Eureka stomps back on the scene with a new single and a new season of We’re Here – Socialite Life
After an injury sidelined them, they returned to slay in season ten and more recently, All Stars 6. Eureka has also appeared on AJ and the Queen, American Horror Story and Love, Victor and co-starred with the late Chi Chi DeVayne, Mink Stole Coco Peru and Ginger Mint in a production of the cult classic Women Behind Bars (currently streaming on Tube.)
Currently, along with Bob the Drag Queen and Shangela, Eureka travels the country to help change hearts and minds on HBO Max’s amazing series We’re Here.
This trailblazing singer-songwriter, actor, advocate, proportionzer, and self-declared Elephant Queen has released her biggest and boldest single yet, “Big Mawma.” Building on the message established by past proudly large-and-in-charge anthems like “Stomp”, “Body Positivity”, and “The Big Girl”, Eureka’s latest tour de force “is an empowerment song for bigger women, first and foremost — but also it’s an empowering song for anyone that is made to feel less-than by society.” “This love is what the world needs to be reminded of. We all got Big Mawma love in us and around us. We just gotta remember to treat it right, accept that we are worthy of it and respect it!“
“Big Mawma” was inspired by the most important women in Eureka’s life: their recently departed mother and grandmother, who in general inspired the Eureka persona that millions of fans came to love via Drag Race Seasons 9 and 10 and All Stars Season 6. “Growing up as a 6’4”, colorful, flamboyant, genderqueer kid in Bristol, Tenn., I didn’t have a lot of friends, and the people that gave me a purpose and taught me how to love were these big women,” they explain. “When my grandma passed away in November, I went into a really dark place, but then I noticed that there were all these other people in my life that had that Big Mawma spirit. One of my favorite lines from the song is: ‘It don’t matter where you come from/Daddies, aunties, uncles too/Big Mawma’s spirit lives in you.’”
Eureka is “Big Mawma’s” chief songwriter, but the single finds their joining fierce forces with The Voice powerhouses and fan favorites Sarah Potenza and Katie Kadan, whom they jokingly says they “harassed the shit out of on social media” in order to convince them to sign on. “I was like, ‘Honestly, I just feel like we should just be a trio. Why not be Destiny’s Child, but Big Mawma-style, honey?’” Potenza and Kadan penned their respective verses to put their own spin on the “Big Mawma” message, which is aimed at “anyone that’s willing to love unconditionally” and “just happens to be extremely represented by three big women to show how sexy and delicious we can be. There’s a very sexual and beautiful side to us too. Just because we have big hearts, don’t forget our big asses!”
And, in addition to their many music/acting projects – including an appearance in a top-secret landmark episode of Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q later this year., as well as their non-profit organization Influence the World (which harnesses the power of social media influencers to give back to people in need), Eureka, always a consummate entertainer, will appear onstage throughout 2022 and 2023. They will star in their own “Eureka’s Castle” popup concerts produced by House of Queens, and in December she’ll return to Las Vegas’s successful RuPaul’s Drag Race LIVE! revue. “Whenever I’m available to go back to that show and give them love, I do it,” they said. “I definitely owe Drag Race a debt, as far as them helping me find my placement in Hollywood. I will always owe them that gratitude.”
We discussed the new single, We’re Here and what’s next for Eureka in our exclusive interview. All Hail the Elephant Queen!
What was the inspiration behind “Big Mawma”?
Big Mawma is inspired by some of the most important women in my life growing up, and that is my mother Ulrike and my Grandmother Janice who taught me how important it is to not only love yourself but to lift those around you up as well. The Big Mawma spirit also draws a lot of inspiration from my drag mother Jacqueline St. James, who taught me how to love myself not only as a Queer person, but as a Trans-Woman.
How did you end up teaming up with Sarah and Katie?
From the moment that I saw Katie Kadan on The Voice, I was a fan. I knew from that moment that I wanted to create this track with her and Sarah Potenza. Both of these lovely women represent exactly what the “Big Mawma” spirit is all about. Seeing a plus size woman on national TV proved to me that I too can achieve my dreams…no matter how big or small.
The video is fabulous. Who came up with the idea for it?
