While living in the energetic city of New York and working heavily with the Prestigious Models Agency, Miki stepped away from corporate life to take her first stride into the DJ booth. It didn’t take long for her to embrace her new “office,” behind the decks and she soon began appearing in cities throughout the US, Asia and Europe. Amidst spinning her way onto new stages and venues, in 2009, Miki served as the official spokesmodel and TV correspondent for the drifting series, Formula Drift. At the end of her tour as Miss Formula Drift, she caught the attention of Electronic Arts’, Need for Speed, and was later invited for a “test run” in Dubai where she, subsequently, was selected to tour as resident DJ for the Team NFS “Electro Lounge”. For 2 consecutive years, she embarked upon a life-changing journey with the popular video game for the release of several titles. Currently touring Asia and other parts of the Pacific, Miki holds a residency at Temple, a premier nightclub in the dynamic city of San Francisco, while also being an On-Air DJ for the Philippines’ No. 1 radio staion, Magic 89.9fm.
Siam2nite had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with Miki Taka, shortly before her performance at Safe House on 30th May.
You have been successfully working as a model for the renowned Prestigious Models Agency in New York, but stepped away from corporate life to start a new career as DJ. What was your motivation?
During the time I was living in NYC, I worked at an insurance agency, in addition to, with the Prestigious Models Agency. At the time, I found I was stretching myself too thin and that’s what prompted me to leave corporate life with insurance and work solely as a model and DJ. In terms of what motivated me to pursue DJing as a career, it was just a matter of seizing the opportunity once it presented itself.
How would you describe your music you play in just a few words?
Energetic, lively, melodic, connected, deep
You are half Japanese and half American. You were born in Japan, but raised in the USA, now living in San Francisco. Besides being well adapted to the western culture, what aspects of your personality do you ascribe to the Japanese/Asian origin?
That’s an awesome question! Since I was raised in the US but am also of Japanese decent, there were times I felt I almost had to overcompensate to relate to that part of myself. Aside from taking off my shoes and practicing many Japanese customs, one thing about my personality that I can attribute to my Japanese/Asian origin is the way that I think and behave in terms of consideration towards others. Like, I aim to please. This is a trait I’ve found to be a very common in Japanese culture.
In 2009 you served as the official spokes model and TV correspondent for the drifting series “Formula Drift” and caught the attention of Electronic Arts’, Need for Speed and were selected to tour as resident DJ for the Team NFS “Electro Lounge”. What can you tell us about that time?
To put it simply, that time was life-changing. I’d always had an infinity for girls, cars and music so it was seriously like having the “dream job” during the time I toured with Formula Drift and Need for Speed. If given the chance to do it all over again, I’d take it, in a heartbeat!
You hold a residency at the club “Temple” in San Francisco, but currently you’re touring Asia. So far you’ve toured the Philippines, Hong Kong and Malaysia, now following is Bangkok and Singapore. How was your tour experience so far and how does the crowd differ from what you are used to in the USA?
So far, my tour of Asia has been very enlightening. I’m so intrigued by the different cultures and feel very blessed to have seen so much as I have, already. I have definitely observed some differences between the crowds in the US versus Asia, with the biggest of which being that Americans seem to dance MORE and tend to get crazier on the dance floor.
Are you planning to go into producing your own music or will you stick to DJing? What’s on your agenda for the near future?
I’ve definitely come to a crossroad and think it’s time to create something that I can share, as a producer and a DJ. With that said, I have actually started the process of production and fully intend to have solid material by early next year.
What was the best and the worst gig you ever played?
It’s honestly hard to pinpoint the single best gig I’ve ever played because there are so many that are really up there on my list. However, one that comes to mind is from 2011 when I was brought to spin on the beach of Cologne, Germany as a guest DJ for Electronic Arts’ Need for Speed after Gamescom. The atmosphere was gorgeous, the crowd was infectious and I had an amazing time.
As for the worst, that’s easy. It was at an event where a fight broke out and the entire place got tear-gassed before I could get out! Funny now, but I definitely wasn’t laughing at the time. Haha.
What was the funniest thing ever occurred during any of your performances?
The funniest ever was when girl jumped up on stage during mid-set and flashed the crowd. Hahahahaha… I’m laughing now, just thinking about it!
What essential things you need to have with you at all times when you’re on tour and what things you miss the most when you’re away from home?
Aside from clothes and toiletries, my top essentials include my laptop, iPod and headphones. When I’m away from home, I miss my kitchen the most… I LOVE TO COOK!
You will perform in Bangkok on 30th May at Safe House. Will it be your Bangkok Debut or have you played in Bangkok before?
The 30th of May will be my very first time in Bangkok… and I am stoked! Funny enough, my ex of 5 years is Thai. I absolutely love the culture and am really excited to eat some legit Thai food!
What can Bangkok expect from your performance at Safe House on 30th May?
What can be expected from my performance at Safe House on the 30th is an energetic, heavy hitting set. I will be playing some bangers and look forward to seeing how the party people of Thailand get down!
MIKI TAKA at Safe House