Performing has always come naturally to Aren. That, and a deep fascination with all types of creative expression. From social content to choreography, sewing and cooking, the Content Strategist at LG2 (who uses he/they pronouns) is methodical and meticulous about the quality of work he puts out into the world, no matter what form it takes.
Their wide range of interests and inspirations are on display in their home in Toronto’s Fashion District. Featuring bright pops of colour and influences from their Armenian culture, both vintage and modern art pieces decorate the open concept space.
Each object is inspiring and holds sentimental meaning for Aren, including a sewing machine from his late grandmother, a collection of cameras, each from distinct periods in his life, traditional Armenian dolls, flowers and a signed copy of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way. Aren curates their home in the same way they curate their life: a love letter to art in all its forms.
These days, he spends most of his evenings working on pieces for one art form in particular: Drag. Aren claims to have been doing various forms of Drag since he was born, having grown up with a natural affinity for pop stars and putting on shows for friends and relatives.
Despite their love of performing, they only officially took to the stage with their drag persona Anoush Ellah (an Armenian saying meaning “let it be sweet”) in 2021. Performing Armenian pop music with traditional garments is one way he shares a part of himself with the world.
Their debut performance was at The Oud & The Fuzz, a friend’s Armenian cocktail bar in Kensington Market, where the Drag brunch drew a lineup around the block as well as anger from the community for stepping outside traditional, conservative Armenian values. Creating Anoush Ellah was a long process for Aren, as they needed time to develop a coherent story and identity that accurately represents both their pain and joy as an Armenian and Queer-identifying person.
Today, Drag is part of their regular life. It’s also something that Aren shares with his circle of friends who support him with sewing outfits and styling wigs, cheering him on from the audience and even joining him on stage as backup dancers. Aren regularly gives performances as Anoush Ellah – whether it’s at Toronto bars, Pride festivals or by taking his show on the road to San Francisco, Chicago and elsewhere.
Determined to live their life to the fullest, they taught themselves almost everything they know about Drag. As Anoush Ellah the performer or creator extraordinaire, Aren keeps busy.
Aren Adamian, Content Strategist, LG2 Toronto