Lip syncing is an internal part of the art of drag. You could always see a high drama Lip sync battles fought in the famous Rupaul's Drag Show where queens " Lip-sync for Life " which decides the fate of the competing queens to stay or sashay away for that week. However, In India we hardly have any Lip Sync battles.
Delhi based Drag artist Divyaroop aka Divine Scarlet had a vision to bring a new angle to the art of Lip sync and give away a feel of self identity to fall in love with the performance of lip syncing. They have come up with an idea to engage both the audience as well as some wonderful performers by challenging them to be a part of the amazing Lip sync video.
Dragvanti Spoke to Divine Scarlet to know what was their inspiration to come up with such a wonderful initiative and more and below are some mentions:
Dragvanti: What is your journey through drag has been so far ? Divine Scarlett : Well As my name goes, Divine Scarlett, I keep pushing my boundaries in terms of my makeup and looks to find new ways to represent divinity and divine incarnations. So What I am trying to say is that I am more of a look queen and considering that once you put on the makeup, you cannot just leave it at that, so I try to come up with new ideas to use those looks in the form of lip sync or dance or sometimes singing too (I am not a great singer though) or even monologues at times.
Dragvanti: What has been your motivation behind this wonderful lip sync view "This is me "? Divine Scarlett : Honestly speaking, the moment I heard the song, it kind of reminded me of my life. The struggles, the constant negativity and hate from the society and me challenging the norms and standing tall at the end of the day with my head held high. I also know for the fact that there are so many people who have faced discrimination and hatred in some way or the other, such as sexism, racism, classism, caste-ism, body shaming, communal-ism or discrimination on the basis of sexuality, gender identity, etc. I wanted to bring together a set of people who are living their lives even after facing the negativeness so that it would encourage not just the viewers but them as well to face this world.
Dragvanti : How did you plan to bring so many people together ? Divine Scarlett : Well, after I heard the song, I posted a story on my Instagram to call people who would like to be a part of it. There were so many responses, however, I had thought of not taking more than 20 people (21 including me). Although some people could not send in their parts because of their personal reasons so I ended up with entries from 16 people (17 including me).
"I know for the fact that there are so many people who have faced discrimination and hatred in some way or the other, such as sexism, racism, classism, caste-ism, body shaming, communal-ism or discrimination on the basis of sexuality, gender identity, etc. I wanted to bring together a set of people who are living their lives even after facing the negativeness so that it would encourage not just the viewers but them as well to face this world." -- Divine Scarlett
Dragvanti : Who are all the artist part of this project and how were their response to it ? Divine Scarlett : In the final video there are 17 people (including me) some of which have never been any lip sync video or any video for that matter. I believe that all the participants agreed to be a part of this on the basis of one main factor, their love and trust in me. As much as I have faith in them, it is still an amazing feeling to see the final video as everyone did their best considering so many tried doing this for the first time (AND they have never tried tiktok in their life either).
Dragvanti : Do you believe lip sync is an awesome art-form to transcend into a character which motivates us? Divine Scarlett : I feel that Lip sync is something that most of us do when you put on a song that you love or know the lyrics of. However, doing something like a lip sync video can be a challenge. From getting the verse right, to getting the audio in sync in the final output, to express the words with all of its power and emotions. But when you do it, you somehow become that singer expressing the words trying to do the justice to its power. So yes, I believe lip sync is an amazing way to get into the shoes of a different character and express their emotions and feelings.
Dragvanti : How is drag and lip sync a part of ? Divine Scarlett : Well Drag and lip sync have been going on hand in hand for quite sometime. The drag queens lip sync and perform dance numbers on different kind of songs during their performances to entertain the crowd. Even singer lip sync to their own songs during stage performances on different occasions. Because people want to see you perform which usually takes a lot of energy. While it may seem like an easy task, however, I know how difficult it can be. I have grown from lip syncing to the songs as a dummy to the person who tries to capture the emotions and the power it emits. And I can tell you, it may not be as easy as it seem.
Dragvanti : What are your future plans, any track you would love to lip sync to? Divine Scarlett : Well as of now, as I mentioned I am more of a look queen, so I have decided to extend my support to the people who enjoy doing makeup and face painting. I have started a contest which started on 1 Aug and the entries are open till 14 Aug. I had been spending my money on supporting people from which I could not expect a return. So I though why not use the money to support talented artist in India. This lock down has been challenging for many freelance artists. The first prize I have decided to be cash prize of Rs. 1500, a Tshirt sponsored by BeUnic and Rs. 500 Amazon Gift card which one of my dearest friend generously offered and the second prize winner would get Rs. 1000 cash prize and Rs. 500 Amazon voucher. As for the lip sync video, there is one beautiful video I have planned and as soon as the person I am collaborating with sends me the video, it would be out (If you are reading this Luna, I am waiting).
Dragvanti : If you were to be on a lip sync for life battle which one Indian queen you wish should be with you ? Divine Scarlett : Oh my! Well I don't know if I am that good to be in lip sync for your life, however, given a chance, I'd love to collaborate with as many drag queens I know, like I have already done with Miss Bhenji, I am waiting for Glorious Luna to finish her recordings for our collaboration, Miss Komolika really showed some fabulous lip sync skills in this video, Tropical Marca is a rap queen so I will have to learn rapping hahaha. But well I'd love to do a collaboration with possibly everyone.
Below are some of the profiles who are a part of this wonderful initiatives, Check out their awesome profiles below
@chandni_sarcar @saifhaiderofficial @pahadi_unseen_soul @prasoon_sharma_@miss_komolikafucks @firstname.lastname@example.org @glorious_luna @_cupper_sulphate_701 @thedragqueen_natalya @missbhenji @alicebayleyyy @aar._jun23 @tarunnchauhan @notyourboie @sas3dancingfeet @_divyaroop_