This month marks two years of writing for WERRRK.com, yay! I joined the team back in 2015 to showcase UK talent on an American based website, so why not celebrate by kickstarting “Meow Mixx”. The first queen I chose to interview is certainly one to watch. Based in Belfast Ireland, Blu Hydrangea is walking art. Her visual looks and stunning costumes all leave her following on and offline wanting more. By day a Mac makeup artist, and by night a stunning queen, who’s versatile plethora of looks always leave you astounded! I asked Blu a few questions, and we talked YouTube, art and makeup!
Emily Meow: Describe Blu Hydrangea to someone who’d never seen her before.
Blu Hydrangea: I consider Blu to be a drag chameleon, with ever-changing looks. However, in my natural state I just love being highly experimental and fashion forward, after all drag is an artistic outlet to show my creativity to the world!
EM: What’s Blu’s story so far?
BH: With the phenomenon of Rupaul’s Drag Race, I was inspired to start drag at quite a young age. At that time, being in the closet and not having anyone who understood the art of drag, this forced me to practice performing and painting behind closed doors. After lip-syncing in the mirror for a few years I finally made my debut at an open drag night. As soon as the performance ended, something clicked and I knew this was something that I wanted to pursue. Months of free gigs and practice led me to win a nationwide drag pageant, and from there my career took off! I began getting paid gigs which allowed me to put more money and effort back into my drag. On my one year anniversary, I posted a make-up video to show how much I had improved, and my social media exploded. I continued to do this as make-up is a main passion of mine, and people really appreciated the looks I created. This success helped me win one of the longest running drag competitions in the country. This achievement allowed me to be a resident queen at Boombox in Belfast, where I host 2 nights a week. One of the nights includes working alongside the drag race girls, which was always a dream of mine!
EM: Your looks are so striking, some of them very classically artistic. Where did your passion for makeup first stem from?
BH: I was always a keen artist, being top in the country in school for Art and Design. Creativity has always been one of my strong points. However, delving into make-up was always something I had been nervous to do. My partner applied to a make-up course at a local college on my behalf, and within the week I got an email saying I had an interview! The course taught me a lot, but it was really practising drag at home with the help of tutorials that honed my skills.
EM: Who are your biggest inspirations?
BH: RuPaul’s Drag Race has heavily influenced not only myself, but my generation of drag babies! Some of my favourites being Ben DelaCrème, Kim Chi and Raven. But I also take inspiration from a lot of different places, like artists I studied in school or interesting make-up that I see online. I always find that you can take inspiration from anywhere, and make it your own unique masterpiece!
EM: Tell me about the Belfast drag scene. Where can people usually find you?
BH: The Belfast drag scene is a vibrant collection of girls, all with unique styles of drag! The humour here is quite colloquial which resonates with the tight knit LGBTQ+ community of Belfast. The bar I work in currently is the one I’ve been going to since I was 18. The nightclub is called Boombox and below it is a quirky little bar called Maverick. I co-host Wednesday night’s Bitch Please, with the incredible Rusty Hinges. Then on a Saturday I take the reigns of a night called Satisfy, where we welcome both Rugirls and other famous drag performers from around the globe!
EM: What can we expect from a classic Blu performance? What’s your favourite number to perform?
BH: When I’m not performing high tempo numbers for the club, I enjoy developing stories through drag mixes for cabaret nights in the bar. Being known for my look, I assume people don’t think I can perform but I love proving them wrong! My favourite number I have ever performed was at the second competition I won. It was an ode to my partner who is obsessed with the Power Rangers. I performed as the infamous Rita Repulsa, which ultimately won me the crown!
EM: You have a YouTube channel where you post fabulous makeup tutorials. Tell me more about this!
BH: I had always enjoyed watching YouTube, and had worked on short film projects in school. So I thought I could use my knowledge of the camera and my interest in YouTube to create an online platform to give myself a wider audience! Because of this I am now forced to turn out different looks at a consistent rate, which I love doing!
EM: I’ve seen you’ve recreated a couple of Drag Race looks. If you had to swap lives with a RuGirl for a day, who would it be and why?
BH: I would probably pick Alaska. Just knowing that I’d won a season of Rupaul’s Drag Race would give me all the life! Currently, she is the most in-demand drag queen in the world. Alongside that, she is so well liked by both fans and the other Rugirls, you could just call any of them and have a chat! How cool would that be?
EM: Do you differ from Blu in your everyday life? Tell us about boy behind Blu.
BH: The boy behind Blu is a-lot more reserved. I certainly am not the kooky personality that I am on stage, far from it in fact! I am an innocent 21-year-old who loves Pixar, Pokemon and drag queens. I currently work at MAC Cosmetics developing my makeup and confidence in talking to people, which has helped me in drag as well. I have a beautiful partner, who is incredibly supportive and helps me create a lot of my looks. My family is also very encouraging of my work, even if at first it was a little bit of a shock that they had a super pretty son!
EM: What’s been the highlight of your drag career so far?
BH: Working alongside the Rugirls has always been a dream of mine, so to have my own night to open for them has been incredible. Raven was a highlight for me as she was so sweet and such an inspiration!
EM: What’s in the future for Blu?
BH: I plan to continue producing my make-up videos after a short hiatus! I love creating them and hearing all the appreciation from people who see my work. I have also been invited by Lady Galore from Amsterdam, to perform at the Milkshake Festival which will be something I will want to add to my career highlights! I will also continue to perform in Boombox, and if there is a UK season of Rupaul’s Drag Race I’ll be sure to apply!