CIQ has a way of accomplishing the impossible as a matter of daily life. “I’m a Christian, I believe I can do anything. Why not?” she laughs. It’s more a matter of figuring out what she wants to accomplish than actually carrying it out, and sometimes finding time for everything amidst all the challenges she takes on.
“There’s a lot of opportunity in life and you really have to make the most of it. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what life has handed you, but more your choices, what you really want, and what you can do with what you have available to you.”
“I didn’t know when I started working in Toronto’s music industry that I’d work for several top companies in my first year and be bored by the professional options I had available to me after that. I also didn’t know it would be so hard to find people worldwide to promote what I really like to do musically because I’m apparently so original. And I had no idea when I jumped into the international DJ industry that it was 99% male at the top.” After an initial sigh and rolling her eyes, she rolls up her sleeves and gets to work.
She has her own recording studio in Canada with her recording gear, musical instruments, and a bit of photography and film gear. She learned her skills working for others in the entertainment industry, and arts schools in North America such as York University, Harris Institute and Master’s Commission.
When she was new in Toronto’s industry, she made a name for herself as a producer engineer, also an events promoter, and a highly original electronic musician and performer.
Her events became known worldwide because the internet was one medium used to promote them in 1998-2002. The events were mainly in Canada and USA within a days drive of the Great Lakes area but she received demos from known and unknown artists in Hollywood and UK and other places hoping to be booked for her events.
She also had a DJ page on myspace which wasn’t highly promoted, but it might be one of the reasons she is often recognized by other DJs, producers and business people in places like London UK, Nashville USA, and Cannes France.
As a live performer, mainly singer songwriter and keyboardist, sometimes other instruments, her music was occasionally compared to other unique artists over the years like Jean Michel Jarre, Enigma, Evanescence or Moby. But most of the time she was considered completely original and unique, fresh and pure inspiration. “The only person I actually get compared to rather frequently in real life right now is Sandra Bullock,” she laughs. People often see some similarities to the actress in her appearance, voice and personality.
She was involved in many other places in the entertainment industry as well and her resume is too extensive to list here. Like a young entrepreneur she tried everything professionally available, to learn all the skills she possibly could, as much for entertainment as wanting to see if she really could achieve anything she wanted. “People were obviously happy with my work. Most of them paid me more than they said they would, like fifty percent more.”
One of her teachers at Harris Institute said to her, “You’re a total enigma, what do you plan to do with your career? You’re good at everything.” She had surprised him the first day of class by calling a phaser effect by its technical name filter sweep. She also received a scholarship for the highest mark in her first semester at the prestigious music business school in Toronto. She was in demand by many studios, but at that point she mostly preferred to work independently with electronic musicians and new artists with fresh sounds on the cutting edge. “I was really into the sounds my friends were creating, electronic musicians and DJs and live artists, locally and internationally. I was friends with really creative people, like Jeremy Dawson in LA (who is now keyboardist of Shiny Toy Guns live band), and a long list of other really creative electronic artists I met through playing in bands, producing music at school, working with record labels at music festivals, and promoting events in the electronic music underground.”
When her attention turned to the international music industry, she had the option to move to another location like London UK or USA, but she chose to stay in Canada and work with the internet. “I had just moved out of the city so I could find more studio time, and wasn’t really wanting to stay in London UK at that time, which was really just another busy city like Toronto.” It was refreshing to be outside the city where it was quiet, there was more time to reflect, and she could definitely find studio time. “For awhile people kept hanging out at my studios after I stopped promoting events,” she laughs. “It took awhile to get out of the industry and creative circles which were my social life 24/7 so I could focus on the next thing, my own artistic projects in my recording studio.” No doubt she was pulled into promoting a few last events before she moved out of the heart of Toronto’s arts district.
But nothing really holds her back from travelling worldwide whenever she really wants to. As long as she plans in advance and has the money and enough reason to do so. But she values her time staying at home because ultimately it means more studio time, and right now she also enjoys working part time with youth, mainly over the weekends. “I’ve commit myself to working with youth right now. But if I was offered a professional option that was even more fun, that took me anywhere (or even everywhere) in the world, and paid what I would expect at this point, I would certainly consider it. I really don’t know what the future holds, I just know what I like.” At the moment she really enjoys seeing her family so often and spending at least three weekdays in the studio working on whatever catches her fancy. “The people you’re with can really make or break your journey. It’s my life. It’s not just about some job or career, or what I do. I love what I do. Life is an amazing experience and an exciting journey. But who you’re with really matters. I love my people more than anything.”