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In Conversation : Ginny Lemon

Ginny’s new album ‘Tonic’ does exactly what it says on the tin. In true Ginny fashion - what you see is what you get. The album being a ‘tonic’ for everything that’s been happening in their own personal life but also for the turmoils we have faced collectively as humans over the last few years - tories, brexit, covid - you name it! As a child, Ginny was obsessed with ABBA, Diana Ross and the Supremes and all things Motown, forcing all their childhood friends into performing old 70s hits at every school talent show. As a teenager, their sister introduced them to Tori Amos, Kate Bush & Bjork - and their life changed forever. “Music will always be my saviour, so I wish to honour that and to try and keep trying to make music that other people can enjoy as much as enjoy being a listener.” Today, their work explores the intersections of their working class identity, queerness, disability and taking the piss. Ginny’s distinct acidic wit, aesthetic and unique perspective on life have made them one of the UK’s most celebrated drag artists.

Where did the vision for your new album ‘Tonic’ start and how did it progress?

I knew I wanted to write something that would be healing, I wanted to write myself out of the funk I’d got myself into, Tonic is very much a medicine for me, and like all treatment it maybe be painful at times and takes a little while to fully recover & feel the benefits

Is there one song on ‘Tonic’ that has an extra special meaning to you and could you tell us more about that track?

It’s a toss up between Ding Dong & I am over my overdraft - I will say that overdraft became my anthem to get out there and start making some money honey and as soon as lockdown was lifted that’s what I did, so it felt very cathartic - also Ding Dong is my big FU to all the terrible office jobs I had

When writing and creating a song do you always have performing it live in mind?

Never haha! I should do really! Once a song is finished I often envision myself singing it somewhere odd, like queering the space, like a cathedral or in the sea.

What is your favourite pride memory?

Oh so many BUT most Birmingham people will say the one with the hot dog, Beyonce & fairground rides! I am saying NO MORE hahaha!

Who were the biggest musical influences on your new album?

Ugh! That's a tough one, I mean I was listening to A LOT of Onuka & Dakhabrakha at the time and exploring Ukrainian folk music, but I don’t think any of that rubbed off on this album.

What is your go-to Pride anthem?

It’s got to be I’m Coming Out by Diana Ross - I’ll always remember my first pride parade on a float and that song blasting as we came to the end! It was pure euphoria!

What is the process like when conveying your sound into a visual, specifically with your latest music videos for Mailman and Ding Dong?

Visuals have always been very important to me, one of the many things I get criticized on regularly is my choice of drag, and the way I choose to look the way I look, I wanted to take that a step further and really start using Ginny as a mask, a doll, a symbol.

Who is your LGBTQ+ hero?

Ugh so many, Divine of course and Maggie Hambling the artist

Any words of wisdom for young aspiring artists?

It’s a shit business! The highs are high but the lows are extra low. Look after yourself.

What’s next for Ginny Lemon?

I want to write a tell all book, because I’ve been keeping a lot of secrets for a lot of famous people!


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