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Aja (drag queen)

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Aja
Aja drag queen in feb 2018.jpg
Aja in February 2018
Born

Jay Rivera
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Nationality American
Occupation
Known for
Website ajakween.com

Aja is the stage name of Jay Rivera,[2] an American drag performer, reality television personality, and singer. They are most known for competing on season 9 of RuPaul's Drag Race and season 3 of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars.

Career[edit | edit source]

Aja began doing drag in Manhattan at age 16, participating in contests at Posh Bar, the Stonewall Inn, Metropolitan Bar and Sugarland.[3] She was announced to be on the ninth season of RuPaul's Drag Race alongside 13 other contestants on February 2, 2017.[4] She placed ninth overall. She returned for the third season of RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars on October 20, 2017.[5] Aja was eliminated during the fifth episode, placing sixth overall.[6]

The drag house Haus of Aja, based in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, includes members Aja, Kandy Muse, Momo Shade, and Dahlia Sin.[7] The group perform at Hardware Bar.[8] In an interview with them. Magazine, Aja said:

I think that what really separates the Haus of Aja from other drag houses is that, at this moment in time, we're all really different. We're all people of color who come from a really kind of gritty background, where society and life told us we couldn’t do it in every aspect and we kind of just rose above it. We all share an aesthetic and a sense of resilience — which are two different things. We just kind of want to show people that you can rise above and you can look cute doing it. You don't have to wear your struggle as baggage. You can wear it as a badge of honor and continue to use that struggle as a means of success.[9]

Music[edit | edit source]

Aja released the single "Level Ya Pussy Up" featuring producers WNNR and DJ Accident Report in February 2017.[10] Her single with fellow season 9 queens Sasha Velour, Peppermint and Alexis Michelle, titled "C.L.A.T.", was released on April 21, 2017.[11][12] The track was produced by DJ Mitch Ferrino, who was featured on "Purse First" by Bob the Drag Queen.[13] Producer Adam Joseph remixed Aja's rant on competing season 9 queen Valentina in a track called "Linda Evangelista."[14][15][16] Aja appears in the music video for Velo's song "Big D*ck Daddy" alongside Phi Phi O'Hara.[17]

Personal life[edit | edit source]

Rivera grew up in Brooklyn, where they were adopted and raised by a single mother. They used to suffer from PTSD and anxiety, which they attribute to their "broken family" situation. They stopped having panic attacks after beginning drag.[3]

Rivera identifies as a person of color and uses they/them/their as personal pronouns.[9][18] They are currently living in New York City.[19]

Just before entering RPDR season 9, Rivera was in a domestic violence situation with a previous boyfriend.[20] In December 2017, Rivera and their current boyfriend were kicked out of their Lyft after kissing.[9][21] The driver was later fired, and the company issued a statement of support for Aja.[21]

Discography[edit | edit source]

Singles[edit | edit source]

Year Title Notes
2017 "Level Ya Pussy Up"[10]
2017 "C.L.A.T. (feat. DJ Mitch Ferrino)"[13] With Alexis Michelle, Peppermint and Sasha Velour

Filmography[edit | edit source]

Year Title Role
2017 Too Funky (short)[22] Herself (Aja)
2017 RuPaul's Drag Race (season 9) Herself (Aja)
2017 RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked (season 9) Herself (Aja)
2017 C.L.A.T. (short)[11] Herself (Aja)
2018 RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars (season 3) Herself (Aja)
2018 Hey Qween![23] Herself (Aja)

References[edit | edit source]

  1. @ajaqueen (January 4, 2018). "God its my birthday yall. 24 years old never seemed more anti climatic lol. But i guess ill combine my farewell 2017 post with my birthday post.
    This past year has definitely been one for the books"
    (Tweet). Archived from the original on February 24, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2018 – via Twitter.
     
