Starrr tells Billboard Pride that his classical training in piano and musical theater prepared him for his new moment. “Music, I think, was a passion of mine before YouTube,” he says. “So it's surreal, it's amazing, and it is very hard at the same time!”
Starrr talked to Billboard Pride about the inspiration behind his new song, his thoughts on the most recent season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and more.
This is your debut single — what made you want to get into music?
I think, first and foremost, it was inspired by this marketing campaign, because I have transcended beauty standards in the beauty community, and I feel like I have become this star with my MAC Cosmetics collab. So I said, "I have five collections with MAC this year, I'm their Key Artist Collaborator. How could I inspire the kids even more? Like, what haven't I done?" You know, I've collaborated with the biggest names in the celebrity world on my channel, but what can I give the kids? Like, what can I do for them? And I was just like, "Imagine if Patrick had a little pop star fantasy! I should have my own single!"
Last year, I performed at this makeup competition with Alyssa Edwards, to a single that I think was called "Bitch I'm Everything." There's a video of me unveiling this sequin dress. It's so funny, I'm saying, "Bitch I'm everything," and people were making memes out of it, so I was like, "Why don't I ask that same producer to help me write a song that can be glamorous, that can be fun, that can be PG for kids and parents to dance to?" So I thought, why not promote this new collection in an innovative way — with the music video, with the visuals, and with a fun song?
You've described the video as "Hit Me Baby One More Time" meets "Survivor" meets RuPaul's Drag Race. Would you say that also applies to the song itself?
Ooh, for the song, I wanted it to be simple and catchy. Lyrically, I wanted to be kind of reminiscent of "Lip Gloss" by Lil Mama. Another inspo that I really really loved was this song that I heard when I went out in Orlando called "Not About You" by Haiku Hands. I am obsessed, and I kept playing it, and I was like, "I want a catchy hook like that one has." So my inspiration was me asking myself what song I could release, as a makeup wearer, for girls and guys to play right before they head out while they're doing their makeup? Like, what could they play and twirl their brush to in the mirror? The answer was "Got the Glam." It's for when you're getting ready, curling your hair, putting on your lipstick and saying, "I got the glam/Work the pose/Now strut," and you just strut down your hallway!
Your current campaign with MAC is their largest-ever male-fronted collaboration, and you're tied for having the largest-ever collaboration with Rihanna. What does that kind of recognition from a major makeup company feel like for you?
It is amazing. Oh, my gosh, it is beyond what words can describe. I feel like there is so much. I feel like I've been going to the gym creatively. I wouldn't want my audience to feel as if each collaboration was redundant. So with each campaign, with each visual, I really put my foot and my heart and my soul into it. MAC really gave me creative freedom from the campaign images to the music video. Not one creative director or artist from MAC was there, so I got to have my co-workers that I used to work with at MAC years ago participate in this shoot as makeup artists. So I think it was really cute and full-circle for them to be there on set. It's really, really cool.
There was a recent episode of Drag Race where some online influencers got to come in for the makeover challenge. With this video being inspired by Drag Race, was that something you wanted to do or were approached about?
No, I was never approached for that, but I thought it actually might have been -- I thought, "If they had me, would it have been easier because I do look more feminine than all of them?" It might have been an easier time, and I thought that was funny. But I would love to be a part of RuPaul's Drag Race. I think, ultimately, my dream was to be on America's Next Top Model because I grew up with that, and I was! Tyra asked me to be on Top Model last year. But I am a huge fan of Drag Race, I love watching it, and I would absolutely love to be on it one day.
That's great! So with "Got the Glam" out, can we expect more music from you in the future?
Oh most definitely! This train is not stopping — once it is out, this locomotive is just going to keep going. So you are either on board or not! Hang tight, gal, more will come.