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Priyanka Has Always Been Destined for Greatness—and She Can Prove It


In a world where cultural diversity is often pushed aside, some individuals refuse to be placed in a box, are committed to rising above adversity, and are continuously dedicated to shattering barriers. Meet Priyanka, an exceptional individual embodying this remarkable spirit.

Being raised as one of few brown kids in a small suburban Canadian town, Priyanka faced the daunting task of navigating cultural differences as a closeted gay male in a predominantly white community. Yet, armed with the belief that hard work and determination can conquer any obstacle, she fearlessly went after her passions to transform into the inspirational figure we know today.

From her debut into the entertainment industry as a children’s television show host to her groundbreaking victory as the first-ever winner of Canada's Drag Race in 2020, Priyanka has repeatedly proven that she is destined for greatness.

As Pride month takes center stage, we got the opportunity to speak with the talented Indo-Caribbean drag queen, singer, and dancer about her incredible journey, what Pride truly means to her, and how she continues to utilize her platform to advocate for inclusivity and self-expression.

The Early Days

Priyanka has yearned to leave a mark on the entertainment industry from a young age. As she reflects on her journey growing up in Whitby, Ontario, she reminiscently recalls: "My dad, uncles, and brothers were all DJs, and my grandparents were singers. I was always around music, which was my escape into my Indo-Caribbean culture." This early exposure to music and performance ignited a fire within her, further fueling her passion for the arts.

Initially, Priyanka's heart was set on pursuing her passion for dance. Eager to hone her skills, she asked her parents to enroll in a dance class but was met with a resounding ‘no’. However, she didn’t let that deter her from developing her skills, "Instead, to become a better dancer, I just locked myself in my bedroom and learned choreography by watching music videos,” says Priyanka.

Fast forward to her high school years, her interest in all thing’s entertainment led her to volunteer at a local television station. Her volunteer work led to securing a spot as a host on the well known children’s network, YTV. “I spent a lot of my time working a part-time job, going to school, hustling,” says Priyanka. “I would also attend so many concerts and create reviews about the shows, just wanting so badly to be this reporter– MTV, TRL type host.” Her relentless drive knew no bounds as she continued to pursue her vision of becoming a media personality.

It's a full circle moment to see how the very hobbies that Priyanka loved as a child, such as dancing, singing, and hosting, have now become intrinsic to her identity as a drag queen. "It's interesting, like now that I'm an avid singer and dancer, that's the stuff that really makes me a great drag queen now,” she reflects.

The Influence of Drag Culture

Priyanka credits a lot of her success to the local drag scene. Upon relocating to a vibrant and inclusive Toronto neighborhood, Priyanka found a haven where she could fully express her identity. "The local drag scene is the most beautiful thing," Priyanka recalls. Prior to taking a shot at becoming a drag queen, Priyanka was heavy on the night scene, frequenting popular drag shows in the greater Toronto area. "That's when I fell in love with drag queens because they are the pop stars of the community. You go to these shows, and they are on-stage dancing, looking really pretty, and you just want to take a photo with them.” These drag queen’s glamour and magnetic presence became a symbol of empowerment and inspiration for Priyanka, opening her eyes to a new world of entertainment. "Watching them on stage made me feel welcome, like I was part of a family.”

Fueled by this newfound sense of belonging and with the mentorship from her drag mom, Xtacy Love, Priyanka decided to embark on her own drag journey. After a month of preparation in 2017, with nerves and excitement intertwining, she stepped onto the stage at a local Toronto bar by the name of Cruz and Tangos for her first performance. Her debut drag show included an upbeat and empowering dance routine to the tunes of a slowed down version of Beyonce’s Sorry with a smooth transition into Before He Cheats by Carrie Underwood. "Looking back at the video now, I look busted," she laughs. "But there's so much fire in my eyes." The unwavering fierceness and passion in her performance became a testament to her journey of self-discovery.

Priyanka soon realized that drag queens were more than just performers; they were a lifeline for those struggling to find their place in society. "They are an escape for a queer person who's having a rough time fitting in," she explains.

