Like so many fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race and of drag queens in general, I was extremely sad to learn about Sahara Davenport’s death in 2012. When I was still running Moniqueblog.net, I had the chance to speak with Davenport about her then-latest single, “Go Off.” After getting off the phone with her, I’d hoped I’d be able to catch up with her again in the future. Here’s my interview with Davenport.
You might remember me writing about the new single and music video by Sahara Davenport, “Go Off.” This week, I was able to have a phone interview with her about the song, the inspiration for the music video, and more.
If you are new to the world of drag queens, Davenport is one of the fan favorites from Season 2 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. Davenport, born Antoine Ashley, was labeled “The Dancer” during her season, and you can certainly see her dancing and singing abilities in the music video for her Billboard-charting pop singer, “Go Off.”
“It’s a great feat, honestly, to know that DJs across the country are playing my song,” she said about her accomplishment.
Davenport has been in world of performing a long time. “Music’s been a big part of my life, ever since I was a little boy, singing in church.” When she grew up, Davenport became a professional music theater performer. Last year, Davenport released the single “Pump with Me.” It was during the year of performing “Pump with Me” that the groundwork for “Go Off” was laid.
She recalled feeling like she didn’t play up her strengths as well as she could have on Drag Race. “I remember people being surprised by me,” she said when referring to announcing and using her talents on the show. “It was my fault for not playing it up big enough on RuPaul’s Drag Race and so [“Go Off”] is basically just a song for when you decide to just go big and go off.”
Going off has certainly helped Davenport–”Go Off” has not only reached the target audience, but has touched all music listeners, something Davenport is very proud of. “It’s exceeded expectations,” she said.
Originally, “Go Off” wasn’t going to have a music video, but when Davenport was finally convinced to make one, the original concept was “geeks and superheroes.” “I was originally going to have supheroines all in white. Storm [one of her favorite supheroines], Catwoman, and Supergirl, all in white,” she said. Even though that original idea was scrapped, the white Catwoman suit stayed in the final incarnation of the video. “I was like, ‘I want that damn white Catwoman suit!” she said, citing that suit as her favorite. There’s also hope that the Storm suit might make its debut in a future music video, she said.
What’s next for Davenport? “I think I’m going to concentrate on more music,” she said, also mentioning that she is waiting on a call for the all-star season of Drag Race (RuPaul, if you’re reading this, call her, please). “I’m also going to take more acting classes,” she added, saying, “I’m going to explore all opportunities of all genders.”
Davenport has already done a lot before and after Drag Race, such as starring in her own one-woman show, starring on television (One Life to Live, Judge Karen), promoting AOL Asylum (now part of the Huffington Post) alongside fellow drag queen Brini Maxwell and winning awards, but there’s still more for Davenport to do. To say it in her words, “There’s still more Sahara to come.”