Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Exclusive: Three ABSOLUT changemakers on the power of community and inspiring change

Lady Phyll, ShayShay and Trina Nicole partnered with ABSOLUT and Olly Alexander

Olly Alexander standing with Lady Phyll, ShayShay and Trina Nicole
Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
February 7, 2024
Share this:

ABSOLUT and Olly Alexander have partnered together with three incredible people driving change within their communities. ABSOLUT is hosting #BornToMix for the third time, hosting events from the three changemakers.

One of the women involved is Lady Phyll, the founder of UK Black Pride and the activist will be hosting two roundtable discussions in the lead-up to International Women's Day and UK Black Pride, these events will be held on 8 March and 21 June respectively.

WATCH: Olly Alexander and changemakers perform together

Speaking exclusively to HELLO! about community, Lady Phyll said: "Community is incredibly important to me, it's about support, belonging and a connection to being part of a community of individuals who are like-minded and share similar experiences, interests and values. There is a special social connection and relationship."

And speaking about her event, the activist shared: "You can expect powerful, honest, raw and truthful conversations, which will be thought-provoking and you'll walk away feeling full, nourished with information, suggestions and solutions as to what you can do differently to help shape the world we want to live in."

Lady Phyll holding an ABSOLUT cocktail© ABSOLUT
Lady Phyll is the founder of UK Black Pride

Part of Lady Phyll's event will speak about finding inner happiness, and speaking about her own happiness, the star joked: "I love HELLO! and even saying it over and over again is joyful. How I find happiness is creating safe and brave spaces for my communities, making sure we are resourced and constantly reimagining the future by being hopeful. And on the flipside, one day hoping that Queen Latifah notices me and takes me out on a date so we can share an ABSOLUT cocktail!"

Last year, UK Black Pride had a monumentous year as it celebrated its 18th year with headline act Dréya Mac and ahead of the celebrations this year, Lady Phyll teased even bigger events for 2024's celebrations. "We have so much in store, there will be something for everyone regardless of age, gender and gender expression, faith, class, sexual orientation and much more - but importantly, it will be accessible as we are a Black Pride organisation that puts people before profit," she commented.

"Watch this space for announcements on performers, workshops, sponsors, community stalls, dance arena and some special guests!"

ShayShay holding an ABSOLUT cocktail© ABSOLUT
ShayShay is the co-founder of The Bitten Peach

Also involved is ShayShay, the co-founder of The Bitten Peach, a queer cabaret movement which aims to empower the queer Asian community by providing a safe space to be authentically themselves. ShayShay's event is an eight-week performance mentorship programme for those either at the beginning of their career or aiming to improve their repertoire.

Speaking to HELLO!, the performer explained: "The Peach Fuzz Showcase is going to platform ten new fresh-faced Asian performers who will have just finished an eight-week cabaret mentorship programme, where they'd have worked with cabaret experts in different areas of the field.

"The graduates will be debuting their brand new acts that they've created through the course and many of The Bitten Peach artists and performers, friends and family of the graduates will be there to support. It's going to be a night full of queer Asian love and support and for anyone intrigued to go, it's the perfect opportunity to be welcomed into The BittenPeach family."

READ MORE: First Dates star Steph Kyriacou praises show for showing 'normal life' of trans people – exclusive

RELATED: World Championship swimmer Michael Gunning breaks down what Black joy means to him

ShayShay was also full of praise for Olly and ABSOLUT for the partnership, enthusing: "Olly comes from the same queer nightlife scene that I come from, so working together felt like working with a friend of a friend. It felt like we were only one degree of separation because we already knew loads of the same people. We understood each other's humour and jokes and it was just a really easy fun day!"

They continued: "So much of what we do as performers, changemakers, trailblazers, whatever you want to call us is DIY, it's very scrappy, it's self-funded. It's calling on whatever connections and favours you have from friends and venues to make shit happen. When a big company like ABSOLUT is able to recognise that work as valuable, and provide support for it to happen. It really helps elevate the message and help us achieve our goals at a higher and bigger level.

"The work that people like me, Trina Nicole, and Lady Phyll do often doesn't get spoken about in large media outlets. We might be well known within our communities, but outside of that a lot of people don't ever hear about what we're doing. People like us sometimes need the spotlight redirected at us by campaigns like ABSOLUT's, so that people from outside our community know what's happening and they can see examples of how people are actively investing in making changes for their communities. It also helps connect people who may be part of the community but are unaware that this work is being done."

Trina Nicola holding an ABSOLUT cocktail© ABSOLUT
Trina founded Curve Catwalk

The final changemaker is Trina Nicole, the founder of Curve Catwalk and her event will feature a runway class and a discussion on body confidence and promoting a culture of self-acceptance. Speaking about the importance of community for her, Trina shared: "Community really helped me grow in ways I never knew I even needed. It was like everything clicked, and things finally became clear how I fit into this world. The togetherness, positivity, safety and connection were exactly what I was lacking. Building my community gave me this sense of purpose, and while I was boosting the confidence in those women, they were lifting me up also."

RELATED: As a full-figured Black woman, lack of representation made me feel I didn't belong – now I dance with Lizzo

Trina continued: "It's super important for a brand like ABSOLUT to get behind my mission because it boosts the mission's impact, gets more people on board, and also helps with credibility and visibility. It's like a team effort, making a stronger impact together and showing that we're all in on making a positive change.

"Campaigns like this help prove that anyone can make a change. Thinking about positive change can be kind of overwhelming, like this huge, scary task. But when we share lots of stories and different paths of how us changemakers pulled it off, I hope it makes it seem doable for others. If everyone did a little bit to make changes in their communities, the world could be a way better place."

And on her own event, the model said: "In a nutshell, it's all about Confidence, Community, and Connection. I often hear from individuals who want to boost their confidence, and since confidence-building isn't a one-size-fits-all journey, I wanted to create an event that combines insights from motivational speakers, engaging confidence workshops, and networking opportunities. The goal is to curate an experience that leaves participants feeling empowered, inspired, and equipped with the tools to navigate life and show up for themselves, unapologetically."

Trina also shared how to gain body confidence, one didn't necessarily have to hit the gym, explaining: "If someone dropped this question on me a few years back, I'd probably picture myself in some intense gym scenario, doing a crazy boot camp – and that's definitely not what I'm referring to here. For me, movement is way more than that. Over at the Curve Catwalk, I talk a lot about joyful movement, the key is that movement should make you feel good in your body. When you're feeling good physically, it kind of ripples into your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours, giving you an overall boost in confidence."

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

More Celebrity News

See more