  2. Patricio, Edana (March 9, 2017). "'RuPaul's Drag Race' season 9 episode 1: Lady Gaga, the Queens and spoilers". International Business Times. Newsweek Media Group. Archived from the original on October 27, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 Giannotta, Meghan (February 13, 2018). "Bushwick's 'Drag Race' contestant Aja explains the therapeutic power of drag". AM New York. Rich Tomko. Archived from the original on February 24, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2018. 
  4. "RuPaul's Drag Race Cast | logotv.com". Logo TV. Archived from the original on November 14, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2018. 
  5. Nolfi, Joey (October 20, 2017). "'RuPaul's Drag Race' reveals first 'All Stars 3' cast member". Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly Inc. Archived from the original on February 21, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2018. 
  6. Yang, Bowen; Rogers, Matt (February 22, 2018). "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Recap: Survival Art". Vulture. New York Media, LLC. Archived from the original on February 23, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2018. 
  7. "The Haus of Aja". Grizzly Kiki. November 18, 2016. Retrieved February 22, 2018. 
  8. Shorey, Eric (June 13, 2017). "5 Brooklyn drag supergroups ripe for your adoration". Brokelyn. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved February 22, 2018. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Cuby, Michael (February 1, 2018). "Aja Told Us the Backstory Behind Her Epic Death Drop on RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars Season 3". them. Condé Nast. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Level Ya Pussy Up (feat. WNNR & DJ Accident Report) - Single by Aja on Apple Music". iTunes Store. February 2, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Lynch, Joe (April 21, 2017). "'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 9 Queens From NYC Team Up for 'C.L.A.T.' Video: Exclusive". Billboard. Lynne Segall. ISSN 0006-2510. Archived from the original on August 20, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  12. Lynch, Joe (September 19, 2017). "17 Best Songs From 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Queens". Billboard. Lynne Segall. Archived from the original on November 2, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "C.L.A.T. (feat. DJ Mitch Ferrino) - Single". iTunes Store. April 21, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  14. Rudolph, Christopher (April 17, 2017). "Aja's 'Untucked' Valentina Read Has Been Turned Into A Killer Club Track". NewNowNext. Logo TV. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2018. 
  15. Katz, Evan (April 20, 2017). "Model Linda Evangelista shows love to 'RPDR' by posting iconic Aja/Valentina meme on IG". Mic. Mic Network Inc. Retrieved February 24, 2018. 
  16. "Linda Evangelista - Single". iTunes Store. May 3, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  17. Rudolph, Christopher (September 4, 2017). "Aja And Phi Phi O'Hara Want A "Big D*ck Daddy" In New Velo Music Video". NewNowNext. Logo TV. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2018. 
  18. MissPepper Mint (May 5, 2017). Rupaul's Drag Race Recap EP 7 with Peppermint (SPOILER ALERT) (YouTube video). 6:40 minutes in. I identify by they, them, and their. 
  19. Aja (February 15, 2018). "What Aja of 'RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars' Can't Live Without". New York. New York Media, LLC. Archived from the original on February 19, 2018. Retrieved February 24, 2018. 
  20. Dresden, Hilton (February 8, 2018). "Aja Spills on That Death Drop, Milk, & Why All Stars 3 is the Most 'Shocking' Season Yet". Out. Joe Landry. ISSN 1062-7928. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 Cooper, Mariah (December 14, 2017). "'RuPaul's Drag Race' alum Aja kicked out of Lyft for kissing boyfriend". Washington Blade. Lynne Brown. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  22. Lynch, Joe (April 4, 2017). "Peppermint Leads 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Queens In Recreation of George Michael's 'Too Funky' Video: Exclusive". Billboard. Lynne Segall. Archived from the original on August 19, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 
  23. Out.com Editors (January 29, 2018). "Watch Aja Sashay Her Way Onto the Season Premiere of Hey Qween". Out. Joe Landry. Archived from the original on February 22, 2018. Retrieved February 21, 2018. 

External links[edit | edit source]


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