Ella Vaday selects 10Trax from her ideal drag gig playlist, from Harry Styles to Cher to Kylie Minogue.

Lockdown might be seen as an unusual time to launch a new career in showbusiness, but drag queen Ella Vaday, the alter ego of Nick Collier, has experience in this. She honed her craft in the West End on major productions such as Cats, Book of Mormon and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, giving her a keen understanding of performance and the elaborate sense of freedom it can give.

 

With shows cancelled by the load as lockdown came in, she found herself in search of a vocation: and found it in the form of drag. With her Transformation Tuesday posts becoming a highlight of Instagram feeds during lockdown, Vaday’s social media presence took off into the tens of thousands. She would parlay that fame into a spot on the third season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, making it to the final and amassing new fans worldwide.

 

She’s due to make her film debut soon in Sumotherhood, also starring Ed Sheeran and Jennifer Saunders, and is set for a major tour segueing into the Drag Race UK tour later this year, so it’s safe to say 2022 is set to be bigger than ever for Vaday. We sat down with her to hear her specially selected 10Trax, comprising a playlist she’d play before, after and during a drag gig.

"That Don't Impress Me Much" by Shania Twain

"When you’re in a rush to a gig pulling a heavy suitcase, it’s the perfect tempo for living your music video fantasy, imagining yourself in a full leopard moment!"

"Don't Start Now" by Dua Lipa

"Perfect song when I’m getting into makeup, and instantly takes me back to the dreaded lockdowns of 2020 when this song was literally my anthem!"

"Breathless" by The Corrs

"I put this song on when I wanna get hyped for a gig, perfect for air guitar, air drums and of course yodeling! Gooo-on! Also another favourite for when I'm on the go commuting!"

"Supernova" by Kylie Minogue

"You cannot beat a bit of Kylie when you’re getting ready to go out, or finding the energy for a gig after a long day. Stick on the DISCO album and enjoy!"

"Whenever Wherever" by Shakira

"My favourite song to perform, the audience go wild and I’m dropping into splits all over the place. Not much belly dancing from me though, she’s strapped into a tight corset, but I shake my booty haha!"

"Rise Like A Phoenix" by Conchita Wurst

"One of THE most epic songs to ever come from Eurovision, I love performing this song, but I could never beat the original"

"Strong Enough" by Cher

"Cher had to be in here somewhere right! Another one in my live set, that both I and the audience love to sing, You can’t help but feel good when you hear Cher’s distinctive voice."

"As It Was" by Harry Styles

"Probably One of the newest songs in my list! But the song is really easy going, Helps me to wind down my brain after a show."

"Sunrise" by Norah Jones

"Whenever I feel a bit stressed or anxious, I’ll put this song on repeat and have a bath. It’s been a staple for me since it was released when I was about 15, it’s so meditative and relaxing."

"Lamb" by Gabriel

"Perhaps my most obscure track, but I just love the vibe of it. The whole album has so many good tracks on it, and it takes me to back to times where everything was on CDs, and contemporary dance class at college."

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