In 2020, Priyanka's talents transitioned to the mainstream media when she was crowned the first-ever winner of Canada’s Drag Race. "The experience of doing the show was so freeing because I learned to be even more proud of my culture," says Priyanka, reflecting on her journey of competing and becoming the winner. "I was finally getting to talk about real things, and it was so cool. I loved it." The opportunity to showcase her talent and share her truth on such a prominent platform allowed her to further foster a deeper sense of self-pride and inspire other people of color within the LGBTQIA+ community.

Makeup as a Transformative Artform

Priyanka admits that learning to do drag makeup was an intimidating art form to master. However, after taking wisdom and countless following tutorials from her drag sister, Helena Poison, Priyanka learned that makeup is not something to fear. "It's just makeup,” she says. “You can fix it if you make a mistake.” This realization unleashed her creative spirit, allowing her to experiment and push the boundaries of her own artistry.

As she explains her routine, Priyanka's goal is clear: She wants to transform into a pop star, a vision of sexiness, sparkle, and sheer fabulousness. She goes on to admit that each makeup session still gives her a tiny surge of anxiety. It's a mix of excitement and pressure, as she seeks to present herself flawlessly.

Priyanka's toolkit consists of an eclectic mix of high-quality products that aid her in creating her signature makeup look. She raves about the highly pigmented wonders of ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS Norvina Palettes, the illuminating effect of CHARLOTTE TILBURY Magic Cream, and the trusty Chestnut lip liner from MAC COSMETICS that helps define her pout. She also loves the precise lines that she achieves with the ONE/SIZE BEAUTY eyeliners and the subtle touch of their powders. And to top it all off, she adds a beautiful flush to her cheekbones using an assortment of DIOR highlighters.

Beyond makeup, Priyanka understands that skincare is the foundation for a flawless look. She swears by KEYS SOULCARE Nourishing Cleansing Balm for its abilities to quickly remove the most stubborn layers of makeup while keeping her complexion hydrated. She then reaches for TELESIS Makeup Remover to remove the stubborn glue from her eyebrows and forehead where she secures her wigs. She then goes in with CETAPHIL Gentle Cleanser, before balancing her skin’s pH with DERMALOGICA Multi-Active Toner, and finishing off with CETAPHIL Moisturizing Cream. Priyanka went on to drop an anti-aging tip to keep the skin healthy: “The key to taking care of your skin when you're removing your makeup is to never pull and tug at your skin.”

Pride and Celebration

Pride Month holds tremendous significance for Priyanka, not only as a drag queen but also as an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. It represents a time of celebration, unity, and empowerment. Pride offers a unique platform for all individuals to come together and embrace their authentic selves regardless of fame or stature.

At an unfortunate time where some drag bans and controversies have cast shadows over the community, Priyanka recognizes the importance of Pride Month in breaking down barriers and creating spaces of acceptance. She acknowledges the hesitancy of brands to associate with such events, fearing negative attention. However, she remains steadfast in her commitment to uplift the gay community, regardless of any sensationalism or potential backlash.

For Priyanka, the essence of Pride lies in live shows, where she feels most alive and connected to her audience. "Pride specifically is such a lucrative time for so many queens,” she says. “It doesn't matter if you're local or if you're the biggest drag star in the world.” Priyanka plans to celebrate by participating in local Toronto celebrations that amplify queer voices. By doing so, she hopes to inspire a ripple effect of acceptance and understanding that extends beyond the month of June.

When we asked what’s next project-wise, Priyanka teased the exciting news that she’s working on new music. With her upcoming album, Priyanka aims to continue spreading love, acceptance, and pride, amplifying her message of inclusivity through the universal language of music. Outside of brand-new music she wants to continue performing on the drag scene “I love doing live shows. So as long as I can keep doing that, I'll be the happiest person alive.”

Inspired by Priyanka’s journey? Discover more stories and learn How Travel Influencer Francesca Murray Gained a Global Perspective or Meet The Melanin Chemist Debunking Misinformation One Post at a Time.

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About the author
Chelsea Hall
Chelsea Hall
Chelsea is an NYC-based fashion and beauty writer with over 7 years experience. She has held roles at publications such as Harper's Bazaar, WWD, InStyle, and Marie Claire. Her writing has also appeared on and
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Article Last Updated June 26, 2023 12:00 AM