Last Sunday, should have been a day of rest, but not for me, I’m headed over to Jodie Harsh’s Brunch at Restaurant Ours to meet the breath-taking Brandy X!
When I first met Brandy, it was in the smoke-filled underground of Ku Bar, Lady Lloyd was serving looks and tunes to keep the crowd up and having fun and Brandy was set to perform for Bombshell. Stood outside of the venue, I was puffing on a cigarette and as I turned to the side, there she was, Brandy! With a smile that could light up a room brighter than a white strobe, a presence that was not only softer than candyfloss but perfectly balanced with a power behind it, I just couldn’t resist the feeling of ‘I am in the presence of excellence!’
Today wasn’t much dissimilar to that very day, as I minced my way up to the private dining room (the green room) at ours where all the performers were hanging out, I was super excited to have a bit of a Ki and a catch up with one of the loveliest sisters on the London scene!
J: Brandy, My darling, It’s been so long! How on earth have you been girl?
BX: Im doing so much better now, since the slow lifting of these restrictions. I’ve been lucky enough to be working regularly and have been given some amazing opportunities. I think the pandemic has been tough for many of us who work nightlife and hospitality. Things seem to be going back to normal and I am here for it sis.
J: I completely agree, Those restrictions were not fit for the hospitality industry, I’m so thankful we are away from that time now. We’ve never had a chance to have a sit-down and get to know each other properly we are always doing the most in clubs when we see each other – Aha!
J: Tell me a bit about your past and how you got to where you are today as a trailblazing performer on stage but also a proud transwoman performing all across the London scene?
BX: Oh girl, I’m gonna go in if we are talking about where I’m from. I’m from Los Angeles, California born and raised, the second youngest of 5! I started my transition 14 years ago. It really was a different time. With limited resources and virtually no public figures I could identify with, I didn’t even know where to begin, those times were really a struggle for survival for girls like us.
It wasn’t really a choice to transition, it was something I had to do in order to give myself an opportunity in life. It was the most selfish thing I’ve ever done for myself and I’m so glad I did. Like many people like myself I found myself not feeling comfortable in my body, I hated what I saw in the mirror and things just didn’t sit right. I was always quite feminine growing up and even though I got bullied for it it just felt so natural to me.
I thought there was something wrong with me at first because I really enjoyed being feminine. That all changed when I decided to take control of my life and start living for myself! When I started my transition I set off to find people who were more like me, people I could identify, and of course, only places I could find were seedy nightclubs, so that’s where I started.
I went to one, one night and my life were never the same again. Walking into this dark black light lit room with stripper poles I was greeted by an abundance of ultra fem, curvaceous women with long hair, big tits, and the sexiest outfits, It was mind-blowing. I remember thinking to myself that I was such a baby compared to these girls but at the same time, I instantly knew this was home.
It didn’t take much convincing for me to jump straight into my life as the newfound me. I’ve been performing since I was a child so hitting the stage came naturally to me so it only made sense for me to join these gorgeous transgender showgirls in the LA scene and start making a name for myself.
I pretty much grew up in the nightlife scene and it’s my very passion for performing that lead to London a few years later, I started visiting with work in 2012 and now I’ve been living in London permanently for almost 5 years and loving it!
J: Oh babe, that hit’s home, thank you so much for sharing, It really was like that back in the day internationally right!? You’re part of the house of Xtravaganza and the house of Mandella, What does it mean to you, being a part of houses? How did you become part of them?
BX: I’ve been part of the house of Xtravaganza through my mother Kiki Xtravangaza @xtravagram and my late grandfather the icon hector extravaganza many many years ago. That is my house, that is who I am. I also have the honor of representing for the house of Mandella alongside the legendary house Mother Raven Mandella who has been absolutely amazing with me here in the UK. We are a family, brother and sister, mother daughters, a community of support, fierce and fabulous who tear the house down boots! When you are queer many times you are not accepted in your household or around your family so some of us are lucky enough to create our own family who really becomes every sense of the word.
J: Chosen family is such an important part of being queer, I think as trans people, families have a lot to unpack with the idea of their family member transitioning but we have a community that supports us and shares love!
J: Here’s a question. As a successful showgirl on the scene: What words of advice do you have for younger people who want to make something out of themselves out on the club circuit?
BX: My advice for young people looking to get into the nightlife scene is to practice something you’re good at and perfect it. Talent is undeniable, take yourself seriously, perfect your craft, and don’t be afraid to put in the work.
Don’t worry about others, worry about yourself! I believe it’s important to not let other people’s perceptions of you define who you are. Stop and listen to people who are giving you advice and try to learn from other people’s mistakes.
Don’t be so hard on yourself and most importantly believe in yourself!
J: You tell them, girl, You can really see that advice shine through in your confidence as a performer! Speaking of being on stage, where can we find you and see you perform?
BX: I perform all over London but you can catch me weekly at Circa Embankment and I’ll be working regularly with Klub Kids, Glitterbox and Social Discoing/Private Life in the next couple of months along with some secret projects I’m working on so look out for me and my updates!
J: Anything you can talk about? What exciting things are up and coming for you?
BX: The community work I’m doing at the moment is what I’m most proud of. I just finished working on the gold standard in clinical assessment for the trans and gender diverse community in partnership with Kings College London, the British council, and St. George Trust which will soon be available for the general public.
I’m also working with Dr. Vincent Wong and RELIFE in creating a study guide for cosmetic practitioners when working with male and female transgender patients. Which by the way you have really inspired me to be more involved and hands-on with the community. I love, admire, and appreciate everything you do Jacqui and you’re work does not go unnoticed. You know how I feel about you darling!
J: Brandy that’s so kind, thank you my lovely! Nightlife aside, you’re vocal on social media about some really amazing things, What are the key things you stand for?
BX: “I think now is the time more than ever to really stand up for what you believe in. The times of not talking about politics in social settings are far behind us. For me championing social justice of any kind is a newfound passion of mine and one that I don’t take lightly.
I stand for black lives, trans lives, indigenous lives, against Asian hate, and any other marginalized group or community whether it is race or religion I want to spread a message of love and acceptance. I want people to be held accountable but I also want people to be able to forgive and move forward. Opening up our hearts and our minds and really leading together as one.
I am against regime change wars, I am against oppressing other countries for financial gain or natural resources. I believe it’s imperative that we are all aware of what’s going on politically around the world. Because injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. We all carry the responsibility to stand for what’s right and educate ourselves on what we don’t know.”
J: GO IN! So inspirational girl, you know to keep busy! What about downtime? What’s your favourite place to go out in London/ What do you do when you’re not working?
BX: My favorite places to go out in London are honestly the beautiful parks throughout this beautiful magical city. I am more into nature, a nice walk along the River Thames, things of that nature. I work in nightlife and that’s enough partying for me so I really enjoy the peace and quiet time or a relaxing wine bar.
J: Brandy, you’re such a breath of fresh air for the community, inspirational, and let’s be real my lovely – Drop dead gorgeous! Keep slaying the game and thank you so much!
BX: Thank you so much for having me gorgeous and for that lovely introduction, all the love to you my dear!
To follow Brandy on all social media (And you bloody should be, Go check her out on Instagram @IAMBRANDYX