We have a confession to make, dear readers… We are embarking on new adventures, listening and learning about life, art, fashion, music and pop culture all while staying at home and obeying lockdown rules! And, the best thing about our latest discovery is – you can join in and subscribe to our latest podcast obsession, where two friends chat about current affairs and hot topics with a different guest each episode. Today, we interview the creative minds behind the Cherry Bomb Social Podcast! We talk day jobs and creative projects, days and nights in Brighton and of course, podcasting! So, make yourself comfortable and read our conversation with Emily and Lucy and after you’ve finished, go and listen to their latest podcast episodes!
Dragadventures: Hi Emily, Hi Lucy! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us – before we jump right into questions about your latest project aka Cherry Bomb Social Club, let‘s talk „off-podcast“ life. So, When you’re not providing new listening material for all of us, what are you doing for work?
Emily: Prior to COVID-19, I was a full time live event manager at a venue in Brighton. I’m also the co-founder queer club night Polyglamorous and production assistant at a RuPaul’s Drag Race touring company called Eat Sleep Drag Repeat.
Lucy: I’m currently working as a Graphic Designer for a creative agency in London.
Dragadventures: Unfortunately, since March 2020, many peoples’ lives have been turned upside down by the annoying C-word (yes, it’s everywhere and it’s a bit annoying) but we are curious … How did you experience 2020, when the world seemed to come to an abrupt halt and we all kind of were forced to rethink our daily routines and/or find new stuff to occupy ourselves/earn money to pay the bills? Any new hobbies or routines you can recommend for our readers to try?
Emily: All my work is in live events and nightlife, so all my work completely disappeared but I was lucky enough to be furloughed during most of 2020. I spent a lot of my free time reading and I’ve also become obsessed with the reality TV Show franchise Real Housewives. I also switched to veganism at the end of 2020, as where I’m not working I have more time to experiment more with food and adapt to a vegan diet.
Lucy: I’m fortunate in the fact that I managed to stay employed on full pay throughout 2020, the main thing that changed is that instead of working in the office I started working from home. Saying this I definitely had more free time, and I spent a large chunk of that making a music video for my friend Roma Radz in lockdown 1. Similarly to Emily I also became obsessed with TV shows. Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was definitely a big form of escapism for me, and tapping into old things I used to enjoy but had lost time for; such as reading and playing the Sims 2.
Dragadventures: What advice would you give to people who feel they kind of have to ‘sacrifice’ living their creative side for a ‘normal job to pay the bills?
Lucy: This is a really hard one and something I’ve definitely struggled with. My advice would be to not be too hard on yourself if you feel like you’re not producing enough creative work, because working full-time is exhausting and you deserve to have time to rest. It’s very easy to start comparing yourself to others who you think are doing better than you, but you have to remember everyone’s situations are unique and you’re doing the best you can. Also, remember that you are more than the work you produce, don’t let side hustle culture and the pressure to monetize your creative passions tell you otherwise.
Emily: It’s difficult to compromise your creativity in order to pay the bills, but for most people it’s the only option. There’s no shame in working a day job, in fact 90% of the time it’s what all creatives have to do. I worked as a teacher for 4 years alongside working in events part time and my best advice would be to find balance. I don’t just mean between your day job and creative side, in all areas of your life, including socialising and alone time. It’s really important to take time for yourself so you don’t overload from stress when trying to juggle your day job and creative passions.
Dragadventures: Let’s talk about post-pandemic life for a second…Emily, we first saw you on tour with Jinkx Monsoon in Bristol, where you also worked as stage manager for ESDR. What does organizing and running a show entail that people probably wouldn’t think about and do you have some memorable moments that you could share with us?
Emily: Stage managing mostly involves making sure performers are where they need to be on time and liaising with venue staff to make sure they know lighting/sound cues. I also make sure meet and greets run smoothly and that the performers have everything they need during their time with us. One of my most memorable moments at ESDR was our Sasha Velour show, it truly had the most incredible cast including Alfie Ordinary, Victoria Sin, Arran Shurrvington, Velma Von BonBon, and Hungry. It was just such an electric atmosphere to have all these incredible artists in one lineup. I also DJ’d the pre-show which was super fun.
