“RuPaul’s Drag Race” royalty Alaska Thunderf*ck hits the Big Apple

Alaska 0660 FINAL 300 dpi by Albert Sanchez 2021
Alaska Thunderf*ck sports a Y2K-inspired ensemble promoting her newest album “Red 4 Filth.”
Courtesy of Ken Phillips Publicity Group, inc.

Alaska Thunderf*ck will grace the stages of Sony Hall on her “Red 4 Filth” tour on November 4 as she debuts her most recent album. Best known for “snatching the crown” on season two of “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars,” Alaska is no stranger to the stage, but this tour marks her breaking into the mainstream music world outside of drag. Gay City News got a chance to chat with Thunderf*ck about “Red 4 Filth,” life on the road, and her music career moving forward. 

While technically, “Red 4 Filth” is Alaska’s first-ever North American solo tour, she is all too familiar with traveling worldwide performing drag. 

“I’ve been on so many tours with a bunch of other drag queens that it doesn’t feel like new territory. To me, it feels like something that I’ve done for a while and that I really liked doing,” Alaska told Gay City News

Since the tour began on October 25, Alaska has loved headlining her own show. A drag queen loves the spotlight, after all. But her favorite part of being on the road is her sense of community with her crew. 

“I love living on a bus and the camaraderie of being with your team and really getting to know each other over this really stressful, really crazy experience,” Alaska said. 

The whole “Red 4 Filth” project has been a group endeavor from the beginning. Alaska collaborated with dozens of artists to bring her ideas and Y2K concept for the album to life. Her “dream team” consists of songwriters who have written for the likes of Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, and Aloe Black. 

“This [album] opened up the creative process to a whole bunch of different people. We did a writing camp, where we all stayed in a cabin in the woods. And we wrote and worked on songs and recorded some stuff and vibed and got to know each other,” Alaska said. “It was very different than anything I’d ever done before. And so the music ended up being really different than anything I’d ever done before.” 

She’s not wrong. In the past, most of Alaska’s music has been about “eyelashes” and other elements of drag pageantry. But in this album, she wanted to challenge herself to create “music you could hear on the radio.”

However, she also wanted to use “Red 4 Filth” to harken back to times of low-rise jeans, bedazzled flip phones, and belly-button piercings. Heavily influenced by her adolescence in the late ’90s and early 2000s, Alaska draws inspiration from Y2K pop icons like Brittany Spears, Avril Lavigne, TLC, and Alanis Morissette. 

“That’s the time period [when] I started to really love music, and that’s when I got my first tape and my first CD,” she said. “Listening to these things so much really began my obsession with music. [And] it also coincided with the fact that this time period is nostalgic right now, which is crazy to me because I don’t think I’m old enough for my youth to be an aesthetic, but I guess I am. So here I am.”

“Red 4 Filth” | Doors will open at 7 PM at Sony Hall on November 4 | Tickets start at $32.85 on Ticketmaster