Words by Jason Reid
The competition with a huge heart, that’s Pride’s Got Talent! Hosted by Michael Twaits and orchestrated by Ian Massa-Harris and his team of dedicated Pride in London volunteers, heats have been taking place in LGBT+ venues across London throughout spring, culminating in two spectacular grand finals at the Charing Cross Theatre.
This week, QX Cabaret Editor Jason Reid, who was a judge for this year’s competition, gets to know the newly crowned winners of PGT 2018…
Congratulations on winning Pride’s Got Talent! Have you had time to celebrate and take it all in?
Thank you! Despite working hard and being busy with opportunities I’ve already been provided with, yes I’ve had time to celebrate; how could I not? Honestly, I’m still trying to digest my success whilst working hard on original content and bettering myself as a performer.
I remember seeing you at your first heat, which you actually entered on a whim at the last minute. What was your experience like from that point to the grand final?
The competition only became harder. But the further I got in the competition, the more it pushed me to want to snatch the crown.
How would you describe your singing style?
Quite versatile, but my voice is mainly suited to soul and R&B.
Can you remember when you first discovered your love for singing and how it’s developed over the years?
It began when I was eight years old – my mom overheard me singing to Beyoncé in her bedroom. The realisation that music was my only route came to me when I was in primary school and I was forced to do academic subjects that were not my cuppa
tea in the slightest, to put it nicely. I remember just wanting to be doing anything performance based.
Whose music did you listen to when you were growing up and who influences you as an artist now?
Growing up, I loved Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Adele. As an artist, I’m heavily influenced by Alex Newell and Toni Braxton.
Put your iPhone music on shuffle! What are the first three songs that play?
Donny Hathaway – I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know
Sam Cooke – Unchained melody
Aaliyah – Come Over
As a young person, what does Pride mean to you?
Pride, for me, is a celebration of diversity. Those of different sexualities and identities being welcomed with open arms, which is not easy to find just anywhere.
Busty & Ginger
Congratulations on winning Pride’s Got Talent Cabaret! How did you feel when that result was announced?
Ginger: Complete and utter disbelief would sum that feeling up for me. Like a dream come true.
Busty: I couldn’t agree more. If you look at our faces on the video when our names are announced, the look of pure shock is just priceless.
How would you describe your act in a sentence?
G: ABBA meets Miranda Hart.
B: Sponsored by Poundland!
One of your songs is about your fondness for cheap wine. We’re ALL about the cheap plonk here at QX – what would you recommend for our trashy office party?
G: Sainsbury’s own brand Cava. High percentage, low price.
Can’t go wrong!
B: And you can’t have cheap wine without crêpe paper tassels and confetti. Poundland and Card Factory can definitely allow you to add that extra glitz and sparkle on a budget.
What other cheap stuff should we be snapping up right now in these times of austerity?
B: Oh I love a thrifty find! I’m personally all about showing up at the local Co-Op ten minutes before closing time and grabbing a quiche lorraine for 8p. It somehow tastes better when it’s cheap.
Which cabaret acts would you leave your cheap wine at home for and pay £6 a glass to see perform?
G: Michael Twaits at the Phoenix Artists Club and Cellar Door – they’re always good nights. He also hosts Pride’s Got Talent so we can’t really get away from him.
B: I love nights where acts are trying things for the first time and experimenting and generally having fun, like Bar Wotever at the RVT. The whole vibe of this scene is just so supportive and it’s such a great feeling when the people you look up to are giving you feedback and words of encouragement.
So what’s next for you guys?
G: We aren’t gonna let this go anytime soon. We’re arranging meetings with producers, booking gigs and writing songs.
B: And drinking lots of cheap wine to get inspo!
LMR and Busty & Ginger will be performing on the Trafalgar Square stage at Pride in London on 7th July 2018.