We spoke to Tia Kofi about Notts Uni life and all things Drag Race UK season two
‘Do people still go to Ocean on a Friday? I hope so’
Last week, ex-Notts student turned drag queen, Tia Kofi, graced our screens for the first time on the season two premiere of Drag Race UK. Today, after a busy few days, we’ve caught up with her. She tells us about her uni life, *that* iconic student election video, and spills the Tia on being a fierce season two Queen on Drag Race UK.
Q: Last week, a campaign video re-surfaced of you parodying a Kesha song for a Students’ Union election you ran in. It’s iconic. Tell us more about how the campaign video came about – and did you win?!
Vote Lawrence for Activities came about basically because I looooved writing ridiculous parody songs and thought it might catch a little attention for the campaign, little did I know it would still be following me around a decade later!
A few years ago, Scott Mills even played it on BBC Radio 1. Wild! Unfortunately, I didn’t win. I lost out to the guy who played Charles in “Harlots” and had his face melted off in HBO’s “Chernobyl”. What a star studded election year?!
Q: Why did you choose Nottingham as your hometown runway look? And what makes it such a great student city?
Nottingham is the place that I really found myself and my own voice. I remember a lot of people underestimating me, my abilities, and others, which really drove me to work hard and find my own tribe. If I’m honest, I didn’t have the easiest time when I was there and recall countless examples of people being awful, particularly when it came to my involvement in student groups. But the friends I made when I was there remain some of my closest friends to this day and I owe them a lot. The good memories far outweigh the bad.
As for Nottingham, the city is perfect for new students as there’s a lot going on, but it isn’t intimidating. Do people still go to Ocean on a Friday? I hope so.
Q: What advice do you have for students who want to pursue drag?
Not to sound 100 years old, I hope these days there are drag societies! If not, start one! Drag has become so popular that I guarantee there are a huge number of people who would want to get involved.
Q: If you could tell your student-self anything, what would you say?
I would tell myself to stand up for myself and take a little bit less rubbish from people who think they’re a big deal. The beauty of time is that you realise that the people who thought they were a big deal or referred to themselves as a “BNOC” were ultimately incredibly boring and not worth the energy. Just be true to yourself and you’ll find the people you’re meant to be around.
Q: On the first episode, you mentioned not finishing your degree. Could you tell us more?
I was given extenuating circumstances and was asked to repeat my final year. I chose not to because I sort of found what I wanted to do and knew I was able to pursue that, so I kind of spent my final year just doing student theatre and student TV instead of coursework. FINISH YOUR DEGREE, THOUGH!
Q: Being on Drag Race UK must be such an exciting experience, and you inspire so many people. What has the response been like for you since the first episode aired?
It’s been amazing. The outpouring of love for all of us has been absolutely incredible and overwhelming. I can’t wait for everyone to watch the rest of the series because there is sooooo much more to come… The drama, the delusion, the DRAG. Start your engines and get ready for a wild ride!
New episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK land on BBC Three (on BBC iPlayer) every Thursday at 7pm. Episode one of series 2 and all episodes of series 1 are available to stream now.