Dragadventures: When you’re not traveling around the country, both of you are based in one of our favorite beachfront cities in the UK, aka Brighton. In your opinion, what makes Brighton so special to live and work in, and what would be your top 3 things to do/see when one visits the city?
Lucy: I used to be based in Brighton, but now I’ve actually been based in London for the past year as there are more jobs in my creative field. I do miss Brighton a lot though, and my top 3 things to do would be going to a local drag show, cycling along the seafront, and shopping in the North Laines as there are so many great independent businesses.
Emily: I just love living by the sea. I can’t really imagine living somewhere that isn’t by a coast. My top three things to do in Brighton would be to visit the rock pools near the chalk cliffs, vintage shopping in the Laines and eating at all the amazing vegan/veggie food places we have here.
Dragadventures: Of course, the Brighton drag scene got its well-deserved spotlight this year, when one of our favorite performers, Joe Black, was part of RPDR UK. So let’s talk drag for a second! What is your connection to the ‘drag universe’ and why is the Brighton scene different from other places in the UK?
Emily: I work in the Brighton drag scene as an event/stage manager and I also DJ in drag. My drag “parents” are Alfie Ordinary and Lydia L’Scabies and we’re part of an unspoken Brighton drag “family” that includes Rococo Chanel, Joe Black, and Arran Shurrvington. Brighton drag is different from any other scene as not only do we have lots of “new school” post RPDR era drag, we also have lots of incredible traditional drag bars with queens who have been in the business for over 40 years. We also have the legendary Brighton Fringe Festival which is home to lots of incredible theatre, so a lot of our drag roots are intertwined with stage shows and cabaret.
Lucy: TheBrighton drag scene was my introduction to drag in a real-life sense that was separate from Drag Race, and it’s honestly such an inclusive and unique space that allows for anyone and everyone. Brighton has such a rich queer history and I think the style of drag reflects that there’s a blend of old and new that you don’t find everywhere.
Dragadventures: Did you both watch the latest season of RPDR UK and if so, what did you think of it? Any artists you would love to see return for All-Stars?
Lucy: I loved this season of RPDR UK, it was the first season I’ve thoroughly enjoyed in years. I honestly thought all of the queens were great and so deserving of their success, but particularly enjoyed Bimini and Tayce.
Emily: Yes! I thought it was really fun, one of the best seasons we’ve had in a while. I loved watching Ginny Lemon, Tayce, Bimini and of course, Joe Black.
Dragadventures: You’re both regulars of Brighton nightlife, and are regulars/organizers of one of Brighton’s most fun dance parties aka Polyglamorous. How would you describe the concept to someone who’s never been? Also, how did you come up with the concept, and what inspires you when determining the next theme?
Emily: Polyglamorous is a monthly chromatic queer club night, that is a blend of nightlife, fashion, music and art. Each month we have a different colour/pattern theme which is reflected in the outfits of the DJ’s, hosts and guests. We strive to elevate the clubbing experience through our gogo dancers, pop up performances, decor and art installations. Polyglamorous was born from a group of us feeling like we had no where to go and dress up extravagantly in the Brighton nightlife scene, so we wanted to fill that gap and create our own queer paradise. There’s 8 of us total on the core team from all sorts of areas of work, including drag queens, DJ’s and make up artists so we all have lots of different inspirations that we channel into picking our theme ideas.
Lucy: Emily is in the core Polyglamorous team, and I usually film the nights and try to create videos that emulate the euphoric atmosphere in the club. Polyglamorous has created such a great name for itself in Brighton, and I’m beyond grateful for it providing me with the opportunity to really push the limits of how I dress and express myself every month.
Dragadventures: From one amazing project to the next, let’s talk about Cherry Bomb Social Club! When we listened to the first episodes, it was such a refreshing change to hear two women our age talk positively about their passions and just living their best life for them. How did you come up with the idea and what are your future goals to achieve with the podcast?
Emily: Cherry Bomb Social Club has been in the making since around January 2020, when I originally intended to launch a club night under the name Cherry Bomb, as events organization is where my expertise is. Obviously, as this couldn’t happen, the next step was to take the message I wanted this club night to have and evolve it into something that could work under COVID safety regulations. I then enlisted the help of Lucy to help bring my vision to life and since then we’ve been working together to create the podcast you see now! We aim to showcase artists we love and create a space where others can indulge and celebrate their love of pop culture, art, fashion, music, and drag along with us. One thing I’d love to see in the future is a live event version of the podcast!
