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Trixie Mattel reveals 'break from music' & calls out 'glass ceiling' for queens

Trixie Mattel reveals 'break from music' & calls out 'glass ceiling' for queens

Trixie Mattel for Solid Pink Disco
Jon Sams

The RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 3 winner explained why she's taking a break from releasing original music.

Drag multihyphenate Trixie Mattel is officially taking a break from her music career.

Trixie had special guest Monét X Change during a new episode of The Bald and the Beautiful podcast released on Tuesday, April 30. As two RuPaul's Drag Race winners who are also musicians and have released some great music, Monét asked if Trixie thought they'd ever be considered for Grammy nominations, or if The Recording Academy would consider creating a "drag music" category for artists like them.

"I don't know if you feel like this, but if we're really being just us girls… I recently have been taking a break from music because I feel the glass ceiling so fiercely," Trixie revealed. "I think I've just gotten to do everything I'm going to get to do because we're only ever taken seriously about one month a year. And it's just like, it kind of takes the wind out of your sails. I want to make music, but if I don't have this wig on, no one will pay attention. But because I have this wig on, no one will take it seriously. So then what?"

The All Stars 3 winner added, "We're independent artists. Do people realize how much a cheap music video is? It's like $30,000, and that's when the directors are like, 'Well, we're not gonna have food on set, and you won't have a ride, and there's no air conditioning.' And mind you, we're in an industry where we already do our own hair, makeup, and sh*t. It's like, music videos cost so much money."

Monét, who recently dropped her new single "Body" and announced an upcoming album titled Grey Rainbow Vol. 1, agreed with Trixie but also highlighted why they often feel pressured to keep putting out new releases.

"If you don't [release music], then there's such a machine where's like, 'Well, you have to do music, and the music videos get more press, [and then] you can talk about this thing, and a music video will lead to…'" Monét noted. "And it's like, one thing does lead to another, but we're independent artists. I have to self-fund all of this. There's no label behind me pumping all this money into a single and into a project."

Trixie then talked about having friends who are signed to record labels, and how things aren't necessarily that much easier for them, either.

"Even if there was, I mean, I know artists who are signed [to a label] and I know about their deals," she explained. "The record label can collect 80% of what they make, including touring and merch. The labels will be like, 'Monét, we want to sign you. We're going to give you a $3 million upfront bonus.'"

Trixie continued, "And you're like, 'Oh my god, that's more money than I could ever imagine, I could buy a house!' (…) And then [labels are] like, 'But it's an advance, which means that it goes against five album sales. So either you make us that much money or, at a certain point, you owe us an extra album because you didn't make good on that amount.'"

This is an unfortunate reality for many independent musicians and up-and-coming artists who are signed to a label. It's upsetting that Trixie is taking a break from working on original music not just because she's busy with her multimedia empire, makeup company, Trixie Motel, and upcoming TV shows, but because drag artists are simply not taken seriously by the music industry.

Between 2017's Two Birds, 2018's One Stone, 2020's Barbara, and 2022's The Blonde & Pink Albums, Trixie has maintained a very consistent output of music releases over the years. However, one can't deny that her frustrations with the industry are completely real and valid. As of late, Trixie has been channeling her energy into producing remixes and doing DJ gigs — and it makes even more sense now why we haven't heard about a new album of original music from the drag superstar.

Meanwhile, Monét has released an EP, 2019's Unapologetically, as well as singles like "Soak It Up," "March," "Love Like This," and the brand-new song "Body."

You can watch Trixie Mattel's full interview with Monét X Change on The Bald and the Beautiful podcast below.

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Bernardo Sim

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.

Bernardo Sim is a writer, content creator, and the deputy editor of Out. Born in Brazil, he currently lives in South Florida.