Lady Miss Kier : biography
Kierin Magenta Kirby (born August 15, 1963 in Youngstown, Ohio), better known by her professional name Lady Miss Kier, is an American singer and DJ.
In 1986, Kirby met Ukrainian-born Dmitry Brill ("Super DJ Dmitry") in New York, when she made him silver platform boots and a glitter blue spacesuit for his band, Shazork. That same year, she began experimenting with singing and writing music with Brill, and the pair later married.
Shortly after their first show in 1986, Brill was introduced to local D.J. Towa Tei, a Korean-raised Japanese man. Combining Kirby’s vocal and writing talents with Brill’s sampling skills and Tei’s techno mixing, the three formed the band Deee-Lite. They had performances every month, with Kier designing new costumes for each one. She continued go-go dancing for Bentleys and The Copa until the band signed a seven-album deal with Elektra.
Deee-Lite’s sound was a unique mix of house, techno and dance elements. Deee-Lite shot to stardom in 1990 with the release of their first album World Clique, and the smash hit "Groove is in the Heart". Kirby was very involved in the band’s output: writing, producing, and performing the bulk of the band’s songs. Kirby’s sultry, feminine, and soulful voice backed up by the funky, catchy beats was unique for its time, and came to personify the club culture of New York City.
Known as much for their outrageous personae and costumes as for their music, the three took on larger-than-life alter-egos: Super DJ Dmitri, Jungle DJ Towa Tei, and Lady Miss Kier. Kirby is credited with designing and creating the look of the band, as well as much of the artwork accompanying the band’s albums and marketing material. Her initial look relied on revamped and exaggerated retro ’60s fashions, which was revolutionary at the time. Her signature look was a zip-up catsuit, platform shoes and flipped hair-do. At the height of the band’s success, her style had a major influence on fashion trends, showing up in a variety of retail venues.
Deee-Lite followed their successful first album with a politically charged second album, Infinity Within, in 1992. Their third album, Dewdrops in the Garden, was released in 1994 and saw a return to house roots with a new, more naturalistic tone. Neither of the two follow-up albums matched the commercial success of their debut. The second and third albums were hampered by difficulties with the label, which refused to promote, support touring, or fund contractual videos. The band functionally broke up during the writing of their third album in 1993, but Kirby and Brill decided to finish the project and tour together to promote the album before going their separate ways. In 1996, a remix album was released, and a greatest hits album was released in 2001.
Brill’s and Kirby’s marriage fractured, and Deee-lite disbanded in 1995. "When Dmitry and I split up, that was the end of the band," Kirby said. "It was sad because I loved the band. I didn’t want to leave the band and the music and I missed my writing partner, but we couldn’t get along."
Kirby moved to London, D.J.ing and performing in clubs. In 1995, a solo song named "Touch Me With Your Sunshine" appeared on the Wigstock: The Movie soundtrack. In 1996, she debuted new songs at the Enit Festival. Her new direction was more DnB than dance, but none of the songs were ever released. In the late nineties, she collaborated on the albums of such artists as Bootsy Collins, I Kamanchi and A Guy Called Gerald. In 2002, she contributed an exclusive solo track called "I’m not staying at home" to the compilation "Straight Up & Dirty". In 2005, she began performing new material, then appearing in club performances internationally in Australia, New York City, