Five minutes with Susie Blue
We catch up with the Irish indie popstar ahead of the DIVA Music Festival...
After performing to an adoring crowd on the DIVA Women's Stage at this year's Pride In London, Irish "gay indie pop" star, Susie Blue, was an obvious choice for the first ever DIVA Music Festival.
Putting #womeninmusic at the forefront, DIVA Music Fest is set to become the biggest new music festival for lez/bi women in the UK.
Before we all chuck our wellies and our festival outfits in the boot though, let's find out a little more about the artists who'll be up on the stage in this next edition of our Five Minutes With series...
DIVA: Hello Susie, first off thanks for chatting to us. What does this week have in store for you?
SB: This week I'm writing a lot, I've got a few new songs on their way and so I'm building on that. I plan to have a lot of new stuff coming at you in 2019!
You're based in Belfast, what's the music scene like in the city?
I’m originally from Derry, but currently living in Belfast, yep. The Northern Irish music scene is one of the most thriving I've seen. It's just full of so many amazing artists and we all sort of know each other which is really cool – it's like a big musical family.
Can you tell us a little more about your recent album re-release?
When I first released the album I didn't put People Like Us on there and it was definitely a mistake. So many people – including radio DJs and fans – were asking why it wasn't on there and so I listened and did a re-release with it included. Now it's out there the response has been amazing!
Do you ever face challenges being an openly queer woman in mainstream music?
It's definitely hard just being a woman, first of all because you can see I'm a woman. People can't always see that I'm queer, but I do find myself getting passed by sometimes when someone needs a question answered and instead they go to one of the boys in my band. Thankfully, they're always like, "Ask Susie, she's behind you!"
I honestly try to surround myself with people who don't think like that. Being a queer woman in music, I get a lot of questions about my music videos being "very gay" and people asking "why can't you do a video with a straight couple?" and I always say the same thing:
"I'm singing about loving another woman, why would I make a video about anything other than that? I'm a queer woman and I make content for other queer woman and hopefully everybody else enjoys the music and story lines regardless."
How are you feeling about performing at DIVA Music Festival? Supes excited, right?
I actually can't believe it's happening! I've read DIVA since I was really young and growing up in a small country village – it was all the queerness I could get my hands on! [laughs]
I'm so excited to be a part of this amazing festival with so many acts I love. It's just great to have a showcase for female artists and I'm honoured to be a part of the first DMF of many!
Any words for your queer fan base?
I just wanna' say how much I appreciate their support. I'm trying to create content that I would've died to see growing up – also I think it's very important for me to listen to what my audience wants, so don't be afraid to tweet or message me. Love to you all.
Only reading DIVA online? You're missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It's pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves.