Check Out Yvie Oddly and Vanessa Vanjie Mateo's New Music Video for 'Hype' (Exclusive)
By John Boone
"Where the f**k is Yvie?" Vanessa Vanjie Mateo shouts when she realizes she's the first queen to join our conference call. "I'll take over the f**king interview!"
Miss Vanjie features on the new single from RuPaul's Drag Race sister -- and season 11 winner -- Yvie Oddly, and ET has the exclusive premiere of their "Hype" music video. The track sees the twosome rapping about sipping Patron and shaking ass over a bouncing beat, while the quarantine-era video features clubbing mannequins, Tiger King references and cameos from Brooke Lynn Hytes, Silky Nutmeg Ganache and Soju.
When Yvie hops on the call, the queens talk to ET about collaborating on their video, Yvie's return to the All Stars 5 as a lip sync assassin and why they "can't wait for the world to get a little bit 'Hype.'" Watch below and scroll on for the interview.
A lot of artists have conflicting feelings about promoting things right now. Yvie, you wrote about this beautifully on Instagram. How are you feeling putting this out amid everything happening?
Yvie Oddly: I still feel like it is a little bit difficult, especially when I'm not making content that specifically talks about the current state of the world. However, I think one of the important roles as a black artist or a black public figure is to continue to thrive and continue to create art regardless of the circumstances. So while I would like to talk more about what we're experiencing in the future, I'm just glad I got to make a video and make a song with one of my friends about something that is very important to me and hopefully will help put some representation out there for young black, queer and Latinx kids.
How did you decide it should be Vanjie who hops on this with you?
Yvie: I've actually been bugging Vanjie since our top 5 challenge on Drag Race being like, "Girl, we have to make a song together!" I really liked her rap and I just love the sound of Vanjie's voice. [Laughs]
Vanessa Vanjie: I'm glad you do, bitch!
Yvie: I guess it's something that's been out in the universe for a second, but when I decided to put some real work into a full-length album, I knew that making a song with Vanjie was one of my highest priorities.
Let's get into these lyrics. Do you both have your favorite bars?
Yvie: Anything Vanjie says is gold. But I like her ability to direct the crowd, so in the middle of her nasty ass verse she's going in on, she's shouting commands that make you want to follow along, even if you can't twerk it.
Vanjie: Yes! The cha-cha slide, bitch!
Yvie: I loved it. And I like anytime I get to brag. [Laughs]
Vanjie: When I heard the song, it surpassed my expectations. Me and Yvie always talked about wanting to do something that's not-- You know, there's nothing wrong with this, but they'll be coming out with music and it'll be references to Drag Race and little quotes that happened on the show. So I was gagged with the song.
Give me the vision for the video. What did you want to accomplish with this clip?
Yvie: Initially, when I had written the song, I just wanted a fun video about Vanjie and I going out to the club, just to honor those experiences and invite everybody else to party. But when lockdown happened, I realized that the song wasn't necessarily something that everyone could experience in those ways. So I wanted to tell a story about Vanjie and I, like, fantasizing about breaking into the club and hanging out with some of our season 11 sisters and a bunch of hot mannequins.
And we do have some cameos. Tell me about having your sisters in the video with you. Was there anyone else you wanted to include?
Yvie: If I could've, I would have had anybody and everyone. I miss seeing a lot of the girls from my season, because you go through so much with them and then you all part your ways. It would have been nice to have a reunion with them -- or hang out with some of the girls from season 12. I originally wanted to have Widow [Von'Du] hop on this track, but it just didn't happen in time. I feel like we're all just dying for a little bit of connection again, so keeping it as safe as possible, we wanted to just see our sisters.
I have to imagine when you have Silky on set, you're getting that connection.
Yvie: Oh, girl. She turns the party. Yyou can't make a music video about a song called "Hype" and not have any energy on set, but having Vanjie and Silky and the girls there definitely helps turnt it.
