After impressing judges on The Voice, a musician is now setting her sights on opening a Calderdale burlesque festival.
Kiki Deville, who got through to the second round of the BBC show after successfully navigating the blind auditions, will be one of the stars of Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival, which takes place at venues around the Calder Valley from May 1-4.
“I’m super excited to be coming back again,” she said.
“Last year was my first time in Hebden Bridge. I thought it was absolutely fabulous.
“It’s going to be even bigger and better this year.”
Kiki is fresh off her time on The Voice, where she saw off competition from more than 40,000 singers to earn a place on will.i.am’s team before being eliminated in the battle round.
“The show is such a pleasure to be a part of,” she said.
“I had the best time and met so many people who have become friends for life.
“It was so great that out of 40,000 people I got through to the last 48.
“It was good to show that burlesque performers can be fun.
“We don’t all take our clothes off.”
Kiki has been a professional singer for 25 years and moved into the world of burlesque four years ago.
She said her favourite element of burlesque is the response from the audience.
“I love that the audience is so enthusiastic,” she said.
“Burlesque audiences never really know what to expect.
“They want to be involved in what’s going on.”
Another aspect she enjoys is being around “incredible women”.
“I’ve worked for a quarter of a century in an industry where women don’t necessarily have a lot of power,” she said. “But burlesque is so well run by women.
“It’s such a supportive environment.
“I don’t think I’ve ever felt so confident since I have been working in the world of burlesque.
“Women feel it gives them confidence to do what they do.
“It’s such a great scene for women to be in.
“Heidi (Bang Tidy) and Lady Wildflower do a brilliant job with the Hebden Bridge festival.”
Kiki, who is originally from Melbourne, moved to England ten years ago and settled in the North West.
“I love being a North West girl,” she said.
“The audiences here are really similar to in Australia.”
Kiki will be appearing at Hebden Bridge Burlesque Festival’s Opening Night Shindig at Mytholmroyd Community Centre on Thursday, May 1.
This event, which kicks off the festival, is a charity fundraiser in aid of Derian House children’s hospice, a charity close to Kiki’s heart.
She lost her baby son, Dexter, to a terminal illness at four weeks and she received a lot of help and support from Derian House.Kiki is now an ambassador for the charity.
“We want to kick off the festival with a great start but also raise as much money as possible for Derian House,” she said.
The audience should expect a show full of “comedy, singing, messing around and good old-fashioned fun”.
The opening night event will also feature the debut screening of a documentary made at last year’s festival including interviews with Heidi Bang Tidy and Lady Wildflower, performers such as Kiki and a guest interview with Boy George.
lFor more details about the festival, the full programme and ticket information, visit www.hebdenbridgeburlesquefestival.co.uk.