Bianca Kurian's, aka Maieli, new mix carries her distinctively warm and carefree attitude that compels her to dismiss the idea that there is any deliberate intent to provoke an emotion through her music choices. But whether consciously or not, Maieli‘s music pays homage to the fundamental ethos of her brand, BRWN HIVE. A brand that focuses on inclusivity regardless of gender or ethnicity.
Maieli’s music features a wide range of cultural references, spanning from a reference to the classic 1995 hip hop film Friday, to the more modern day Hindi movie Sanam Teri Kasam. It's beyond party music--it is an argument for embracing new attitudes and viewpoints -- being open-minded and breaking from the taboo of talking about sex or other topics Desi culture typically shies away from. But as Maieli says, "It was never my intention to evoke a certain sensation, I just wanted everyone to dance."
Listen to the exclusive mix and learn more about Bianca from our interview below:
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in East Los Angeles. My mother was born in Colombia and my father was born in India. Having a multi-cultural background and growing up in such a diverse city played a huge role in who I am today, the way I see the world, and the music I listen to. I’ve always been involved in music, I was forced into piano lessons as a kid which I am grateful for now because that really provided the base for all my other music endeavors. Right now my goal is just to spread positivity through music because it truly is a means of communicating that connects everyone regardless of age, background, religion, sexuality, or gender.
2. Agreed! 2017 is really shaping up to be an interesting time to live in, what are you most excited about this year?
I’m most excited to see how we shift in 2017 and start coming together in the music scene to create a positive change. I’m excited to see more people of color on best of lists, more women headlining festivals, more events that fundraise for a cause, more collaboration and less elitism, and safer inclusive spaces. My girl and I started BRWN HIVE as a means to share music and throw events and promote artists to encourage these things and we’re hoping to expand to a full label so I’m excited to see how BRWN HIVE evolves this year.
3. What are you listening for when you put together a mix? Share a little bit of your process.
I usually put a playlist together based on songs I’m currently listening to and then try to figure out how to make them flow together. That’s the tough part because I’m always mixing genres and I never stick to just one BPM which is a lot more challenging but interesting in my opinion. I could never just play one type of music, that’s the fun part about dj’ing is getting to experiment with mixing different sounds and tempos and trying to get it to sound like a cohesive journey
4. Who are some artists that you think are going to pop off this year?
Definitely Horsepowar, I’ve been working with her for a minute now and I’ve been witnessing her growth. She’s definitely got what it takes to go far so I’m excited to see what she does this year. Other artists that have been killing it in my opinion and will continue to do so this year are Anik Khan, Audri Nix, Jarreau Vandal, aywy, the Club Chai crew, Late Night Laggers crew, and of course our first two BRWN HIVE featured artists Phool and Talia Knight.
5. How does your culture and identity play into your current pursuits?
My culture and identity are constantly playing a role in my life whether I realize it or not. In music it definitely plays a more deliberate role. I usually try to incorporate Latin and Desi inspired music into my mixes and tracks in a way that appeals to everyone. I’m tired of any music with ethnic elements being thrown into this “world music” category (what kind of genre is world music really)… I love how favela trap and baile funk have made their way into more accessible outlets such as Soulection radio. I want to do the same for Latin and Desi music and other types of music that people might not ordinarily listen to and combine with other more familiar music and make it more accessible for all.
6. And finally, what's your HYFN?
Hmm this is a hard one, I could go on forever but let's keep it simple and go with American-Desi-Latina.