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Thursday, July 25, 2024

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Jason Reid’s Cabaret Interview: Jason catches up with Italy’s Claudia F

CIAO CLAUDIA! This month I had the absolute pleasure of chatting with Claudia F, a fabulous drag artist from Italy who’s been performing here in the UK for more than a decade…

For those who haven’t seen you perform, can you sum up a typical Claudia F show?
It’s basically a rave in a pub! Lots of high energy, uptempo tracks that get you up and dancing: club classics, 90s hits, Eurovision favourites and modern charts dance tunes! In between songs, I get people to do silly competitions and games — usually to win some booze. If at the end of the show the audience is up and dancing, I did my job right. You’re also a songwriter.

Howdid you get into that and what inspires your writing?
Music has always been my biggest passion. As a kid in the 90s I would spend hours by the radio waiting for the right songs for my mixtapes, and listening to the dance charts.

I dreamed of being a radio DJ and singer. I wrote my first song at the age of 14 using an early, rudimental music program that allowed you to loop samples and beats. Now, I have my own home studio where

I produce my tracks. Common themes in my work include expressing and empowering yourself; finding your authentic self; being an outsider; speaking out against homophobia.

You also entered Eurovision. How was that experience and is it something you’ll do again?
Yes! I’ve entered three times. In 2022, I reached the semi-finals of the emerging talent contest “Una Voce per San Marino” – the winner represents San Marino at Eurovision. It was a magical experience. My semi-final was in February and it snowed. San Marino was covered in the white stuff and it was beautiful — it looked like something from a fable. Knowing that I was there striving for my dream, surrounded by other international artists trying to do the same thing, was electrifying! I have already written my Eurovision entry for 2025. Now I’m at the recording stage.

As a self-styled queen of the 90s, can you tell us what your 3 favourite 90s tracks are?
Only 3?! That’s tough. Ok, here goes: Livin’ Joy – Dreamer; Armand Van Helden – You Don’t Know Me; Gina G – Ooh, Ah Just a Little bit. British drag or Italian drag? British Drag! I started doing drag in Italy in 2011 but then I moved to London in 2012. So almost my entire career has been doing drag in the UK. I learned a lot watching the brilliant drag queens that we have here, honing my skills and trying to perfect the dry humour which is so popular and unique to Britain. Coming from a theatre background (I went to musical theatre school in Bologna) I love how British drag puts entertaining and provoking the crowd at the centre of the performance.

What’s the dream?
Reaching the final of the Eurovision Song Contest and DJing for Defected and Glitterbox (my favourite house music labels!)

Claudia F performs at The Hope Pub, 49 Norwood High Street, SE27 9JS this Saturday 13th July

You can catch Jason, same time next month with another fabulous interview.

Give him a follow @jasonrediuk

Jason Reid

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