Ian Massa-Harris is the man responsible for Pride’s Got Talent and is in charge of the Pride in London main stage in Trafalgar Square. He’s an opera singer who loves the fashion of the Elizabethan age, geishas and The Exorcist.
Where are you from originally?
I was born in Leicestershire, English mother, Spanish father. I spent my youth in Spain then came back to UK to go to boarding school.
And where do you live now?
South West London. My husband, Mark, and I live in Streatham sharing our house with our gorgeous cats, Humperdink and Scampers.
What do you love about London and why?
I’ve lived in London for 21 years now and it’s a city I adore. It’s a city of dreams, of culture, imagination and excitement and for now it’s the place for me. I know we will eventually leave, but London is home.
What was the first gay venue you visited?
Ku Bar, when it was on Charing Cross Road – let’s just say I was in my teens! I remember the dribbly candles on the first floor balcony!
Pride in London won the Boyz Award last year, are you excited for this year?
Yes, we are very excited – after having our contract renewed with the GLA, we are working very hard to deliver a better and more inclusive Pride.
Pride’s Got Talent launches soon, what would you say to people who are thinking of entering?
Pride’s Got Talent is entering a new and exciting phase of development, with a new sponsor, bigger opportunities and guaranteed talent. Anyone wanting to enter should just go for it “you might have a talent that you didn’t know about – if you don’t try you will never know!”
Favourite club/bar/venue in London and why?
I have a top three list – The Two Brewers, Ku Bar and The RVT.
What was the last theatre show you saw, where, and what did you think of it?
The Exorcist at the Phoenix Theatre – it was a very powerful piece of theatre, haunting, exciting and totally captivating. Sir Ian McKellen as the voice of the devil was terrifying!
What is your guilty pleasure and why?
Losing myself watching movies under the duvet with a bowl of popcorn (salted!) I love letting my imagination take me into the movie!
That’s an easy one! Having a two day wedding. Day One – Elizabethan Manor, Day Two – Madame JoJos; Mark and I don’t like to do things the easy way!
Best gift you’ve ever received and why?
Diamonds from my father for our engagement rings – diamonds are a girl’s best friend.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and why?
Obviously helping set up and becoming Pride in London’s Executive Producer is something I will never forget. As an opera singer, I would say singing and appearing in Mission Impossible 5 – Rogue Nation is a close 2nd!
If you could go back in time which year or era would you choose and why?
It would have to be the Elizabethan era and why – EASY – the fashions!
What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and what made it so good?
Not so much a party, but Camp Attack and Saturday G-A-Y back in the day of G-A-Y at the Astoria were incredible. People didn’t take themselves too seriously and everyone had fun.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
When I was a child I was told “Dream and be the best you can be”. As a child I was always encouraged to follow my own path and this advice has been with me ever since.
Who is your LGBT+ hero and why?
Hands down – Oscar Wilde – a truly talented man who really paved the way for gay rights in the arts. I always abide by this quote: “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about”.
Who are the most entertaining people you follow on Twitter and why?
On line vocal coaches are hilarious – how you can give a lesson digitally is beyond me.
Where in the world would you like to visit before you die and why?
Japan – The Four Geisha Districts of Kyoto – I am fascinated by Geisha.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
To learn to filter my mouth – speaking without filter has got me into trouble so many times!