Hello to all of our beautiful readers, or should we say “Hej“? If you want to know why the team is considering signing up for language classes after getting to chat with this #WorldWideWednesday queen, read on! One thing for sure: After talking to her, we can confidently say that she’s one fabulous, funny, and very talented bitch! And, since we really can’t travel internationally at the moment, we say: get yourself a cup of tea and join us on our latest digital DragAdventure as we go all the way to Denmark to interview Betty Bitschlap. We talk queer life in Copenhagen, Danish, and of course, digital drag, Life after Lockdown, and what happens when Mozart meets the Rocky Horror Show!
DragAdventures: Hi Betty! First of all, let us tell you that we are super excited to have you as one of our fabulous WorldWideWednesday Queens representing the beautiful country of Denmark. Speaking of, can you tell us a little bit about where you from and what are some things that people can’t miss out on when visiting? And of course, please give us some of your fellow Danish drag artists to keep our eyes open for!
Betty Bitschlap: Well it really is a pleasure to speak to you – about me! Honestly, I’m really happy living in Denmark, and it’s become even clearer during this pandemic how the government helps and compensates EVERYONE. It’s just such a safe and calming feeling really. I’m a sucker for socialism I have to say (laughing.) Anyways I live in Copenhagen with my husband and creative partner, Matthew One Bailey. It’s a cute city, great to be gay in my experience. Can’t wait to get back performing with my fellow queens – I obsess over all of them here, they are just so different! But I want to mention Jaxie Bearcunt for pushing the barriers, being mad creative, and such a sweetheart. Then the gorgeous Miss Megan Moore who was there with make-up tips n tricks when I started out. She deserves all of her success – you can actually catch her hosting a huge show called Wallman’s, she’s such a star!
DragAdventures: We know, asking “How’s it going” in 2021 will probably get us some looks as in “are you serious” but oh well, let’s try and find some highlights in the valleys of doom we are currently riding through on this “Coronacoaster”…You’ve just released a new single, aptly called Corona (out now on all streaming platforms). What was your creative process behind it and what made you veer in the direction of a ballad?
Betty Bitschlap: (laughing)Yes, “Corona”. I’m not trying to invent the wheel really, I just want to spread my art, sometimes fun, sometimes beautiful, and sometimes weird. The Corona song was actually a song I wrote called “Chlamydia”, and when I was asked to perform in an extended reality performance for Copenhagen Pride last summer, I had the idea to perform a grand ballad, Shirley Bassey style, called Corona. So I changed the words and afterward, people were like “This is a mood, please release”, so I just did it. Normally I release more produced and electronic beats, but why not. After all, we were in lockdown and had all the time in the world. We were shooting pictures and videos at the apartment all the time anyway because of the lockdown, so we were like “Let’s just make a cover art, a video and then release it”.
DragAdventures: We love the aesthetic of the music video and our first impression was “a bit of Dolly Parton in the 60s doing a Eurovision performance”, which is everything we ask for, really! Who are your inspirations when it comes to creating looks, videos, etc.? What will Betty wear when she gets to go out and be wild at a club for the first time after the pandemic?
Betty Bitschlap:Omg, I love references! It’s always about looking through the interweb, Instagram, and Youtube to find ideas and references. As I said, I had this Shirley Bassey 60’s vibe in my mind, so we went for it. One (my husband) got me the beehive wig for Xmas, and it just kind of inspired the look.
I try not to put myself in a box – my style literally changes every time. As much as possible each look is thought through and not just what I had in the basement – because I love to execute a concept! What makes it Betty is the blonde hair, and the red baby doll lips I think. I’m working on the video for an upcoming single atm, and I think that will inspire my “first night back out” look. Very pink. Very bubbly.
DragAdventures: What songs can’t be missing on your post-pandemic pre-party playlist?
Betty Bitschlap: I’m obsessing over MARUV these days, his track “I want you” and “Focus on me” are sick, and also Loboda and her track “Boom”. I have a thing for these eastern European nasty, dark and sexy dance tracks these days (laughing) Very Katya I guess.
DragAdventures: Speaking of when parties were still happening in real life – last year saw you nominated in the Danish Rainbow Awards, how did it feel to be up for such an acclaimed accolade? If you could put on your own award show, which categories would there be?
