Sisi Superstar is far more than just a drag performer. Behind the signature, bold-liner is a multi-faceted talent that explores the realm of Y2k alt-rock mixed with bubblegum pop and the depth of the Tiohti:áke/Montreals queer party scene.
The Tiohti:áke/Montreal-based artist, DJ, singer/songwriter and event organizer has been in the cities art scene since 2012 but has been focusing more on drag performance and music since 2020. Since Sisi Superstars’ introduction, they have upstaged themselves with every venture they pursue.
“I have always been sketching very Sisi’esque illustrations even before knowing that I wanted to do drag. A lot of my drag inspiration comes from comics, mangas, movies & video game characters,” they say.
As a performer, the fear of performing itself pushed them towards doing drag, they say. For Sisi Superstar, this was a way of challenging a part of themselves who was extremely anxious to perform and put themselves out there. “So I jumped in, and with time, got more comfortable which allowed me to truly just feel myself on stage and connect more with the audience.”
For the wunderkind, their most memorable look goes back to their 2021 demonic sweet sixteen-inspired glam. The crushed velvet top and 2000s hot pink colour scheme was complemented by two white bows and a set of fangs. This was the essence of Sisi.
“It’s c*nt, it’s sexy, it’s playful. I got covered in mud and water from the rain, at my birthday rave, on the mountain… which completed the whole look,” they say.
The performer, however, goes beyond mere drag, with the recent release of their 90s nostalgic track ‘Peach Dream’, alongside Tiohti:áke/Montreal artist Pierre Crube. ‘Peach Dream’ oozes those subtle influences of a hyper pop and video game-esque hybrid, encompassing its electro-pop essence.
“I always knew that I wanted to try making music, even if it was just a single. I learned to sing on the spot, with my friend Pierre Crube who produced my first EP Demon Tales,” they say. Their influence in the cities music scene includes their brainchild UniKorn, alongside visual artist Mirage.
“She just had such a drive and desire to create something fun, that would be beneficial for us and the scene, so I was instantly already into it. I connected with the rest of the girls going to Glitter Bomb, Awffull was throwing the party and gave me my first drag gig, and Samantha Blake was taking the pictures there,” they say.
In 2018, the party collective UniKorn was born, a space for queer club kids in Tiohti:áke/Montreal.
“I think we just found each other at the perfect moment, and just became friends organically. We decided to put our forces together and birthed UniKorn,” they say.
Since the release of ‘Peach Dream’, and with the ever-presence of the ongoing pandemic, the space to perform has been up and down. “With clubs and spaces being closed most of the time, it makes me feel a bit limited artistically,” they say.
Recently, they came out with ‘Hell High’, a new series of illustrations and previously worked alongside artist Aya Avalon. Their work is reminiscent of their music in many ways, sharing that cyber infused style with a twist of a decidedly Lisa Frank-inspired aesthetic.
The future of Sisi Superstar may seem as though it’s halted by the pandemic, but the multi-talented artist isn’t letting that stop them. Aside from the production of new music, they continue to create a safe queer scene for club kids in their city, while performing in New York alongside American DJs SydFalls and Pauli Cakes to name a few.
“I have always loved to try new media to express myself, and I ended up loving the recording process,” they say.
Rhea is Editorial Intern at liminul. She’s a Toronto-based writer with a background in queer subculture, finishing her final year at X University.