It was through the now-defunct Teh Tarik Crew, which was formed in 1999 with Altimet, DJ Fuzz and Fique-tional, that we got noticing the fabulous MizzNina. Since the hip hop collective disbanded, MizzNina has worked it as a TV host, radio DJ and regularly dabbles behind the decks even clocking up some recent international stints. Currently cutting her debut solo album, JUICE figured it was high time we kicked it with the beautiful MizzNina to talk about her guilty pleasures and the art of bus diving.
What were you doing before this interview?
Cleaning up my crib and relaxing.
What do you remember most about being part of Teh Tarik Crew?
The crazy times we had at the studio, the music videos and the mad fun we had at the shows…. I grew up with TTC and they were like my extended family. I especially recall the road trips and tours we made to Penang, Johor -where we were nearly arrested by the cops! We’ve been through a lot! I’ll always cherish those experiences.
You’re one of Malaysia’s most outstanding female hip hop figures. Do you feel pressured by that?
Not really, I have high expectations for myself so usually I feel more pressure from me to be better at what I do.
You’re DJing now too.
I learned to DJ from Fuzz at his Mixology DJ Academy. I got serious about a year now and have played at Cloth & Clef for Ladies First, the Giuseppe Zanotti meet and greet party, Republic at Sunway, Laundry Bar…. I also did a Taiwan tour covering 2 cities and most recently the launch of Hanger by JUICE.
Yes! You were dope. Do you feel more comfortable as a DJ than a performer?
I’m comfortable being both. The more I practice, the better I feel.
You run The Singing Shop in Amcorp Mall. Tell us about it.
My mom and a few of her friends started TSS about 20 years ago and now its part of the family business. That’s where my experience with music, singing and dancing all started. So it’s a natural progression for me to take over.
Nice. How did DJ Fuzz’s Mixology DJ Academy team up with The Singing Shop?
At the time when I started class with DJ Fuzz, he was teaching at another location and he was looking for a new venue for his school. I had extra rooms, which were not being used so we talked about it and he decided to make the move to TSS, which I think is a fruitful collaboration.
Indeed. How’s the upcoming solo debut coming along?
The album is coming along fine and it sounds very colourful. The release date is to be confirmed, but will be some teasers. I worked with a number of different producers and songwriters from KL, Singapore and from the US. You’ll know whom exactly, when it’s done!
Can you recall the most embarrassing moment thing that’s happened to you on stage?
It wasn’t on stage. I was getting off the bus at an award show in Genting Highlands on to the red carpet and I tripped and fell head first. So basically, I dived right in front of the crowd and cameras. Everybody was laughing and I got up and pretended like nothing happened!
Ouch…. Which female figures do you look up to?
My mom and sis, of course. Musically Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Oprah and Angie Martinez to name a few.
You’ve travelled to the US and Japan in 2009. Any exciting travel stories worth sharing?
It would have to be when I experienced Tokyo’s dance scene. Imagine walking into a dark club, the DJ is playing old school hip hop and funk jams till 5am and each and every person in there is dancing, lofting, popping, locking, housing and in their own zone. It was mad fun!
What kind of music have you got on when you’re feeling blue and when you’re getting ready for a big night out?
When I’m sad, I’ll listen to Aretha Franklin or Stevie Wonder. Sometimes I’d listen to J Dilla, A Tribe Called Quest or Jill Scott to lift me up. Big night out? Maybe some soulful house or 70s funk.
Groovy. What are your guilty pleasures?
Shoes, bags and clothes.
What do you fear most?
If you were stuck in a desert, what 3 items would you need to have with you?
First aid kit, a radio for communication and a bag of clothes.
Next after this interview?
Images Bustaman for White Studio