A kiki with Bianca Santana Knight
Our town is blessed with tons of different styles of talent, from Fish to Club queens. New talent and personas arriving on the daily; for instance, the ever so talented Bianca Santana Knight, who can often be found gracing the stages of Trax. This recently crowned Miss Americana—her first title earned since moving here—looks ready to take Nashville by storm! So let’s sit back, relax, and get untucked as we get to know this girl on fire!
Did you face any hardships growing up? Can you tell us about them?
Yes, I have, just like the next individual. Growing up in a “God-fearing home,” being confused about my sexuality, and the stress of coming out as a black male…
How old were you when you first started doing drag?
I was 23 years old, and I got started in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It was a Halloween drag contest at After Dark nightclub.
What sparked your interest in this art form?
The freedom it allows… As an inspiring designer, it allowed me to showcase my designs and creations. In middle school and high school, I’d always been on stage with show choirs and musicals. So it’s no surprise that I love being on stage and expressing myself. I have to say that this art form was also a healing process for me, when I was in a broken dark place in my life.
How would you describe your drag style and persona, and who are your inspirations?
My style is creative, classy, and innovative. Several queens and performers have been huge influences, such as Beyoncé, Grace Jones, Lady Gaga, Vernessa Mitchell, Rubi Santana (Drag Mother), The Legendary Misty Knight Patti LaBelle, fashion designers like; Alexander McQueen and Vera Wang, RuPaul’s *Drag Race* the list can go on.
Of them all, who would you say has been the biggest influence in your drag career? My drag mother Rubi Santana. She has been there for me through it all, along with a few others. I’ve cried, laughed, and fought with her, but through the years our bond has gotten stronger. With endless support and love, I can always count on her to make me simile and motivate me to be a better entertainer.
How does your family feel about you doing drag?
My family is mixed with the whole idea, some love it and some hate that I do drag, but for the family members that have gotten to experience Bianca, their reaction is, “Damn, she makes a fine woman!”
If you had to choose one thing to change about your drag style or look what would that be?
If I had to say what I would change about my style, it would be to be a more fluid queen. I say that because I would want to know every little aspect there is to know about the art of drag.
What is the one thing you would never change about your drag style or look?
One major thing I wouldn’t change is my self-growth as a drag queen: never stop learning in this industry. I will always stay true to myself, stay humble, and give 100% on stage. Many say my drag style is fishy, I’ve learned over the years what that meant and learned to be proud of it.
Where is your favorite city or venue to perform and why?
There are several cities that are on my favorite list so far, but I would have to say Nashville. It is a bigger metropolitan area with more opportunities to perform. My favorite venue still to this day to perform at, though, is Vickie’s in South bend, Indiana.
What is your favorite song to perform, and why?
I have many songs that I love to perform to, like “New Attitude,” “Crazy in Love,” and “Proud Mary,” but “Schooling Life” by Beyoncé will always be dear to my heart, because that was the first song I ever did, and it was the start of what is Bianca Santana Knight.
How do you feel when you perform that song?
I feel higher than life when I perform that song: it’s like I get a rush of energy in my soul. The rhythm and the beat takes over and my spirit is filled with power.
Where do you see yourself In five years as a performer?
I see myself still on stage, doing what I’m passionate about, growing and testing the waters of more pageantry. I see myself to continuing designing for myself and other queens.
What is the hardest obstacle you have face whether it been in your everyday life or as a performer?
To answer truthfully and honestly, the hardest obstacle I have to overcome would be myself, for not believing in myself more.
What makes you feel most accomplished as a performer?
When I can look out from the stage and see every patron engaged, with a smile, I know I have done my job.
You can catch Bianca at a number of venues around town, but she most often performs at Trax. To stay up-to-date on her events and designs, you can follow her on Facebook.