'Drag Race' Star Rock M. Sakura Goes to Her Happy Place with Anime-Inspired Playlist: Listen

Rock M. Sakura
Courtesy Photo

Rock M. Sakura

Last week on RuPaul's Drag Race, the queens threw a ball. The category was ... balls! With 12 queens still in the competition, the contestants served a grand total of 36 looks in three different balls-themed categories on the runway. Some did exceedingly well, like Gigi Goode, who took home her first win of the season.

Others, however, did not. After landing in the bottom, queens Brita and Rock M. Sakura duked it out in a ferocious lip synch to Rihanna's No. 1 hit "S&M," jumping, splitting and kicking their way back into the competition. But only one was allowed to stay — with Brita taking home the lip sync title, Sakura became the second queen of the season to sashay out in dramatic fashion.

Thinking back to her lip sync, Rock tells Billboard that she was desperate to stay, and that even though she was being restricted by a lengthy hoop skirt, she felt the need to prove herself on the stage. "Honestly, I was completely terrified," she says. "My main thing I was telling myself was, 'Show them with your body how much you want to be here and how much you deserve to be here.'"

In the end, it didn't work out for Sakura, but it doesn't much matter — even with only three total episodes of screen time, the San Francisco-based star has already become a fan favorite online, thanks to the chaotic and fun energy she brought to the show. That energy, she says, was inspired by "cartoons and anime. I try to live my life as an anime character. They are always over-the-top, super cartoony and larger than life."

To celebrate her time on the show, the queen put together a special playlist for Billboard, consisting of some of her favorite songs, inspired by "nostalgic anime, contemporary pop and things that make me feel happy." Check out Rock M. Sakura's playlist below:

Perfume, "Fushizen na Girl"

"Sexy and avante garde. This song is great to listen to at the gym, because it makes you feel your full robotic girl fantasy. Perfume has always inspired me to be kind and fun, and I apply those concepts to my whole life."

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, "Cosmetic Coaster"

"A song that can put a smile on anyone's face! Kyary is one of my top most-performed artists."

Hatsune Miku, "Weekender Girl" 

"Love to perform this song, because the dance is simple and a bit awkward. It really lets me relive my full otaku period of my early adulthood."

Loona, "Heart Attack"

"First song that ever got me into K-pop. Chuu from Loona is my bias, so how could I not love it. Stan Loona."

Loona, "High Hi"

"Definition of (hi) hype. I love this song because it showed the hard work that 12 girls put into their debut. This song reminds me that hard work always pays off, but it might not pay off right away."

IZ*ONE, "La Vie En Rose" 

"Go-to IZ*ONE song to perform because the song has so many beats where it's telling the listener to be inspired. This song is so special to me, because it reminds me of doing dance covers with all of my friends."

Red Velvet, "Peek-A-Boo"

"Great song to perform, because it has so many beats where you can be sexy and mysterious. Also the dance is very interesting to watch."

GFriend, "Love Whisper"

"The first time I heard this song, it was during Produce48 and it just put a light airy feeling into my heart. I was falling in love with K-pop at this point in my life, and it started with a whisper."

Kim Petras, "I Don't Want It At All"

"The embodiment of a guilty pleasure. A lot of us work hard everyday for what we have. This song lets me do a few things: do simple dances and create a character onstage, but also let me live a fantasy as a sugar baby, that I could never really pull off in real life."

Kero Kero Bonito, "Trampoline"

"I love music in English that is inspired by the light, bubbly aura of J-pop. Kero Kero Bonito reminds me that the emotions of being fun and free aren't limited to K-pop or J-pop. Also, this song gives me a good excuse to wear rhinestoned moon shoes."


The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to

To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.