Nikita Dragun has been popular online for nearly a decade. Dragun, who started on YouTube around 2013, amassed a following for her makeup and beauty videos, as well as videos documenting her experience as a trans woman.
Dragun now has over 26.8 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. In recent years, she’s garnered a reputation for drama—publicly beefing with other influencers, being accused of “blackfishing,” partying during the pandemic, and joining the divisive mega-star content mansion Hype House. Dragun says she is hoping to use her reputation to share a “more positive message” as she enters a “new chapter” in her life.
This month, Dragun began promoting a new show called Dear Dragun on Amp, a free live radio app from Amazon currently in beta testing. Dragun described the show as an intimate, “immersive ASMR experience” with meditative elements. In the show, which airs weekly on Tuesdays, Dragun reviews pop culture news, celebrity relationships and drama, and new beauty products.
In an exclusive interview with Passionfruit, Dragun discussed how the new show aligns with her life goals, why she chose to partner with Amp, what she likes about live radio, and how she uses her notoriety to her advantage.
The following interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
How does your new show tie into your current social media plans?
I think for me right now, where I am is in a position of almost a rebirth and having a new chapter in my life. I think I’ve kind of collected all the amazing things, the ups and the downs, and really have taken a moment to actually pause for a second and check in with myself and really figure out where I want to head and where I want to go and grow as a person.
Obviously, I’ve done a lot, and I’ve experienced a lot, but I think I have so much more to grow as a person, so much more to do. So I think that’s what’s amazing about this radio show, is that it’s really about my life unfiltered. No rules attached, kind of really authentic, just whatever’s on my mind kind of platform. And I think it’s so great to partner with Amazon on this new endeavor because it’s just such a pivotal point in my career.
Why did you choose to work with Amp specifically?
I think as a creator, I’m always on to new ideas. I think times are always changing, and I saw an opportunity to make a mark on a platform that I truly believe will grow.
I also think something that’s amazing about this is that it’s kind of tied into the Amazon Music playlist library. For me, music is so important. And I thought that was really dope to kind of tie in the two of being able to kind of go live as well as play your favorite songs and kind of guide your audience through it.
It truly is this kind of New Age radio show….I just really like new shit.
Have you gotten any feedback from your fans about the show?
Well, it’s definitely very beta, so there are some little hiccups here and there. I think the first time I went on live, it actually almost crashed.
It’s just such a new thing to feel so personal and kind of live in that way—it’s an auditory thing. For me, I’m such a visual person with Instagram, YouTube, and all those other things that it’s different to have a captive audience, just kind of listening….I think it’s just kind of different. And it’s an experiment, and I’m excited about it because I think it’s cool.
How does the intimacy of a live stream play into the “new chapter” in your career?
I think having that real time moment with fans and people in the audience is just different and a little bit intimidating sometimes, but I think it offers such a cool space to interact.
There is a feature where they can call in and I can have full conversations with them. I actually had a conversation with a young trans girl who was in middle school who’s kind of facing bullying and stuff. I just offered her my advice, and it was just so crazy to kind of have that intimate moment with someone.
So I think that’s what’s been so different. Normally, I’m just so used to posting and going about my day, but this one’s really live.
You have been at the center of some internet drama in the past few years. Do you think that the reputation you have will draw attention to your new show?
With social media, people always just have so many conceptions about people and especially about me being a trans woman in the spotlight. I think the media doesn’t really pay attention to girls like me so a lot of people try to fill in the blanks or try to create their own narrative.
I think people always just tune into whatever I do, because you never know what I’m going to do. I think it’s equally amazing because I am able to kind of share a bigger message and a more positive message, and talk about things that I think are really important.
What advice would you give to creators who are looking into live radio apps?
Adapting and trying different things is really the biggest thing I would put out there to creators. I think staying in one lane is not always the best for creators.
Experimenting and really trying new things with your audience, I think I’ve done that over the years. And I’ve seen, obviously, success with doing a multitude of different platforms or different kind of things. So I think my advice for creators is just to try it. Why not?
Is there anything else about the show that you’d like to talk about?
Right now, it’s my own personal hub. It’s really like my diary that I’ve been kind of using. That’s why I named the show Dear Dragun just because I feel like it’s an intimate little moment where I’m just kind of sharing things that I normally wouldn’t necessarily share.
As the episodes are going by, I’m starting to disclose and share more and more. Just because I’m getting maybe a little bit too comfortable—but hopefully for the best.