What's your favorite turn-up song? Ours is still French Montana's "Don't Stop."
But somewhere in Miami, it's very possible that your favorite stripper is twerking to Kirby Maurier's "Iz U Wit It."
The provocative Bass Boys Intl. produced melody has distanced itself from Maurier's previous project, Class of 96, a seven-track mixtape featuring tales of relationships over 90s classics such as Biggie's "Sky Is The Limit" and Common's "I Used To Love H.E.R."
With her new EP, Doing The Most, on the verge of a release date, Crossfade hung out with Kirby to talk about the struggle of being an R&B artist in Miami, her album Class of 96, and hearing her music in our city's strip clubs.
Crossfade: Miami has never been one to pop out a lot of R&B artists. And with this time in music a lot of people come out with mixtapes, even some R&B artists. But what's been the biggest hurdle being an R&B artist trying to get exposure out of Miami?
Kirby Maurier: I think the biggest thing is, let me see, I think it's just the local support. When you go to other cities like Atlanta, the people in Atlanta support their artists. But I don't know what it is in Miami. It's not really like that. It's more like crab in a bucket type of thing. I don't really get that. I even get people that are from Atlanta actually move down here that tell me, "Hey, you need to go to Atlanta because it's easy." I think the biggest hurdle down here is the local support, especially from the radio stations.
So why not make a move to Atlanta or New York or Los Angeles?
I definitely plan on making trips to Atlanta and New York and L.A., I love all of those cities, but as far as moving there, I wouldn't move there unless I was actually doing some work there like with producer and different things like that. I think it's important to reside down here as a main home base because I do want to change things. I do want to bring about local support. I do want to be the person to change that.
On Class of 96, you had a lot of hip-hop instrumentals, but you're also a big Aaliyah and Toni Braxton fan. Why weren't there any R&B instrumentals used as opposed to solely hip-hop?
I just feel like with me just doing the R&B samples and R&B beats it would have really been typical. It just would've been throwback R&B. Me, I was influenced a lot by hip-hop solely, as well as R&B. I thought it would be nice to do a lot of the hip-hop records that I really grew up with.
I chose that era because it was such an influential time for hip-hop. For me as well. That's why I didn't include any artists.
What was your favorite album of that era?
That's a great question. My favorite album in 96? Wait, what year did All Eyez On Me come out? That was 96, right? That was my favorite album. As a little jit I was listening to Tupac. Everybody was. I didn't know what thug passion was, you know?
The songs on that project seem to be geared towards one individual that you had a relationship with. What was your love life like while making it?
Well, I think while making that mixtape I was kind of addressing where I was then and where I was way before, like a couple years back. I have some songs about relationships that I had with some people in college, in the past, and the relationship that was currently in at the time. For example the "I Love Him" record was something I was going through at the time and I think the "Why" record was a tale of how I actually did somebody wrong in the past.
And now, I'm off to twerking. (Laughs) Right now I'm just into not really making love music. I'm not making love music right now. Right now I'm making Trap&B. I'm just at a point where I'm trying to have fun.
Speaking of Trap&B, "Iz U Wit It" is a complete 180 of those love songs. I bet you listen to it when you head out to the strip club, don't you?
Of course! I get people that write me on Instagram like, "Hey, this my song when I go out. That's my turn up record." It's definitely one of those records that pumps you up. You put on your make up or you're putting on your bling, or whatever it is, and you're getting ready to go out to club, and you're cruising through the club, that's the song you need to be playing.
Honestly, I like all kind of music. I like R&B, I like hip-hop and I like trap music too, so I'm just moving. I'm just moving on. I can't say I'm not doing R&B. I'm not going to do anything like Class of 96 anymore because that's me too. For me right now it's just moving on to something else that I find fun for right now.
You've heard it at the strip clubs also?
Oh yeah. They play it at Coco's, Rolex, KOD, Take 1 and I think G5. They have a couple of strippers that dance to it. That's the song that they dance to.
If you could line those strip clubs up and one of them said you were their number one customer, which would it be?
You know what? I would say Take One.
I love Take One. I like Take One because it's intimate. I don't know. The drinks are awesome by the way too. I like Take One because it's intimate. I like to see everyone vibing to the music and my music. I just like it. I know it really small and everything. It's probably a fire hazard as well. I really like it.
What's something many people wouldn't know about you?
I think because of the type of music I make, especially the Trap&B, I don't think people think that I went to college. That I went to Florida State and I'm actually in college right now to get my Masters.
Just because you make a certain type of music doesn't mean that you have to be a certain wait, you have to limit yourself. I'm always learning different things. I think that's cool. Yeah man, I just like to keep my mind busy.
You're getting your Masters in Public Administration?
I'm going to school for Public Administration because I founded the Miami Music Museum in 2010. Basically, I wanted to pretty much join my love of music and my love of art, like museums and stuff like that. That's another hobby of mine, I love going to museums. Every time I go to a different city I go to a museum in that city.
That's aimed at educating the community about Miami's music history and strengthening support of emerging music artists in the area, like what I said about the local support. My organization would definitely support emerging artists by supporting scholarships to attend different conferences, grants I should say actually, workshops.
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How do you balance both running that and trying to blossom your singing career?
I don't balance it. (Laughs) I don't balance it. I just do what I can. Honestly, I wish there was more time. I wish I had more hours in the days, but I just try. I don't know how I do it, but I just try. I just try to make some type of effort towards something every day.
Follow Lee Castro on Twitter: @LeeMCastro