Doing it her way
Article from the Sun daily by Bissme S. (posted on 9 October 2018)
MUSIC is her life. That is best way to sum up Kirstie Maximus. The 28-year-old lass from Petaling Jaya is a singer, a rapper and a songwriter.
So far, she has produced three solo singles. Five years ago, she began deejaying and has since become one of the city's most sought after deejays.
When did your passion for music start?
"I've been exposed to music since I was in my mother's belly. My mother put headphones on her stomach and let me listen to music. The moment I could speak, I began singing.
"When I learnt to write, I wrote words that could rhyme. My first words were 'Michael Jackson'. He is my biggest inspiration in the music industry."
Did your parents object to your dreams to be in the Malaysian music industry?
"My father worked for a logistic company while my mother was a [special needs] teacher, teaching dyslexia and autistic children. They are the typical Asian parents who want me to be a lawyer, a doctor and an engineer. But they were never against my musical ambition.
"They did say [the] Malaysian music industry can be challenging. I do not blame them for saying that. They were just stating the truth. They wanted me to have some paper qualifications to fall back on in case my music ambitions did not take off. So I took a diploma in sound and music to please them."
What has been your biggest challenge in the music industry?
"I am one of the few female rappers in Malaysia. As a female rapper, some people expect you to dress in a certain way and I do not believe music has a dress image. I do not listen to their suggestion. I stand on my own ground.
What advice would you give to youngsters who want to make music their career?
"Never sell yourself short. When you know what is your worth, set your price and stick with it. I wished somebody had told me [this] when I started my career.
"I had to learn to swim the hard way, otherwise I would have sunk. You must never stop learning. I took short radio production course in London, four years ago. I stayed in London for six months. I checked out the London's music and night scenes to enhance my knowledge on music. "
What are your future plans?
"It is the dream of every singer to take their music internationally and I am no different.
"[But] I won't put a time frame on [my] dream. I always believe in living one day at a time."
What motivated you to become a deejay?
"People have this misconception that being deejay is all about putting your finger on a play button. But there is a lot of art involved in deejaying.
"You have to get the audience immersed in [an] atmosphere where they will enjoy themselves. You have to make good song choices and you can only do that when you understand the history of the music. You also need to be passionate about the music and passion is something you cannot teach. What I like about my job [is that] I have freedom of expression. But you have to be ready, there will always be people who [may not] like what you spin."
What is the best compliment you have received about your job?
"Someone had said to me: 'You are the centre of a party. Without you, no party can happen'. But I have not always been successful.
"I have learned my lesson well. I should not mixed genres. I should stick to one genre. Success can only come from failure."
What is something you hate as a deejay?
"I hate requests. I think all deejay hate requests. We comply requests because we want to make the people happy. Deejay have planned their routine before the night began and some requests can mess up their plans."
What is your strength and your weakness?
"My strength is that I am a perfectionist. I always over-think. That is also my weakness. When you over-think, it can be stressful and that is not good for your health."
What do you do when you are not playing music?
"I play futsal and go the gym. I do a lot of cardio and some weight training."
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