Lagoona Bloo Is Here To Serve Elle Woods Realness & Queer Excellence
Lagoona Bloo Is Here To Serve Elle Woods Realness & Queer Excellence
PRIDE chats with the beloved drag queen about bringing pop perfection to our playlists.
What, like it's hard?
One of NYC's finest drag queens is blessing her fans with the perfect pop bop as summer comes to a close.
Lagoona Bloo's new single "Elle Woods" is based off the iconic character, with the dance anthem embracing self-love and appreciating the skin you're in.
The star chatted with PRIDE all about the song's inspiration, the next steps for her career, and how she's paving her own lane in the world of drag.
PRIDE: What was the inspiration for “Elle Woods” and what do you hope people take away from the song when listening to it?
Lagoona Bloo: Growing up as a queer, Mexican-American kid from the South, I felt underestimated and overlooked most of my life. For this album, I wanted to write a song about having to overcome this and one of my favorite characters who is underestimated but triumphs in the end is Elle Woods from the iconic movie Legally Blonde. I immediately wrote the lyric “Baby, I’m a star! What, like it’s hard?” and within two hours the song wrote itself! "Elle Woods" is one of my favorites on the album and I hope that people not only love the references to the iconic blonde but take away the fact that anyone can “do it like Elle Woods.”
Have you always been drawn to listening to and writing fun, freeing music? Do you think it has anything to do with growing up Latina?
Growing up Latina, there was always music playing in the house! We were always singing in church or at school. There was a karaoke machine at every family event. My mom blared disco or salsa or Christian pop every Saturday morning as she divided our weekend chores. So, I do believe my culture influenced my love for music, but what was tricky was that I had very little control over what kind of music it was. The music that was allowed in the house was limited to what my parents deemed acceptable and, to them, pop music from the 2000’s simply wasn’t. I was constantly chastised and shamed for liking Britney Spears, Shakira or Christina Aguilera, so I learned to hide my fascination. Pop music became a secret saving grace for me. I was never really allowed to fully express myself growing up so I’d hide in my room and listen to all the things I wanted to do and be, through the pop divas of the millennium. It became all that I listened to in private, but it was incredibly freeing. Now when I write my own music, I want to empower the young people listening to be whoever they want to be in the world!
Who are some of the artists you look up to? Do you see any of their work reflected in your own artistry?
My first and foremost love is and always will be Britney Spears. I remember hearing her for the first time in the third grade and being absolutely obsessed. I was so attracted to the fearless sexuality of her presence as it was so foreign to me, but it was everything I wanted to feel as a teenager discovering who they were. I also love Christina Aguilera. She was my first voice teacher. I would sit in my room and play her first album over and over and practice her riffs until I could do them myself. The artist that had the greatest hold on me throughout my teens was Shakira. I also was a bit older when I discovered her, so the themes of love beyond the bubble gum pop I listened to beforehand were more angsty and visceral. I was fascinated by the fact that I could choose whether I wanted to sing along in English or in Spanish. You can absolutely hear these three all over my work, but especially on this new album.
In more recent years, there are three artists that have always spoken loudly and clearly to me. Sam Smith became an icon for me as a queer person making music. I have always been inspired by their voice and I’m even more inspired by them now as they are dominating the industry with their beautifully unabashed queerness. I believe Ariana Grande is one of the greatest voices of our generation and the vulnerability she delivers through song is unmatched. My current and longtime favorite pop star is Kim Petras. She’s been my number one most listened to on Spotify for the last few years and I can’t get enough. When I listen to her music, I feel so powerful! I feel sexy! I feel seen! I feel empowered! She was a huge catalyst for me to begin writing bolder, sexier, more powerful music that makes you want to get up and dance with hooks that never leave your head.
What was it like recently opening for Aqua to kick off their world tour in New York and performing at Kim Petras’ Feed The Beast album release party?
They were both some of the most amazing experiences of my life. As I mentioned before, Kim is my favorite pop star and I am absolutely obsessed with Feed The Beast, so when I got the call that I’d be performing at the release party, I was ecstatic! It was so incredible to get to meet her, let her know how much her music means to me, and then also be a part of celebrating the legacy she’s created! Truly an unforgettable experience!
Opening for Aqua was a full circle moment that I will cherish for the rest of my life. When I was five years old, my uncle set up my family’s first desktop computer and the first song he played for us on that computer was “Barbie Girl,” a new song from a band that he loved, Aqua. About 20 years later, I had just started performing in drag and had recently appeared on NBC’s The Voice and sang alongside Jessie J. I remember visiting family for the holidays and proudly showing everyone the episode but that very same uncle left the room before it was over. He pulled me aside afterward and asked me what the hell I was doing. How did I think this would be a career? He told me that this was something to be ashamed of and how I would never be successful. He said I would never make a living doing drag and that I needed to get a “real job.” I remember holding back tears but standing firm and telling him that he was wrong. I stopped visiting after that. Cut to five years after that, my manager told me the news that I was officially opening for Aqua and I was beside myself. It was a moment of validation that I’ll never forget. All I could think of was how I was right to stand firm against my uncle and everything he said to me was wrong. That I was opening for the band that made the first song he ever played for me on a computer. We haven’t spoken since, but there’s been so much peace for me after that. It was like a sign from the universe that I am on the right path and I'm doing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing.
What can we look forward to from your upcoming debut album Underwater Bubble Pop? How do you think it differs from your debut EP AQUA?
FUN! That’s what I want people to look forward to! This body of work is a celebration of self through pop music. Since I started drag, my vision for Lagoona was that she was “The Mermaid Pop Star.” This album is the embodiment of it. It oozes self-confidence and self-love, physically and metaphorically. It is a definition of who I am as an artist, but also relatable to anyone who is on a journey to love themselves. It’s feel-good ear candy, a no-skip dance party, and just the beginning of the kind of music I want to continue making.
This record is something I am so proud of because it is a sonic shift that reflects the journey I’ve been on towards healing. The sound is a combination of my love of Y2K with the sharp contemporary production we hear today and it’s a shift from loving others to loving oneself. AQUA was a beautiful beginning for me. It was made during a time of pain and conflict during COVID and it reflected that – the bpms were slower, the lyrics reflected losing love and longing for it. AQUA was the fantasy world I thought I needed from other people, and Underwater Bubble Pop is the dream that became a reality through believing in and loving myself.
Fans can stream "Elle Woods" here. Plus, keep an eye out for Lagoona Bloo's music video for the dance track, dropping September 26.