Lucy: Emily and I actually came up with the podcast idea in December I think, but Emily first told me about it in January 2020. In the future I’d really love it to expand out of the digital world and into real life, a live event would be great. It’s already given us the opportunity to chat with people and have conversations that we wouldn’t usually have, I hope it can allow us to meet new people in real life as well after COVID.
Dragadventures:What is your process when creating new episodes? Do you have a favorite/least favorite part of it?
Lucy: I’ve really enjoyed coming up with the visuals that we’re going to use for the episodes. I enjoy recording the actual episodes a lot as well, but it really teaches you to be 100% present during the conversation and to try and be 10 steps ahead in your thoughts in order to ask the right questions.
Emily: I had to learn how to edit a podcast, which is something I had zero experience in so that was really hard and frustrating at first. My favourite part is the actual recording as the episodes can be really insightful/entertaining to record.
Dragadventures: We love the idea of two friends just chatting about life on a podcast, interviewing interesting people (like Connie Glynn on ep. 1), and tackling a wide range of topics – how do you choose your guests? Also, can you give us a sneak peek into some of the guests for future episodes?
Emily & Lucy: For S1, we mostly reached out to friends and artists we know who we felt fitted in with our message. We have some amazing Brighton based drag artists coming later in S1!
Dragadventures: We feel that the design of your logo is “very you”, as in both of you got your own fabulous fashion sense – when we think of Emily, we mostly see pink and cute accessories, how would you both describe your styles and Lucy how did you come up with the graphic design for the podcast?
Lucy: My style is almost always a blend of nostalgia and the present day, I kind of think of it as my own version of retro-futurism. My go-to era to be inspired by used to be the 90s, but I’d say it’s definitely now more the are usually the 60s and 70s. I take this inspiration and approach into everything I do creatively, and I think it comes through in the branding of the Cherry Bomb Social Club. My main reference points though were cartoons and 70s graphic design, the animation idea I got from 90s/early 00s cartoons like the Powerpuff girls and the Tracy Beaker intro.
Emily: In drag, my style is very whimsical and cartoony. I’m very inspired by pop culture so that manifests in either referencing fashion houses in my silhouettes or being influenced by pop stars and cartoon characters.
Dragadventures: Who inspires you in your daily life (in regards to style, life decisions, etc.)? Do you have a particular person you look up to?
Lucy: I’m inspired by so many people I honestly lose track! Most recently I’ve felt really inspired by Miss Lady-Kier who is an American singer, songwriter, DJ, designer, fashion icon, and activist. You’d most likely know her for being the person who sings ‘Groove is in the heart’, but she’s very camp and serves as a great reminder that there’s so much power in being your most authentic self.
Emily: I’m a massive Lady Gaga fan, so she inspires me daily in a variety of different ways. I’ve always loved how avant garde and camp she is, which I try to reflect in my own creativity and work.
Dragadventures: What’s the first thing you are both looking forward to once we’re all free to be back at shows, and what is your dream party setlist on your first night out?
Lucy: I honestly cannot wait to dress up ridiculously and get drunk. But the main thing is being able to be with my friends again, being able to bounce off of each other’s energy and just have a good time is something I value so much. My dream party setlist is a bit of PC Music, pop classics, and 90s/early 00s dance music.
Emily: Honestly even though I love the nightlife, the first thing I’m looking forward to is just being able to be together with all my friends at once. Whether that’s at home, in a park, or out clubbing, I just can’t wait for us to all be in one place at the same time not via Zoom. I’m longing to dance to Chromatica properly in the club. I’m gonna legit go mad every time I hear Rain On Me, Replay or 911.
Dragadventures: And finally, where can everyone find you and the podcast on the world wide web?
If you don’t already then follow the girls on:
Emily Meow Instagram: @emilymeowwww
Lucy Fuller Instagram: @lucyrosefuller
Cherry Bomb Podcast via linktree: @cherrybombsocialclub
Cherry Bomb Instagram: @cherrybombsocialclub