Tom Rasmussen: 'After a decade of performing I need a glass of Champagne before I go onstage' | My Life In 20

27 July 2022, 16:45

Tom Rasmussen | My Life in 20
Tom Rasmussen | My Life in 20. Picture: PopBuzz

By Sam Prance

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Tom takes a trip down memory lane to answer PopBuzz's My Life In 20 questions

If you haven't heard of Tom Rasmussen yet, where have you been? Who else is a beloved drag queen, critically-acclaimed author, prolific journalist and one of music's most exciting solo stars

After releasing their euphoric debut single 'Fantasy Island Obsession' in March, Tom has since blessed us with 'Fabulous Opera' and now they're back with two new songs.

As part of a double A-side, Tom has just dropped a stunning live rendition of their original song 'Joy' and a moving cover of Arthur Russell's 'This is How We Walk on the Moon'. They both show a side to Tom that is, in the words of Lindsay Lohan, a little more personal (raw).

Describing 'Joy', Tom has said: "I wanted to write a classic love song but wanted to avoid anything that felt cliched. I wrote this about the person I love. It’s about the moment I knew I was really deeply in love with them in a way that sentences couldn’t really describe. And it’s a list of words that try to describe the actual simplicity of the feeling of love."

In honour of their new singles and highly-anticipated album, we asked Tom to take a trip down memory lane and answer our My Life In 20 questions. Check out Tom's answers below.

Tom Rasmussen - Fantasy Island Obsession

20) What movie could you watch 20 times over and not get bored?

Death Becomes Her. Every day. Forever until I die. Unless of course, Lisle comes to town and I pay all I have for immortality, before staging my own phoney death after 10 years of perfect beauty.

19) What topic could you talk about for 19 minutes straight without notes?

My dog, Celine Dion. Or my album. Or Kate Bush. Or… let’s be honest… sex.

18) What was the most important thing to happen in your life when you were 18?

I got a Mulberry messenger bag which, for a gay from a working-class northern town, was mind-blowing. It impacted me hugely because it was the first time I ever felt chic. Now, sadly, the bag isn’t chic. But I still am.

17) Who was your crush at 17?

Prince. He was everything I wanted to be / to be with. An impeccable musician, femme, masc, ever-changing. My God, what a genius. And, to be honest, it’s that kind of radiant self-knowledge, and talent, that I’m still attracted to today.

16) What can you remember about your 16th birthday?

I remember throwing a dinner party where we ate undercooked tuna steaks (??) and listened to Madonna’s Ray of Light. The most formative album perhaps… of my life?

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Joy (Live)

15) What did you hate at 15 that you love now?

The sun! Now I’m all about Solar Power — both the renewable energy source, the sun itself, and the Lorde album. And I j’adore a tan. Back then I was a sweaty teen who edged toward the goth, and so I detested the sun and all who worshipped her.

14) What TV show were you obsessed with at 14?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer because you never get to see a blonde girl saving the world. And at 14, I was a blonde girl too.

13) 13 is unlucky for some. Do you have anything that you’re superstitious about?

I think now, after a decade of performing, I kind of need a glass of Champagne before I go onstage. Lol. Chic.

12) If you could live the life of anyone else for 12 hours, who would you be?

I’d like to be an octopus for 12 hours — they have brain function in every cell. And I think to understand the actual consciousness of an animal would a) allow me to write an impeccable second album, and b) be a really useful message to bring back to humankind.

11) Who was your best friend when you were 11??

My friend Leyah. We disappeared from each other’s lives when we were fourteen, but we reconnected like a decade ago and now they are my set designer and art director! But the reason we work so well together is this history we have. Both trans and gay at a state Catholic High School… safe to say we found humour and each other and clung on tight.

READ MORE: Pabllo Vittar: ‘How would I describe myself? Humble and gorgeous’

Fabulous Opera

10) Which bad habit do you hope to have quit in 10 years time?

I just quit smoking. I won’t be quitting anything else thank you!

9) What was your biggest fear when you were 9?

Bees and wasps (now it’s death, which is a real shame lol). I once squashed a wasp in my hair in front of a horse (?) and I screamed so loud and so high that the horse bolted for miles and miles. Very specific, but that’s growing up miles outside of London for you!

8) When you were 8, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A singer, baby!

7) Which of the 7 deadly sins are you most guilty of?

Lust. It manifests with me having a lot of sex… don’t think it’s a sin though girlies!

6) You can invite 6 people to your dream dinner party - dead or alive - who would you invite?

My grandma, Madonna, Kate Bush, Grace Jones, my boyfriend, and probably Lisle from Death Becomes Her so she could give us all the potion and we could all live forever.

READ MORE: Adore Delano: ’Describe myself in four words? Crazy, sexy, cool, party’

This is How We Walk on the Moon

5) Name 5 things you can't live without.

Listening to music on my own. Books. My friends. My understanding of gender. My ability to express myself in the ways I do.

4) Describe yourself in 4 words.

Generous. Rigorous. Funny. Virgo.

3) Your top 3 songs of all time.

Kate Bush - 'Song of Solomon', Madonna - 'Drowned World / Substitute for Love' (and that whole album sorry), and Joan Armatrading - 'Love and Affection'.

2) Name 2 things on your bucket list.

To play with a well-known, very chic orchestra. To live in Paris.

1) Who or what is your one true love?

Honestly, probably music. Making it. Listening to it. Talking about it. Dancing to it. Performing it. Ugh, I truly j’adore.

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