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It was a season of lots of ups and downs, but RuPaul’s Drag Race season 7 finished with Pearl, Ginger Minj and Violet Chachki in the top 3. After a long finale, Violet Chachki was announced as America’s Next Drag Superstar. Before Violet starts on her worldwide tour, it was a pleasure to sit down with her for this Hotspots Exclusive Interview.

How surprised were you to win? Did you expect it?

I think going into the finale I thought I had a good shot, but then [as I was] watching it I thought Ginger was going to win. So I was definitely surprised when Ru announced my name.

Did you spend any of the money yet, and if so, on what?

No, I haven’t even gotten the check yet.

At what age did drag become an interest and how did you pick your name?

Drag became an interest around the age of 17, but professionally, not until I was 19. I got into it RPDR-Violet-Chachki_copybecause I liked wearing women’s clothing. My original drag name was Blair, but then I changed to Violet after watching the movie Bound. The character of Violet was dark and mysterious and that’s what I wanted my persona to be. Chachki…because I collect [tchotchkes]!

How many times did you apply to be on RPDR and how did it feel when you found out you were chosen?

This was my second time applying. I got turned down for season six because I wasn’t old enough to film. You have to have turned 21 before filming. The experience was nerve-racking because you only have two weeks to get yourself together and get there. But I was super excited at the same time.

Is there an additional pressure now that RuPaul has been on for seven seasons?

I definitely think so. Nowadays, if you want to get the great gigs, it doesn’t matter that you just get on the show. Rather, you have to last quite a bit. Remember, there are almost 100 RuPaul girls, so you have to last to get the fan base.

Tell me about your RuPaul’s Drag Race experience.

It was extremely difficult. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life; it was so emotionally and physically draining. People don’t realize that we film 14 hours a day.

You clearly have a great design aesthetic. Where did this come from?

I have always liked visual things and I have watched design shows, so that’s where I started getting it from. Christopher Lowell taught me a lot about visual design.

I really got into fashion in middle school as I started sewing in 8th grade. I have been fortunate to always have an eye for it.

“Bettie”, the first single from your soon-to be-released album, GAGGED, is on sales right now on iTunes. Tell me about “Bettie” and the album GAGGED.

The EP was amazing to make. Tommy Lee co-wrote “Bettie.” We all worked super hard and right now I am in L.A. [preparing] to shoot my second video which will come out at the end of June, along with the entire EP.

Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you.

I think most of my dirty laundry has been aired out, but one thing people may not know is that I eat all the time. 

Tell me about the man behind Violet.

I am really the same person. My friends call me Violet out of drag as well. As a boy, I just wear much less make-up.

What’s ahead for Violet?

I am really excited that I am able to create the soundtrack to my life. I would also love to have more time to delve into the fashion world, as well as the burlesque world. I am touring a lot in the near future so I hope I will get more time after that to concentrate on them.

You can catch Violet on Saturday night, July 4, at The Manor Complex in her first South Florida performance since being crowned. For more information on Violet, go to VioletChachki.com or on social media at facebook.com/Violetchachkiofficial; and on Twitter and Instagram @Violetchachki.