JUICE Kumari means "Flava Princess"
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.
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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