Life is understandably surreal at the moment for Drag Race finalist Shea Couleé. But while the show may be ending, Couleé’s journey as an artist is just beginning.
"This experience of the show airing is coming to an end, but it’s really just the beginning," Couleé told OUT. "There’s so many projects and appearances... there’s travel dates that are just coming up after the finale. I’m about to go on tour to 34 different cities. It’s really crazy and so awesome that this is all happening because of the show."
Part of Couleé’s journey is finally releasing a trio of music videos, exclusively on OUT, cementing her as one of the most versatile, talented and hard-working queens in Drag Race herstory.
“[It] was such an undertaking," Couleé says of creating her three videos with Chicago-based production company VAM. "We shot all of those right upon coming back to Chicago after being in LA for a week and half for DragCon."
The three tracks make up Couleé’s debut EP, Couleé-D, for which she recorded 11 total tracks. “There [are] all these different sounds and different vibes—there’s also really great stuff that’s unreleased that I’m holding onto because I think what I want to do is to just release smaller albums, EPs and then have visuals for all them and continue telling the stories."
While Couleé-D doesn’t have a particular narrative, the EP will deal with three distinct elements of Couleé’s drag persona, and Couleé gave OUT some exclusive insight into what they all mean to her. Watch and learn more, below.
"'Ride' is the really laid back band-jam homegirl jam that she would listen to [while] smoking a blunt with your friends—just like chilling at a cookout."
"'Cocky' actually came about because [during Drag Race], there was a contestant that had been kinda running her mouth in the streets about me and calling me ‘Cocky' after her exit. I’ve always prided myself on being able to maintain a sense of humility and perspective about my abilities and what it is that I can do as an artist and performer. So I was really like, ‘Oh yeah girl?'"
"'Feeling So' was actually one of the first songs I wrote when I got back from the show and there was one night I had been out at Queen, this party on Sundays at Smartbar [in Chicago], and I was getting ready to go to this after hours and the song, 'Everybody Wants to Rule the World,' by Tears for Fear came on the radio. I was like, 'Oh my god, I forgot about this song, it’s so good.' I was jamming out with my friend Jacob Bjorge, who co-wrote and produced it, and we were sitting down and he started playing the chorus. I just started writing the song and [it’s] really inspired by that moment... by an amazing, drug-fueled night out on the town with that feeling that just keeps getting better and better. It’s careless and fun and you’re so caught up in the moment, you don’t even have the words to describe how good you’re feeling. You’re just feeling so..."