Our interview series is back showcasing more UK queens chock full of talent, we’re heading north to the city of Birmingham which is undeniably brimming and bustling with creative queens and kings. We chatted to YShee Black a young, bold queen ready to take the children to church, showing us just why Birmingham truly does have talent…..
Dragadventures: How did you get your start in drag, who inspired you to want to work in a creative industry?
Yshee Black: Growing up I was always interested in the creative arts, acting, directing, musical theatre. I loved it all and pursued it throughout school and university and it wasn’t until I moved back to Birmingham from university that I fell into drag, I helped my best friends create and host a performance night for younger, new queens. A night called Second Self in the Village underground, that was once every 2 months for a year and I haven’t looked back since!
DA: The Midnight mass drag competition starts this month, how did the concept for the competition arise and what can the audience expect?
YB: The concept came from looking at various other drag competitions around the UK. Birmingham though the second city is behind some of the major cities, though we have talented, exceptional queens, kings, and all those who dare to step on stage and perform, space for them to do so is very very limited. So after the church, I decided to create a weekly ‘drag race’ style competition. So those competing can have a chance to win bigger prizes, they can add to their lipsync reps and just have fun and perform. You can expect a lot of creative weeks, lipsync battles, twists and turns alongside a whole host of very popular UK guest judges.
DA: You perform in the incredibly talented Opulence Birmingham, how would you describe the Birmingham drag scene?
YB: We’re young, bold, and don’t give a monkey’s we don’t really conform to any sense of style. Many drag scenes around the UK can be very cliquey due to there being a large number of drag queens in the city. In Birmingham, there are only around 30 queens and even fewer drag kings but because the scene is so small we all work together we started out together, accept and embrace anyone who wants to try drag or wants to come and watch. We’re more of a family really.
DA: Besides yourself, what drag queens should EVERYONE be following right now?
YB: Jenna Davinci and the characters that are Opulence ( Dahliah Rivers, Elliot Barnicle, Nora Virus and Jay Andre) DragPunk are most definitely ones to follow! (Lilith, Tacky Alex, Amber Cadaverous and Paul Aleksandr) Christian Gay is an up and coming Drag King who is headed for big things. Petite and Lacey Lou who are both strong independent creative WOMEN in drag who are going to slay the scene.
DA: If you were exiled to an island and could only take one Birmingham drag queen, who would it be and why?
YB: It would have to be my head judge and sister Blanche. She’s a brass, I don’t care kinda queen and she’ll hunt for her food while I’d probably sit and cry so I’d have her with me to survive!
DA: This summer saw you perform on Holy Trannity’s 10’s across the board tour. How was the experience and what was the highlight for you?
YB: 10’s across the board was a brilliant opportunity that my drag mother Jenna Davinci got me involved in with the rest of Opulence. Performing for my first ever Holy Trannity event was amazing, also getting to work with talents such as Danny Beard and Victoria Secret was a dream. Also meeting the Ru Girls! Aquaria, Kameron and Asia are absolute sweethearts who spoke to us as individuals and it was so nice! Plus Asia and I share the same birthday so I think I idolize her even MORE!
DA: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
YB: A lot has happened in my career in such a short time that I still don’t see it as a career! But I understand the responsibility that I have to young performers and giving them a space to be who they want to be! My highlight would be at the most recent church finale when I looked into the audience, saw friends, contestants, people who have supported me and local drag having a really good time because 4 years ago, 300+ people turning up to a local drag event on a Sunday would be unheard of. So I’m proud of the community that has gone from strength to strength.
DA: You’ve achieved so much in your career, is there anything in you would love to conquer still?
YB: Funnily enough, I’d love to perform at events in London such as the COCO BUTTER CLUB, The RVT, and various other spaces and not even in London but around the UK. I’d love to travel more and one day HOPEFULLY take the Church on TOUR.
DA: Do you have any future projects you can give us a sneak peak on?
YB: As midnight mass is still in its early days, I don’t have much to give away. But The Church of Yshee Lip syncing is coming back shortly after and it’ll be in it’s the THIRD year. So expect bigger, brighter and a whole lot of PRAISE because it’s going to be completely different to various years.
DA: Finally where can our lovely readers find you next?
YB: I’m always at the Village Inn on Sunday nights! I’ve also managed to become a finalist for KIKI Queens in Manchester, the date hasn’t been giving to us yet! But keep up to date with KIKI Queens and come support your local church lady! If you’re in the lovely city of Cardiff on the 31st October I’ll be there with my drag sister Ginny Lemon opening for the outrageous Willam from RPDR Season 4!
Keep up to date with Yshee on the following social media below: