From slaying the Night King to just slaying full stop, Maisie Williams is the first celebrity guest judge to be confirmed for RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, due on BBC Three later this year.
Bristol-born Maisie plays Arya Stark in Game Of Thrones, a role she has played since the age of 13. Now, at the age of 22, she is a global name, a fashionista, and a huge fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
As the cult fantasy drama Game Of Thrones draws to an end today, fans of Maisie Williams can rest assured that Arya Stark of Winterfell will continue to serve fierce in her next role as one of RuPaul’s extra special judges in the search for the first Drag Race UK superstar.
When asked to be one of RuPaul’s extra special judges, she jumped at the chance. Talking about her love of drag, Maisie says: “What I love the most about drag is the story of the drag queen behind the facade. I think that so much of drag comes from a place of real pain and seeing how that transforms into a character is so interesting to me. I love that about art and about drag.”
RuPaul’s Drag Race UK is the first UK adaption of the Emmy-winning franchise and global hit and will showcase the most fabulous drag queens that the UK has to offer.
Maisie will feature as a celebrity judge for one episode where she will appear alongside RuPaul and Michelle Visage. Graham Norton and Alan Carr will appear as rotating resident judges across the eight-part series, as previously announced.
Having earned herself a
considerable following as a result of her number 1 album The Project connecting with fans on both sides of the Atlantic, and
following a brief visit to the UK earlier this month as tour support for
country superstar Chris Young, it’s fair to say things are looking fairly rosy
for Lindsay Ell, but that’s not to say she’s resting on her laurels. Instead,
currently working on her next LP, Lindsay is looking forward to a bright and
ambitious future, and she spoke to ThisIsTheLatest
to chat musical influences, future performance plans and where she most finds
inspiration for her songs.
TITL: Given that you were discovered at the age
of 13, is it safe to say that music has been always been your passion or
have there been times when you’ve felt even slightly swayed to follow a
Lindsay Ell: Music has always been such a passion of mine ever
since I was a little girl. I started playing shows at such a young
age, that by the time I was 10, I fell in love with performing in front of
an audience. I knew that my heart felt at home playing on stage, and
nothing came close to giving me that same feeling!
TITL: Which bands and artists are you most
influenced by and how do they impact the music you make?
LE: I listen to so many different kinds of music. When I
was growing up I listened to everything in between Shania Twain and Garth
Brooks to Tommy Emmanuel. Of course, I will always be inspired by John
Mayer, and Keith Urban. Currently I’m listening to a lot of Lany, Lauv and
TITL: Tell me a little about
your recent collaboration with Brantley Gilbert “What Happens In A Small
Town”. How did the two of you come together to work on the track?
LE: I was so grateful that when
Brantley and his record label head, Scott Borchetta, sat down to brainstorm who
they wanted to be a part of this duet, they thought of me. I am honored to
be a part of this song, and feel that although Brantley and I aren’t the first
two names you’d think of to put together in a duet, that is what makes it so
special. My favorite collaborations are ones of two artists you wouldn’t
immediately think of performing something together. That is what makes it
unique. That is what makes it special.
TITL: In terms of your lyrics and general
song-writing from who or from where do you find most of your inspiration?
LE: Carole King, Lori McKenna and Brandi Carlile are some of
my favorite songwriters but I
personally get inspired by so many different things. Through traveling a lot,
all over the world, I find myself constantly being inspired by different
cultures and people watching.
TITL: You’re currently working on a new album,
the follow up to your US number 1 LP The
Project. Is there anything you can tell me about it or are you keeping
things hush hush for now?
LE: I’ve been writing a lot towards the next record. A
lot has happened in my personal life and my career in the past two years,
so I think fans are going to be able to see that on this next album. Song-writing
in a lot of ways becomes my therapy.
As someone who has performed on both sides of the
Atlantic, have you noticed any similarities or differences between audiences
here and back home?
Getting to play music for fans across the world is so
incredible. Fans definitely differ a little bit from country to country.
The think that I have always loved about UK audiences is fans want to listen to
the song-writing and the music. As a guitar player, and someone who loops
sometimes in live sets, it is amazing to play for an audience that appreciates
musicality to that degree.
TITL: For anyone who hasn’t seen you before, what
can they expect from a performance of yours?
LE: Hopefully anyone coming to watch our show can walk away
with feeling like they got to see some real music. I try to put on a
dynamic set, with lots of epic guitar solo moments, and intimate acoustic
songs. I like to take the audience through a journey while I’m up there. If
I can make them laugh, cry, and want to dance in the same set I’ve done my job.
TITL: If you could put together your dream show
with four bands or artists, living or dead, who would you choose and where
would you play?
LE: That’s always a hard question…. I would have to say Jimi
Hendrix, John Mayer, Ray Charles, and Stevie Wonder. If you’d ask me that
question again I probably would have a different answer every time, because
it’s so hard for me to narrow down my list of artists I look up to. But we’ll
TITL: Finally then, what does the rest of the
year have in store for you?
LE: We will be touring a lot over the next year. We’re
just at the start of music festival season…and Brantley Gilbert and I will be
touring together later this fall. Having just finished up a tour here in
the UK, I’m already planning on the next time I can get to come back again. I’m
hoping on a few shows this fall, and then coming back early in the new year!
Check out “What Happens In A
Small Town” below and for more information on Lindsay Ell, visit her website, give her page a like on Facebook or follow her