A great big welcome and hello to Miss Kimmy Cupcake’s newest sponsor- Hattie Bee! Hattie Bee is a vintage singer, vintage enthusiast, blogger, writer and full time student.(busy lady!) I’m extremely honored and excited to have Hattie Bee as one of my sponsors here at http://www.misskimmycupcake.com, but also lucky enough to have her as a friend too ♥ Please do read on to find out more about this talented, lovely lady in her first ever singing related interview……….
-Could you please give us a little background about yourself and your business…
Hi, my name is Hattie, I’m 18 years old and a Uni Student studying screenwriting, splitting my time between Preston and Gargrave (A little village in North Yorkshire). I am a vintage singer specialising in, 1940’s, 1950’s and musical theatre, available to book for weddings, birthdays, vintage fairs and events.
-How long have you been ‘in to’ the vintage look and scene?
I’ve been into the vintage look and scene my whole life but only started to embrace it in my early teens. When I was in high school I was bullied through years 7 to 10, this was because I was ginger, I was bright, I wasn’t supermodel perfect, I wore dresses all of the time, I was always good in class… not really things that you need to be bullied about right? Things got very dark for me, but I won’t go into detail. One summer holiday when everything was getting a bit too much for me, my grandma and grandpa took me to Lytham 1940’s weekend where I met the wonderful singer Heather Marie who said “Who wants to be a sheep anyway? With big backcombed hair, false eyelashes and thick black eyebrows? Be your own person, be like the women of the 40’s and say “I can do it!”. That I did. I went back to school, embracing the 40’s style (kind of… I had victory rolls that had been rolled around an impulse can, so you can imagine… very holy) I told teachers about the bullying and everything settled down. I started buying vintage style clothes and now 100+ dresses later, here I am. Runner up of Miss Vintage UK 2016 and running a very successful singing business.
-What first appealed to you about the style?
I’ve always been into dressing up as a Princess. Obviously at 18 its not socially acceptable to dress as a Princess (unless it’s Halloween or you work at Disneyland) so I suppose that’s why I wear the clothes I wear, there’s nothing better than going out in a dress with 3 or maybe 4 petticoats underneath! Or a gorgeous tailored suit (I have just bought my first Lili Ann suit!). I can feel like a Princess, or at least super feminine whilst going about my business attending lectures, shopping, even going on a night out to the local nightclub (no original vintage there though! I wouldn’t want to cover that with spilt vodka and coke!). I’m often told I look like the Queen when she was younger when I dress like this, so I suppose I am still dressing as a Princess!
-How do you keep your style fresh and relevant today?
I’m one of those naughty people who won’t wear the same outfit twice to an event. It’s okay if I’m going to a lecture in something I’ve worn twice (nobody really cares, at uni you could go to a lecture in your pajamas and no one would bat an eyelid!). But I feel that there’s something so thrilling and exciting about wearing a new item of clothing for an event! Ask my friends and family. In my diary I write down what I’ve worn for each event just to make sure I don’t wear the same thing twice! Like I said in the last question I even dress vintage to go out to the local nightclub, I’ll wear some 3/4 length high waisted jeans, a nice top and a headscarf in my hair, it’s the perfect vintage nightclub outfit! (Although, I do get asked if I’m on a hen night sometimes!)
-What is your singing background?
I’m from a very musical family anyway, but I’ve always been very painfully shy. I have to thank my music teacher who supported me with my singing by giving me the lead role of Sandy in the school musical. During the rehearsals for this, I snook off to Leeds City College, and I was very lucky to be given a place on their Musical Theatre Course. My tutors, Kim, Amy and Mary were amazing throughout and my course mates (I say course mates we were like some kind of dysfunctional family). They helped me through the parts of the course I never thought I’d get through, especially after breaking my foot, they helped me recover and eventually perform in our final major production “Cherry Tree Lane” an adaptation of “Mary Poppins”. Unfortunately due to the broken foot, I developed a condition called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) which makes it very hard for me to dance any more. I decided I’d move onto my second love, writing for uni, and will keep my singing there on the side!
-What made you marry up your dress style and vocal performances, taking the leap in to being a ‘vintage’ performer?
