The Irish drag scene has long been bursting with talent and so it’s about time it had it’s very own drag girl group. Bella Boutique, Nikkie Stone (pictured) and Ariana Grindr have set about righting that wrong after opening for a David Bowie tribute band at the Academy music venue in Dublin.
Qween Bitch’s success has hopefully set the stage for more drag girl groups to perform across Dublin and Ireland, ushering in a new era of drag girl power.
We caught up with one-third of the trio, Bella Boutique, to talk origins, performing, and future plans:
Q: What inspired you to become a drag artist?
A: As a child growing up I was always into dolls and dressing up but unfortunately I wasn’t able to express that side of me so my love for Drag came from that little child who wasn’t able to express himself properly and that is where Bella Boutique was formed. So if anyone asks who is Bella I tell them it is that inner soul that never got to come out ha! I find drag to be a form of self-expression and that is was have me the desire to do it.
Q: How did you become a part of the drag group- who’s idea was it/where did you meet the other members?
A: As a drag artist in Dublin it is so hard to make your mark so you must be different! This is when the idea came to me! A girl band! I got approached by a guy named Dermot O’Grady looking for a support act for a David Bowie tribute act. He wanted 3 dancing drag queens! I’m a dance teacher by day so that was one person sorted, then I thought of Nikkie Stone. I met this amazing artist at a competition named The Ringmasters Drag race back in the summer and we just clicked straight away! This girl is fierce and demands a crowd! She also comes from a dancing background and we get on very well together which is always a plus! and then last but not least Ariana Grindr! She is an amazing dancer and comes from a dancing and performing background so she was definitely the final one to be picked. We met through a friend and have been sharing Drag tips ever since! The 3 of us get on like a house on fire so it was definitely the perfect people to pick and work with!
Q: What was it like performing in The Academy?
A: It was amazing! The 3 of us were so proud and so humbled to be given a chance to perform on such a big stage at such a prestigious venue! We performed 3 group numbers and 3 solo numbers every night which was amazing just to be able to express our own styles! Each night was a different theme so we had a 70’s night, an 80’s night and a 90’s/00’s night which was very exciting because we had to try and pick songs within these 3 genres why still trying to stay through to our own individual styles! Opportunities like this don’t come around often so the 3 of us performed like our life’s depended on it for all performances!
Q: Do you have any plans for the future/where can people find out more about you.
A: We have a few plans and a few more gigs lined up so we have exciting times ahead of us! We all mainly perform solo and take part in competitions! Nikkie Stones has just finished Opportunity frocks and is going into her next competition, Ariana Grindr is just finishing up a very exciting venture with Ireland’s Got Talent and Bella Boutique is striving on making her look bigger and better!
You can find them all on Facebook at: Bella Bou-Tique, Jonny Kilfeather (Nikki Stones) and Neville Bradley Jr. (Ariana Grindr).
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