A kiki with Luxury, a/k/a Kip Ryker
This month for Untucked we decided to keep with the more outlandish style of drag that we don't often get here in Nashville. In this edition we feature Luxury (formerly Keri Luxury), better known on the internet as Kip Ryker. Luxury graced the stages of our glorious city long before moving out to Hollywood, where he is making quite the mark on the WeHo scene, hosting tons of events and parties. She has also worked with RuPaul's Drag Race and other well-known queens, featuring her iconic looks and jaw dropping performances. See what this queen is all about as we get untucked and kiki with Luxury!
Is there a drag entertainer that you model yourself or career after?
Not so much. If I see another drag artist giving a well-defined look that they are known for, I tend to go in a totally different direction. I know there are “no new ideas” but that doesn’t mean that I have to lock myself into a box of what I’m supposed to be as a performer. I want to be a performer that others look at and want to be like because it’s so drastically different.
How would you describe your style of female illusion?
Not necessarily female. I always want to push the boundaries and do something that no one expects me to do. You give me black and white event, I come in latex to the floor, with my face split in half black and white. I like creating these fantastical, over-the-top characters and looks with an avant-garde twist. I have recently started getting more into “fishy” drag and looking more like a realistic female and I definitely appreciate that style just as much. It’s not the normal gig.
What is your biggest inspiration for your looks and performances?
My initial inspiration was Raven from Season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. However, as I developed my drag style and pushed myself further, I started using more childhood characters from Disney, video games, and whatnot to vamp up and make an edgier and well … more offensive version. I also love taking various forms of artwork and music to design looks without a direct visual of a person or character to base it on.
How do you feel about the Drag Race?
I personally love the show and watch marathons constantly on Hulu and Logo’s website. I think it has been a positive influence as far as giving everyone new inspiration that they may not have gotten otherwise. It’s given so many people goals to push their ideas of drag and take it to a new level. Having said that, I think it has watered down certain aspects of drag in more accepting areas because EVERYONE now thinks that they should do drag just to follow the trend. It should be respected as an art form and not a fad.
Who would you say is the best drag queen from Drag Race and why?
Best overall? Can’t choose. I have favorites for different reasons. I love Manila Luzon’s camp- and Broadway-styled approach to drag. I love Pearl’s fashion sense and harsher paint and Adore Delano’s raw talent and personality. It just depends... I’m also a bit biased from working with so many of them in West Hollywood.
Who from the show do you think most appreciates your drag style?
Out of the girls I know, probably Detox. She seems to appreciate my weird, abrasive style. Out of the others, most likely Milk would be all up in my gig.
Have you had the ability to travel in your drag career?
I started doing drag in Nashville at Play Dance Bar but moved to West Hollywood, California, a few years later and have pursued it even further there. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to host various events, from movie premiers and album release parties to nightlife events and adult entertainment awards all over the country.
How would you describe Drag in Nashville as opposed to other cities you have visited or performed?
From my experience, Nashville is more centered on a “fishy” and more pageant-fueled style of drag for the most part. There are a few artists, such as The Princess, who push the boundaries with androgynous and/or edgier styles of drag but overall the scene is a bit monopolized in my opinion.
Did you have any problems when trying to make a name for yourself in Music City drag?
A bit. I don’t feel like my style was appreciated as much since I didn’t wear pads and gowns and whatnot starting out. However, I was kind of awful when I started, so that’s also a factor! It gave a hard start to a career mostly but I appreciate it for what it was. I mean it did get me to where I am today!
Who in Nashville has been an inspiration to your career?
Jaidynn Diore Fierce. She’s repping for the Nashville girls and traveling the country serving the children! I miss my Play sister from another mister!
How do you feel about drag pageants?
I appreciate them for what they are, but that’s about it. It’s not really my style normally. I do think that they are extremely political overall.... It’s disheartening to a lot of the awesome newer artists because they feel inadequate on a quality level, when it was pretty much played out in registration before the competition even started.
When you were a contestant in the Calendar Girl Contest at Play Dance Bar, do you think politics held you back from a victory?
THE SHAAAAAADE!!!!!!! The shadiest shade of all the shade that ever was shady!! Hahahaha. But yes. Yes I do. I slayed that competition, and there are plenty YouTube videos to prove it.
Overall, how do you feel about the drag community in Nashville?
It has already and will continue to nurture some really wonderful artists. I really appreciate what I learned from everyone while I was here and wouldn’t change a thing … except maybe that whole Calendar Girl thing. Haha.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start a drag career?
Do it! Make sure it’s for the right reasons though. Really pour your heart and soul into it and make it a spectacle. Don’t half do it, push it 110% and there will be support for you and your talent.
How can our readers keep up with you?
Follow my drag on Instagram at @TheBigKipper or Facebook under the email RougeShadow646@yahoo.com, or for ALL of my wild adventures follow me on Twitter (NSFW, 18+ ONLY) at @TheKipRyker!