How and why did you become a DJ?
It all started with modelling when I was 14. After gracing a number of magazines and covers within Asia and Russia I realised my next biggest passion was music. Why DJing? Because of the incredible atmosphere a DJ creates and the near God-like feeling they can momentarily experience in front of a crowd.
What do you play?
It depends on the venue and the crowd but generally electro, nu-disco and soulful house, though also some disco, funky, progressive, fidget, club and even more pop based stuff. I love to drop remixes of tracks by the likes of Calvin Harris, Wolfgang Gartner, Hoxton Whores, Chromeo, Chuckie, Ben Watt and Miguel Puente.
Who’s your musical hero?
Michael Jackson — an amazing artist, super talented in all aspects. I play remixes of his songs often. I believe he staged his own death because he was a master of disguise.
Where did your DJ moniker come from?
I was drinking with my boyfriend and some friends after an event and the name Kisska came up accidently. I didn’t have a proper DJ name at the time and I really liked the way it sounded and looked. In Russian it means ‘kitten’ and friends and family have called me that all my life anyway so it’s like a second name to me.
Why is there such a lack of female DJs here?
The market is still growing and in three to five years there’ll probably be more. However, this industry, especially in Asia, is still regarded as a boys club. My friends told me not to do it but that just motivated me even more. I looked at DJing as some kind of forbidden fruit.
So what’s it like being a female in such a male-dominated profession?
I have to work harder to get respect from people in this industry, but this is the best motivation for me. Some of my colleagues don’t take me seriously because I’m a model. They just think I stand around smiling.
How do you balance DJing with modelling?
It can be hard DJing on a Thursday or Friday night and having to get up early the next morning for a photo shoot or client meeting, but I’m not complaining, I’m very happy being so busy. It’s just not always as easy as it may look to people on the outside.
DJ Kisska is currently a weekly resident at Centro (Thursdays), Xu (Fridays), Sofitel Hotel’s Boudoir Lounge (Saturdays) and Lush