Vanjie: Child, trying to direct that one to do anything correctly without her wanting to just do whatever was the funny part.
Yvie: It turned into a real nightclub for a second. We got to have the fantasy. [Laughs]
You mentioned an album. Is this part of a forthcoming body of work?
Yvie: Yeah! I've been really fortunate to have the time to invest into making an album. I've always wanted to dabble in music and after my experiences releasing "Dollar Store" and "Gigging," I decided I needed to dive in all the way. I'm going to call it Drag Trap after the house that I've spent the last five years in, where I grew into the queen I am. A lot of people were overwhelmed by how chaotic and messy it was, but it always helped me -- literally -- be in a space where I could make beautiful things and strive for bigger. So, much like a trap house, except we were selling drags instead of drugs.
Are you enlisting more featured artists for any tracks on there?
Yvie: I have a few more lined up for you, but you're going to have to wait and see.
I need to talk a little Drag Race while I have you both. Yvie, you did the premiere of All Stars 5. How did the lip sync assassin opportunity come to you?
Yvie: I was getting ready for a string of Pride last year when I got the call from World of Wonder. They told me a little bit about what the new format was going to be like and asked me if I wanted to do it. It was a little bit risky to do, because this was right after I had just found out I was crowned. So if I go onto this show and fail as the first assassin or make a fool of myself, it could have had some negative repercussions. But I was just really excited for the opportunity to be on the Drag Race stage again, and more specifically, to do the things that I love doing the most. Like, I'm glad they didn't call me back for a Snatch Game. [Laughs]
The competing queens have money at stake in these legacy lip syncs. What did you have to prove as the assassin? What was the motivation to turn it?
Yvie: I just wanted to continue to be a beacon. Not that I needed to prove myself to anyone, but at that time, I was still feeling vulnerable about the win because it was so fresh. So I went in with this mindset of, "I really want to show people my heart and I want to leave it all on the stage," especially because that's all I'm being called back for. I'm not in the running to win another hundred thousand dollars. I don't really get the power to do any damage on the show.
Vanjie: F**k up somebody's life!
Yvie: Exactly. [Laughs] So I wanted to show people what I was really made of, especially because I knew that performing in that way isn't something that I was going to be able to do for very much longer.
Needless to say, you slayed it. Vanjie, your drag mothers is in the race on All Stars. Alexis said you helped her get ready for this go-around. What did you teach her about competing on Drag Race nowadays?
Vanjie: I know my first time going around on Season 10, she would tell me as much as she could. But I felt like sometimes that could almost backfire. It could scare you going into it. So, I just let her tell me whatever she needed or just vent to me. And I was excited, because it was perfect timing for her. Her whole life was changing. She was moving from Florida to Vegas. And getting to go back twice, she was thinking, "I ain't never going back to All Stars again." So, I was just like, "This is the only opportunity, bitch." And she doesn't need no help! Really, I didn't need to tell her shit, because Alexis, she's crazy. She's sickening. I was just excited to see what the f**k would happen with her.
After Drag Race, you worked together on RuPaul's Drag Race Live in Las Vegas. The show is down until July 31, but as the world starts to reopen, have you been in conversations about getting back and what that will look like?
Yvie: As it stands, we're hoping and praying that we can get back on stages and be out there to entertain people. But the number one priority is that we're doing it at a time that's safe and where we're not going to be putting people in jeopardy. So we've been in talks about it, but we're honestly just not going to jump ahead of the gun. We want to make sure we're making the world a little bit better and not the other way around.
We might find out that Valentina was truly ahead of her time and all the queens will want to keep their masks on, please.
Yvie: She was psychic all along!
Vanjie: No, bitch, you can keep the mask on but they need to see those lips still, so probably we need to innovate some sort of clear, fog-free mask situation.
Yvie: Like a respirator, so that it doesn't fog up and ruin your makeup. Drag is creative. We'll get there.