Nina Flowers may have been on that horrifically blurry season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, but no way are people going to forget her so quickly. In addition to drag performance, Nina is a musical artist and DJ who has collaborated with some of the most talented producers and remixers in the world.
Her music career began in 1989, when she became a resident DJ at Krash Klub Kafe, one of the most prestigious clubs in the Caribbean. Bringing an infectious understanding of how to connect with audiences through her music, Nina continues to captivate fans and make magic at clubs and events all around the world.
OUT FRONT had the chance to catch up with her and talk more about her music and if she will ever make a return to the main stage on Drag Race.
How would you describe your aesthetic and style of music?
Tribal house, progressive house circuit.
Have you always had a passion for music?
Yes, always. As long as I could remember. I received my first turntables when I was 12 years old. Music has always been a part of my life.
What would you say are some of the perks and challenges of being a DJ?
Some of the perks are being given the opportunity of new experiences and making people happy. Remind them to live, dance, and let the music drive you! Other perks involve visiting new cities, gaining fans due to and for my sound, and making new friendships and social connections.
Regarding the challenges, in all honesty, as my home is my sanctuary, I always hate leaving it. I end up missing my fur babies and my hubby when he is not able to travel with me. Another personal challenge worth mentioning—flying! I hate it! Hate it! [Laughs]. Regardless, I count myself blessed. The perks still outweigh the challenges.
Millions of people also know you from your time on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season One and All Stars. Which passion came first, music or drag?
During your time on Drag Race, what was the biggest learning experience for you?
That we can express to people that drag is an art form, and wherever you want to take it, the options are infinite. It’s as unique as you and me. It’s about self-expression and offering people the gift of being in awe by the art of expressing, be it a female allure or any other allure you are trying to convey.
If asked to compete again, would you?
Boarding the ship was tempting, but that ship has sailed.
How would you say the show has evolved since your time on it?
It is part of popular culture, versus it being something in the fringe. Season One and the seasons that followed started the ground work and have been piling on those bricks. I believe we have a good foundation.
Over the past couple of years, there has been some backlash about the way Drag Race portrays minorities within the queer community. RuPaul has also made some certain comments about trans people competing. What is your opinion on these recent controversies, and do you think the show is still heading in a positive direction?
Drag is an art form! It’s creativity, whatever you believe that creativity should be! With diverting views of what art is, it is good that we are having the conversation. This show has been an opportunity for so many and has opened the eyes to many more.
I believe it will continue to do that. We all live and have our own experiences and perceptions, and our privileges are not always recognized. So, what do we do? Talk about it. Things coming to light is always a good thing. As far as the show’s direction, that is not for me to say, but I guess the ratings will offer us the hint. Whatever the circumstances, what RuPaul’s Drag Race has done is epic! That is what’s worth remembering and recognizing.
Do you like people seeing you more as a drag artist or a DJ?
Really, why do I have to choose? Besides, I hate labels. While music has an integral part in all I do, be it as a performing artist, DJ and music producer—I am an artist. I love to create.
What’s next for Nina Flowers? Any upcoming projects we should be on the lookout for?
A big goal is putting my own music label out there; it’s coming! As for major, upcoming projects, this summer I will be spinning for one magical weekend in Orlando, D.C. Pride, Toronto Pride, World Pride in New York, Providence Pride, and Market Days in Chicago. To keep up with other events and nightclubs I will be visiting throughout the year, please visit ninaflowers.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and I have teaser sets on MixCloud and SoundCloud.
Photo by TOBY