Betty Bitschlap: That was a crazy night – I swear when the presenters said my name as a nominee the room screamed. So emotional! I was crying on the inside, but I just stood up from my chair and took a walk around it as cunt as I could. Then I lost (laughing), but of course, the winner was an iconic queer performer who has been around for ages here in Denmark. Good for her. Bitch.
Great question. I would give awards for being creative, pushing through and putting stuff out there. We are all insecure, we all feel uncomfortable when presenting something new, the only difference is either you do or you don’t. I’m sure Madonna is insecure too, but we just got to DO it as an artist. Queer artists pushing the limits with art, music, fashion, you name it. Awards for doing it! BAM!
DragAdventures: Unfortunately, since last year, most parties have been digital and distanced and that situation has been affecting many creatives around the world. You’ve performed digitally for Copenhagen Winter pride as well as for Digital Drag Fest 2020 – how does one adapt to being face to face to massive crowds to performing in front of a camera alone? How did you prepare for your digital drag performances and is there a part of the process you might want to keep in your routine even for “Life after Covid-19”?
Betty Bitschlap: The situation has definitely made me even better at executing ideas, and seeing them followed through. Because there was so much time to prepare, I thought “why not prepare” instead of just going out there in a bodysuit and a pair of boots. So I will definitely try to take that with me – EVERY time you show yourself is a chance to say something – to show something, be something and someone. Make it count, honestly, the digital shows have just been great because when rehearsing for them – be it a set with a guitarist or a party gig with dancers – you dont think about the pandemic or it being online. You just create!
DragAdventures: One positive thing to come out of being locked down are podcasts – we love listening to the most diverse genres and so were pretty excited when we came across the announcement for your podcast “Aloha“”when researching for this interview. Can you give people that have not yet listened to it a quick “teaser trailer„” about the general vibe and the topics they can expect?
Betty Bitschlap: Well first off, it’s in Danish so good luck with that (laughing). I felt like it was a good way to connect to the fans on a regular basis. It’s basically just Ramez and myself talking about what feels right on the day. Talk about “normal” stuff but from our queer point of view, without having to label it especially for the gays. It’s just us. We have fun with it. We do a show together called Kinky Classics where he plays piano – he’s an INSANE Classical pianist – and I sing and try to be funny. We had some good sold-out shows, before the lockdown, so aloha! is a cute way for us to stay connected until we can hit the stage again.
DragAdventures: Since life is kind of foreseeable at the moment (at least when it comes to the fun things) and we all are probably watching a lot of Netflix… Here is a quick-fire question for you: Would you rather be trapped in a romantic comedy with your enemies or trapped in a horror movie with your friends? Bonus points if you can tell us the movie!
Betty Bitschlap: Omg YES! I’d be trapped in Clueless with my enemies, and I’d just enjoy the spinning wardrobe, 90s sports cars, and dated lingo. I’m a Capricorn ALL the way so throw some diamonds on me, and I’ll smile politely at ALL my enemies, whoever is around me (laughing). No joke, I can get along with anyone, as long as they are not boring and ignorant, I tend to leave rather quickly (laughing) sorry about it!
DragAdventures: For our last question, we like to look ahead into the future (and we also really love being optimistic about the things to come, even (or especially) in 2021! You dazzled audiences last year with your show ‘Kinky Classics’ and you recently announced it will return in 2021, any sneak peeks about what audiences new to the show will be in for? And, any other fun projects you’d like to give us a hint about for 2021 so we can be even more optimistic?
Yeah as I mentioned Kinky is coming back! We are talking with different venues here in Copenhagen, and some of them I REALLY hope come together, because it would mean hitting a totally different crowd than I would normally reach. Anyways Kinky is all about mixing Classic music with drag – it’s a funny way of introducing the classical world to the drag audience and vice versa. I think we hit something there. Mozart meets the Rocky Horror show feat lot’s and lot’s of dresses (laughing)
Right now I’m working on an actual EP and that is the 2021 mission! I simply can’t wait to share it and my exciting collaborators that are known both in Denmark and overseas, so stay tuned!