By Dave Fountinelle | email@example.com
DeJa Skye began her drag career in 2011 at the age of 20. Inspired by the first seasons of “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” DeJa took an interest in Fresno’s local drag scene. Watching the local performers gave DeJa the confidence to try her hand at drag performance. With her bold and vibrant look, and fiery determination, DeJa Skye was soon performing all over the state. Eleven years later, DeJa Skye’s dream became a reality as she became a contestant on season 14 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” DeJa finished the competition in 6th place, sent home by Daya Betty the queen she had sent home earlier in the competition – a first for the show. Now back in the Fresno drag scene with a vengeance, DeJa Skye took some time to talk with Fresno Flyer about her career, her time on “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and to offer some advice to up and coming queens looking to follow in her fabulous footsteps.
FF: How would you describe a DeJa Skye performance to someone who is about to experience it for the first time?
DeJa Skye: When you come to a DeJa performance, you can find laughter, thrills, and a whole lot of body moving. Not only can I make you laugh but I have the goods to back it up in the performance category. I can dance, I can serve you a ballad, I can get campy, I can do it all!
FF: Where did you get your start performing drag?
DeJa Skye: I was a sweaty little baby queen that would go out to Aldo’s nightclub on their LGBTQ+ night. The promoter saw me and offered me a spot to perform. I brought my two friends at the time as back-up dancers and I performed “S&M” by Rihanna and the rest is herstory!
FF: What does ‘drag’ mean to you?
DeJa Skye: It means breathing, it means life, it means happiness, it means everything to me. It encompasses every creative outlet I have inside me. From acting to performing to makeup to sewing it’s such a creative job. The best job to be exact.
FF: Where do you draw inspiration for your drag outfits, looks, song choices, and performances?
DeJa Skye: I draw inspiration from everywhere really, I’m super into social media or YouTube or different public figures, but a lot of it stems from comic book and anime fantasy, for sure. I like to be over the top, but I can definitely be subdued as well. Color is my biggest inspiration. It makes me feel so many things, but pastels and neon, anything bright just gives me life.
FF: What was the most surprising thing about meeting and working with RuPaul?
DeJa Skye: The most surprising thing about meeting RuPaul was him knowing my name instantly and telling me that he wanted me on the show. That, to me, was so validating and it literally had me in tears because an idol completely understood who I was and was excited to see what I can do.
FF: You have such a warm, cheery, and approachable personality – how do you stay true to yourself in a competitive environment?
DeJa Skye: That’s just it, stay true to yourself. Don’t let the competition or anyone rock you. It’s easy to get lost in distress, but what I told myself every single day when I woke up was – new day, whatever is for me is for me, and I’m going to go into this competition completely staying true to myself. Don’t sweat the small stuff, it really isn’t that serious you know?
FF: Do you feel like you’ve transformed or changed at all from your time on Drag Race?
DeJa Skye: I don’t think I fully transformed throughout the competition, but I learned more things about myself in that little amount of time than I have learned in my entire adulthood. I was capable of so much more, I just needed the competition to really bring it out. Like, I had no idea I could act or sing or even impersonate someone, and those challenges actually ended up being the challenges I was great at.
FF: While you were on Drag Race, was there anything you particularly missed about Fresno’s drag scene?
DeJa Skye: I think that the Fresno Drag scene is very small and I’m very influential in it, so what I was thinking the whole time was I am going to make Fresno proud, and I think I did that.
FF: What advice do you have for anyone thinking about getting started in drag?
DeJa Skye: If you are going into drag for attention or as a get rich quick scheme, find a different job. Drag is a creative outlet that anyone and everyone can do. You just have to apply yourself and make sure that you are being authentic through your drag. Oftentimes, seasoned performers will give you advice, but take everything with a grain of salt because in their eyes they’re trying to make you what they want you to be as opposed to you being your own character, as an individual.
FF: And for those who have been doing drag for a while, what advice do you have for those looking to elevate themselves and take their performances to the next level?
DeJa Skye: Never stop working so you don’t get complacent, and don’t get lazy because that’s just an open door for someone up-and-coming to replace you. This is not a guaranteed job but if you truly apply yourself, this can definitely be a guaranteed job. If you want longevity, make sure that you are constantly reinventing yourself, and also make sure that you are helping the younger generation.
FF: What’s next for DeJa Skye?
DeJa Skye: I’m hoping to get on tour soon. Touring is something that I see myself doing and it’s a dream of mine so hopefully I can get on a tour. I also continue to travel the world and continue to inspire people. Be on the lookout for my YouTube channel. It will be drag-centric, things such as makeup tutorials, sewing hacks, reviews, and a whole bunch of other things. I also hope to continue working with World of Wonder for future projects – who knows, you may see me on TV sometime in the near future again.
You can catch DeJa Skye performing all over California, from Sacramento to Bakersfield. And you can watch her performance on Season 14 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” streaming on Paramount+ For the latest info about DeJa Skye, including where she’ll be performing next, follow her on IG: @dejaskye