I already loved music by Vera Lynn, Gracie Fields etc. And I thought about taking these songs into Elderly Persons Homes around my area, going dressed in my vintage wear (That is all I own now). They loved it, it brings back memories of when they were children and they sing along. Often telling me how they went dancing with their sweetheart wearing dresses like mine. It warms my heart.
-What was your very first gig?
My first gig was at our local open gardens. For the last few years the organisers have had live music around the gardens. My mum opens her garden each year and sets me up in the orangery and I put out a box (normally a hat box) which says “Donations to the War Effort” I normally make about £60 throughout the day and it would give me such a buzz!
-What has been the highlight of your performing career so far?
Oooh! This is a toughie there’s been so many! I think I’ll have to say the time I went to an Age UK day Centre in Nelson and every resident there has dementia, all in its different, cruel forms. Some can’t remember what they did yesterday, some can’t remember things such as their childhood. I went there to sing Christmas songs and join them for Christmas dinner. They struggled to remember the songs I sung so there was a distinct lack of joining in. But, I started to sing Silent Night, and each and every one of the residents joined in, one of them in German! I really really struggled to get through the whole song without crying. This was so moving for me knowing that I could bring back something as simple as song lyrics. And I’m sure they have some sort of memory related to that song. And in 70 years time, that will be my most poignant memory with that song.
-Who are your inspirations? (both other performers/artists and personally, can be either)
Again, a toughie! Performers wise, I’d like to say, Vera Lynn, Gracie Fields, Kristin Chenoweth, The Queen (Not a performer but an amazing public figure). Personally, Ophelia Son and Estella Le Lune (pin-up models and best friends) who have helped me through so many low points and high points in the last few months as I got my career going.
-What would your dream performance be and for whom?
I would love to perform for Her Majesty. I’m such a huge fan of her as she is one of my heroes it would mean the world to sing for her. I wouldn’t care when, or where, but I’d love to perform for her.
-What gigs do you have lined up this year?
Bookings are slowly coming in and I have plenty of birthdays and weddings and private events, but public events you may be interested in are Leyburn 1940’s Weekend (21st-23rd July 2016) and York in the Blitz (18th-20th August 2016) Where I will also be acting as Princess Elizabeth. I’m also offering a package “Afternoon Tea with Hattie Bee” if you’d like to know more, please head over to my website or Facebook page.
-What vintage events would you most like to perform at?
I’d love to perform at as many 1940’s events as possible. Some notable ones that are on my bucket list are, Twinwood Festival, Pickering 1940’s, Vintage By The Sea, Grassington 1940’s, Lytham 1940’s and Black Country Living Museum 1940’s weekend.
-How can readers find out about your up and coming performances?
If you’d like to find out about my up and coming performances please visit my Facebook Page and My Website- hattiebee-vintagesinger.weebly.com you will also find information on how to book me for your event and find out more about packages I am offering.
-Are you planning on tying any other aspects of the ‘vintage lifestyle’ in to your career? (for example pin up modeling)
I would love to do some modelling. I suppose you have to anyway when you’re a singer, but just to do a bit of modelling on the side would be brilliant fun!
-What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
I currently have a kickstarter running for my next album “The Way We Used To Bee” after my last album made £150 for Arthritis Research UK. You can find my kickstarter here, if you’d like to donate just £10 that would mean a lot to me (and you get a CD before general release!). I’m looking to get more bookings for 1940’s weekends, you can keep updated through my Facebook and Monthly Newsletter (Available through my website)
-Why did you chose to become a Miss Kimmy Cupcake sponsor?
Kim has been a brilliant friend to me the last year, helping me to adjust to uni life! She’s such a wonderful person and being a sponsor is one way I can give something back.
-Any thing else you would like to add…..?
If you are interested in booking me for an event please feel free to message me on my Facebook Page or email me, at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be more than happy to give you a quote or more information.
Please do spread the love and pay Hattie Bee a visit on her social media accounts and website! Give her a like and a share and help promote this talented lady- we would both very much appreciate it! As a Miss Kimmy Cupcake sponsor, Hattie Bee is highly recommended by me ♥ I do not accept a sponsor that I am not 100% confident in and personally happy to recommend.
With much love and special thanks to Hattie Bee,
Miss Kimmy Cupcake xx