“My experience in the music industry has been a real adventure. People used to tell me I was ahead of my time. I didn’t know if that was true but it does seem as though the world was not ready for me.”

CIQ left her management and went out on her own after working for several of Canada’s top companies. “It was a great time in my life, I was always hanging out in people’s mansions, engineering records, sipping drinks in backyard pools, running into the same friends in London and Cannes. But I felt that need to be an entrepreneur, it was the same reason I respected the people I worked for.”

So she walked away from a high end sound system sponsorship to go out on her own. She found she had a steep learning curve. But it was a time to explore the world and see what was out there.

“I never did find any real partners to work with, in the sense that, since the beginning the music from the electronic music events I did on the weekends with my friends were a completely different thing than working at MuchMusic after school or passing out free stuff from major record labels. It was two different worlds. I felt people wanted me to be a popstar and I was an international DJ. People didn’t even know what that was.”

She did run an international DJ collective for a year with friends, based in New York and Toronto. “I actually flew into the UK and hit several cities to buy vinyl the year before Beatport went online. Most my vinyl records still aren’t available online.”

“But I always travelled a lot, since I was a teenager. When I left home I lived in the USA for two years. For awhile, if I was awake I was usually on a stage with a band. If I wasn’t on stage, I was in rehearsal, or jamming with friends.”

“But the first thing I learned in business when I went out on my own was all about numbers. No matter what business you’re in, numbers are consistent, and my eyes were opened to a whole world beyond music.” She studied the stock market and real estate and creative business models. She also wrote an article on music business models based on her own personal experience. “Then I realized that my time is my life, and my life is worth more to me than work. But I was always motivated by making a difference, spending time with great people, new and interesting experiences, perks and a paycheck that is worth my time.”

“So this is my life. Where I come from, people are real, we’re not impressed by superficial things. We value honesty and integrity. People are more important than anything else. We never walk away from our convictions, and we would never deny who we really are or what we really think.”

“I grew up around mechanics and thought I might be a race car driver. There is no fooling yourself in some industries. I’ve always known it’s my life on the line.”

But whether she is just relaxing on the beaches, or working in a fun job for a decent paycheck, she really doesn’t mind. “Like they say, if you live your life right, once is enough. And I really don’t need anything. I don’t need the glamour, the fame, the thrills. No matter where I am, my life is amazing.”

“If people want to know, I have a true faith in God, and a great family. I always work hard on being the best person I can be. I’m really happy with my life.”

She spends at least as much time with friends, enjoying good cooking, travel and new experiences. “I basically do that for a living. If I were independently wealthy, I’d probably be doing pretty close to the exact same thing I am doing now. Maybe somewhere else with different people, more time with my family, it’s impossible to know. i am definitely motivated by people who care about me. But like all my close friends, I do have a mind of my own. Where I grew up, it’s impossible not to think for yourself. It’s your survival, and it’s your future.”

“If people aren’t honest and upfront with me, I really don’t have time for games. I have more important things to do with my life. I always have a clear conscience and I don’t regret my decisions over the years. I am always true to myself and to my people. If we don’t trust each other, and help each other out, what do we have? I can’t respect when people step on others for the sake of their own ego. I have never been a part of that mindset. If you’re not making the world better by being here, then what are you doing?”

DJ CIQ

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