Kevin Aviance is synonymous with nightlife, clubs, dance, fashion drag, and DJ’ing, as well as his newest endeavor becoming the dazzle, glamour, and glitz of BTYKWN.COM (pronounced BEAUTYKWEEN) the first gender free digital community for makeup freaks. And the world awaits his debut as MC and overlord of BTYKWN TV its streaming content offering. His fierce quest and journey is propelled by him and the universe’s chariot of fire. His decadent couture is known worldwide. He has worked with names including Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston and is a member of the “House of Aviance” one of the vogue-ball houses in the US. In 2016 Billboard Magazine ranked him as 93rd most successful dance artist of all time.
Kevin is a queer culture idol, an essential sparkle in the world of fashion and makeup so it was no surprise that he was asked to be involved with BTYKWN. The holy grail of queendom, Kevin engages the entire world in a conspiracy of pop culture and fun. Kevin is about touching people on a human level and that is never going to be lost. Kevin can slay any face and make it alive with promise to turn it out. And all that has Kevin Aviance admired by the cutting-edge youth generation around the globe.
You normally don’t attach yourself to anything like this, product and such…so why BTYKWN?
BTYKWN interested me because fashion designer and original club kid Richie Rich called me first. I didn’t know exactly what it was about, but for one of my colleagues, one of my own people to call me about something, he caught my interest. I always respected everything about Richie Rich. I love Richie Rich to death. Richie is one of the dear friends that I had in the whole country, and he was always sweet to me and we were always very close, from the time when I lived in DC. So we had a very long friendship. He told me about BTYKWN and I said OK. They wanted me to be involved with it. They told me they wanted me to be the MC, to be the master of ceremony, and one of the faces. It was during the pandemic when everybody was desperate for attention. I didn’t have any so I figured what did I have to lose? While we were in lockdown they called me every day. We had meetings every day. The meetings were amazing. I just felt like it was a good fit. Everything that I had done before in my life was really incredible. I had a great time while doing it all. I was really angry during the pandemic because we were all cut off. But things ended up working out for the best. I am the Executive Producer and the MC for this great opportunity. I like the whole concept of BTYKWN. We shot our pilot last night with the TV show, it will be a streaming show. There’s going to be a morning show to talk about products and stuff and then there’s my show, the late night show. It’s kind of like a next level Jimmy Kimmel type. We haven’t shot that yet but we’re going to soon.
What will be or already is your BTYKWN role, aside from producer and face of?
I’m the master of ceremonies. They need someone to be there, and be loud with the brand. Then I’m going to be the one doing it. Which is a lot of pressure.
How do you personally feel about BTYKWN and how do you think it will affect the public and the world?
It’s so funny because I was questioning that too because we really rolled it out. I wondered how people would be engaging and adding something to it. That’s a whole other algorithm. They explained it to me as they had to get it started first and then they would add to it. Things work out the way they work out. Thank God MISTER D, the creator and founder of BTYKWN has a great knowledge of how things are to start and how to move forward instead of doing everything at one time. We did a lot of work on this brand before we even launched it for a year so it goes to show you how things happen. A project takes a while to do. I love engaging into the culture. To be able to do something to add to the culture, chime in on it for a while, see if it works. I think it’s great to have that opportunity to involve yourself in the culture. I don’t know what’s going to happen but all I know is that it’s hot, the ideas hot, it looks hot!
Now you’re DJ’ing…so talk about that.
In New York City you’re as good as your last dance record. So being known is just like a curse. No I’m not dead bitch…I’m here…. I was moving back to New York, so I felt like I was touching the bottom of the buzz. I had to get back on this pole and start doing these dances and the only way I could do this was DJ’ing. I was working at this place before the pandemic in the East Village every night, it was a little supper club type thing. I was doing music for them and they were getting upset because even though the audience was having a good time, one of the owners was upset because I wasn’t playing Long Island Top 40. Sure enough he tried to fire me but thank God the head owner insisted that I stay. He wanted to keep it going and he liked my vibe. Then we were having these big parties for like Michael Kors, and people like that. They wanted me to work every night. So I started working every night and I started meeting the every night people. Finally, I got the job at Q and that’s where you’re working in a real place. Actually,during the pandemic, I was working in Atlanta with this place called Tokyo Valentino. Tokyo Valentino is like a sex novelty store but in Atlanta it’s like a club. We call it like the museum of sex here but I want to DJ there, I did my thing there and then I felt confident enough that I could go back to New York and DJ there. You have to understand I don’t just DJ. I’m dressed up and perform. It’s really good and it’s really fun.
You’ve been an entertainer, dancer, drag queen, have you had your ultimate stage fantasy yet? If not what is it?
No, I have not had my ultimate stage fantasy. I want to do Broadway. I want to do a one-man show on Broadway. It could be a restaurant on Broadway, it could be a theater on Broadway, just as long as it’s on Broadway. As long as I can perform for three or more people I’m good. Seriously I like to do intimate things. Maybe at 54 Below, that’s a cute spot, I want a production. But now my stage is the digital stage at BTYKWN. I just want something around me that tells a story with me. Maybe some puppets….I don’t know?
The official website for BTYKWN may be found at https://www.btykwn.com
Interview by Eileen Shapiro