About

JUICE Kumari means "Flava Princess"

Autobiography

Born Shakira Kumari Mahajan on 7th March 1987 of mixed heritage, Caribbean and Indian.

Coming from two diverse cultures, I learnt to appreciate and accept what they offered growing up, discipline and confidence. I was very much a family orientated person and I still am. I have a close relationship with my brother, parents and other family members. My childhood through to my teenage years was great, fun and exciting. Although outgoing, I was not a street urchin. Most of my time was spent around family and other relatives. Practically, I would be at home heavily engaged in the Bollywood artist Sridevi constantly on replay and imitate her dancing moves. I loved the colours worn by the dancers and yes, I would wear my indian dress, especially to weddings and celebratory occasions. Every sunday the record player came out and as a family, we would dance and sing to the variety of music from Calypso & Reggae to Motown & Pop.

 

I remember when I was 5 years old. I used to play my parents records on their record player. Seems like a typical story but it's true. I had my moment singing along to Whitney Houston and I told myself that I was going to be a singer. I didn't have a clue what rapping was lol. So, I went on and sung each day until I was 13 and started writing my own material. At 15 I learnt what a scale was at StageCoach. Being there taught me the fundamentals of singing, the breathing techniques the skills you can do with your voice if you train it right. When I left, I trained my voice until I was 17 when I "found" my voice. I spent months in what I refer to as "Boot Camp". I executed my cardio exercises, breathing exercises, vocal exercises up and down the scale until I was note perfect and I found the "break" in my voice. It was a relief and an achievement. I could literally sing perfectly to any song. Then the winter sunk in and I contracted a throat infection that prevented me from singing. I eventually lost my voice completely, which sent me into depression. At the time I was heavily writing, confused and into my dancing. So I decided to stop music and focus on dancing. But…i was still writing. Dancing was and still is my vent. So-called school friends were not that supportive. In fact I saw elements of jealousy in them, which motivated me to use this as a catalyst to pursue my goals further. I didn't care what anyone thought about me or how much they mimicked or disliked me. There was always competition. I was too busy focusing on what I needed to do, bearing in mind I was studying. Yes I studied hard and passed my GCSEs, my A-Levels and my BA Degree in Modern Drama but that wasn't enough. There was something missing from my life as I welcomed the 20s.

 

I was 23 when I picked up the music again. Taking 6 years out was enough to put me back in relation to the music that was circulating in the industry. I ventured on a new style…rapping. If I could write a rap for someone else, I could write one for myself. My first rap, was to Ludacris' My Chick Bad. I renamed it to My Boy Bad. I loved the beat I loved the style, southern & krunk. I may not be able to sing to my highest standard as retraining the voice takes time, but I can rap and write my own material.

 

My ultimate vision is to perform to my optimum level and being happy within life and the projects I intend on creating. If I continue to grow and develop as a woman personally and professionally then anything is possible. I don't count on fame to get me anywhere, I live by the 4 keys to life, success and happiness "a la M.O.D.E" (Motivation, Optimism, Determination & Empowerment). My faith and project work I do for the young people as a youth worker, and giving back to this community, is the fuel that keeps my fire burning.

I'm here and I'm ready to Rock N' Roll.

 

...on Life.…

 

"Separate your personal life from your professional life", my mothers words to me. I value this. Everyone has issues, problems or situations but you have to be strong as an individual to surpass all of it and not let it affect the work you do. Sure, I've been in situations where I've gone into work and just burst into tears in front of my colleagues because I couldn't cope with the strains and demands my personal situation was highlighting. I realised this was only an excuse and a temporary distraction to not fulfil all that was required of me. Each of us goes through times where we might need extra support from family and friends or even an external professional like a councillor or psychologist. That's life. It throws anything at you. "What you give out is what you receive". You have an aura and a spirit and you should radiate that beauty and positive energy. It's solely down to you to channel that happiness and being content from within. Life is definitely what you make it and we have choices. "You can be anything you want to be if you put your mind to it", my fathers words to me. I could have chosen to wallow in self-pity for the next 5 years and complain or continue on this journey to fulfil my ambitions and live my life. I chose the latter. Sometimes you have to outweigh the good from the bad and turn every negative into a positive. Believe me when I say that there is some good in every bad happening. Every event in our life occurs for a reason, whether the outcome is what you expected or not, you just have to accept it and move on...positively.

 

...on Faith and Spirituality.…

 

Faith is a mistaken language. For me, it's a personal growth. It radiates from within and becomes apparent when you least expect it. This is my individual personal relationship and connection with God and ultimately with myself mind, body and soul. I pray in my "Shakira time" as I call it. I lock myself in my bedroom and speak as though I am talking on the phone to my closest friend. I ask for help, guidance and strength to see through any obstacle I may be facing. It's also important that I say thank you for past and present experiences because without those I will not be the person I am today. Honesty is the best policy in every way shape or form and with this in mind I say, "Always be true to yourself".

...on Music...

 

Music is an art that warms me. I admire hearing and watching live orchestras and the sweet sounds the instruments make together. To me that's music. That's soul, that's power. It's a gratifying experience.

My influences are the likes of the late greats Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston, Sri Devi and Divya (bollywood artists). Missy Elliot, Ludacris and Nelly. I'm also a fan of Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Eminem and Donell Jones. I admire these artists for their creative flair, their style, their flows and their soulfulness. I'm always listening to New Jack Swing or Old Skool R&B in my downtime. My unique style is what I describe as "sophisticated fun", resembling my word play, maturity, vision and personality.

Creating a project is a whirlwind experience. There isn't a set way of producing a mix tape, EP or album, each experience is authentic to the artist. But the fundamentals of drawing from life experiences is still present rather strongly. I started off with a bunch of tracks that were different and versatile in style or message and then "Circus Fun" sprung to mind, music that is a mix of emotions. I deliberately didn't create a track relating to the title because the EP spoke for itself. It's fun, vibrant, sophisticated, conscious, sensual…everything the human person experiences.

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