” she said.
“I want to really take it all in and travel and meet people so it won’t be for another few years that you won’t see me back on a [Drag Race]Vs. the World or something like that, but really just doing a lot of more auditions and TV work and and really focusing on my wild show and touring and living my life. And, you know, Drag Race is such an amazing platform but it’s given me such an amazing career that now it’s time for me to enjoy it.”
All episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 8 is now streaming on Paramount+.