Jodie Harsh

  • Jodie Harsh
  • 2009-07-01

Jay Clarke, better known as alter ego Jodie Harsh has been the talk of the UK club scene for the last few years. The St. Martin’s College graduate is taking her club night Circus to the world famous o2 for a one night Pride special on 4th July 2009. Pride, the annual gay and lesbian festival was made truly possible by the drag queens of Stonewall, so it seems only right that 2009’s biggest Pride party is organized by Britain’s biggest drag queen. The night features sets from Siouxsie, man of the moment and current Kylie collaborator Frankmusik and The Feeling’s Dan Gillespie all topped off by a legendary set by Harsh herself. Given Harsh’s flair for fashion and statements, the night promises to be full of colour so we took a moment to have a word with the lady herself to find out a little bit more.

Having studied journalism, how did the transition into Drag DJ come about?

Drag is something I tried out while at university and I ended up bitten by the bug. It’s fun, it’s political, it’s a reason to look glamorous while conveying a message and it’s a career.

How long have you been Jodie Harsh for?

Forever. Since the day I was born.

How long does it take you to get into character?

You mean how long does make-up take? An hour if I’m feeling creative, longer if I can’t be bothered, but the finish product is always the same but with different eye and lip colours and sometimes different hair.

The name is clearly a reference to Jodie Marsh. Why Jodie and not Jordan?

I’ve got no idea who Jodie Marsh is. I hate the underbelly of celebrity culture. Jordan’s pretty cool though, although she needs to go back to being Katie Price the mum as opposed to Jordan wearing a piece of dental floss and spilling out of Ibiza clubs.

Which drag performers have inspired you?

I’ve taken a little bit from everyone — RuPaul, Lady Bunny, Amanda Lepore… and made it my own.

Paul O’Grady has successfully outlived his character Lily Savage, would you wish to do the same?

Absolutely. Paul actually told me he was proud of me and had a lot of respect for what I do, when I met him at a party. I’m not ready to end it all yet. When I do, I will continue in the music and nightlife industry.

You are on the list of 100 most influential gay people, is this your proudest achievement?

Without a doubt I am honoured to be thought of like that. I’ve must have done something right. I’m more proud of that than I am of apparently snogging Jordan!

Was the dream to be famous?

No. The dream was to be successful and recognised for something I’m good at. I’m not ‘famous’ — don’t you have to have a dad who’s in a rock band to be that nowadays?

I’ve taken a little bit from everyone — RuPaul, Lady Bunny, Amanda Lepore… and made it my own.

How did the DJing first start?

I’ve always loved music and playing it to people. It’s a natural thing for me to do. I’m only happy going to a club, party or festival if I’m the one making people dance.

What night is your favourite to DJ at?

Circus of course! I can’t wait until my massive Circus at Matter on Saturday, I’m sure that will go down as my favourite set ever. I already have the track list worked out in my head.

What would you say is your greatest remix?

I’ve just remixed a track by my favourite artist in the world. Well, second favourite after Michael Jackson. I am still mourning the loss of the greatest entertainer the world has ever seen. Nothing compares to him in his heyday.

And now a move into singing, tell me more about the track “Agness Deyn”.

That’s more speaking…I did the track with Larry Tee for his album Club Badd, which is out now on iTunes. It’s a pumping electro track about the girl of the moment. It’s pretty cool, you should buy it. Plug, plug, plug!

Are there plans for further releases?

I want to concentrate on remixing, I’m not a pop star per se, and I did the track with Larry purely to add a string to my bow. Been there, done that, loved it, but now time to get serious with the remixing.

Will there be a return to writing for Jodie Harsh?

Definitely, I really like travelling and am lucky to be in a position where I do it all the time, and I would love to release some travel guides. I used to have a column and that’s something else I’d like to revisit when I get some more time on my hands. And maybe even a book release one day…


Jodie Harsh will be hosting Circus at Matter (the o2, Peninsula Square, London, SE10 ODY) on 4th July 2009, from 10pm to 6am. Tickets available from

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