I did, it’s my art…everything I do has deep meaning and is inspired by real stories (the marriage story is inspired by Mandy and the prom inspired by my own experience.)
The song is being released right before Transgender Awareness Week. Do you feel that any strides are being made for the trans community? Was it important to release the song when you are (and if so, why?)
It’s important for me, more than anything, my spirit, my fans. It’s hard to say about the strides, I think that every time we step forward something mean and hateful happens and we take 10 steps back, but I think people are paying attention and hopefully having convos that will help us move forward.
I was able to watch the first few episodes of the new season of We’re Here and they are the best of the series (IMHO). What was the most surprising thing you took away from filming these new episodes?
I think what I took away the most was learning that I’m still growing and learning too. As much as I think that other people need this….I need this too.
It still seems like there’s so much (unreasonable) pushback and opposition to the LGBTQ and drag community. What do you think can be done to increase acceptance and diversity?
I think what we’re doing is all that can really be done, showing ourselves in a positive light and choosing kindness when others choose hate. We will never allow ourselves to be the monsters they want us to be.
What was your favorite moment from this season?
GETTING PAID! Just kidding. I think seeing the transformation in the drag children’s faces when they realize they’re not alone and seeing that big crowd there to support them
Would you want to do another season of the show? Is there somewhere you’d like to go?
Yes and yes! I would really like to go to my home state of Tennessee, especially now more than ever, as our rights continue to be stripped away.
You were amazing in Women Behind Bars. What was it like to play a role made infamous by Divine?
It was iconic, it was a dream come true, you know. It was also a learning lesson for me. Even though I may doubt my acting ability and talent, but I can do it. as much as I might doubt myself it was the ultimate acting test and hopefully it won’t be my last acting test.
Any aspirations to return to the stage? What role would you love to play?
YES! not to be cliche and fat but I would love to play Ursula, but I’d also love to play a princess in something ….and I’ve always wanted to play the Witch from Into The Woods.
Divine excelled in roles where she wasn’t a drag queen and wanted more parts like that. Since you have been acting in various projects, do you find it hard to be cast in roles that aren’t just “drag queens”?
Yes I do, I think people have put me in this drag box, but that’s not goin’ to keep me from continuing to audition and be taken seriously as an actor. You know a lot of my dreams even from 5 years ago have come true, and I’m blessed, but I’m a dreamer and I dream big, so just wait because Big Mawma is not done yet!
Can you spill any tea about your upcoming appearance on The L Word: Generation Q?
Well, there are some surprise flashbacks in this …let’s just say there might just be an iconic resurrection.
You are performing in RuPaul’s Drag Race Live in December. Are you excited? What can fans expect?
I’m very excited you can accept the big girl with big moves and big costumes, it’s not often that I get to perform on a stage that is big enough for Big Mawma.
Between performing in shows like Drag Race Live, singing, and acting, is there something that’s your favorite thing to do?
Watch movies – I love a nice little solo date to the movies.
Is there something you want to do that you haven’t done yet?
Absolutely, go on a cruise, go to a concert, visit Germany and also star in a feature film
What’s next for you?
Continued self-care, maybe a partner… and I want to buy my family a house.
Eureka answers the Socialite Seven
When did you know that you wanted to become a performer?
I think it’s just one of those things I’ve always known . As soon as I started watching movies and other stuff I was always singing and pretending to be characters. The first time I saw chips I knew I wanted to be like him.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career and why?
Probably my drag mother Jacqueline St. James and my drag father Todd O’Hara who taught me to sew and to be confident with my oversized self before I ever knew how and how to have a fashion sense. And, my drag mother ….taught me how to accept myself as not only a trans person but a queer person and a business person.
Who (if anyone) would you love to collaborate with?
Without a doubt, Lizzo.
Who would you want to play you in the movie of your life?
Daniel Franzese or Ginger Minj
What talent or superpower would you like to wake up with tomorrow?
I’ve always wanted to breathe underwater…I don’t know why but I’ve always been very aquatic.
What are three things you can’t live without?
Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and chocolate and I hate to say but cigs almost made the cut.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
I think the best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is, “There’s not enough guilt in the world to change the past, and there’s not enough insecurity in the world to change the future.”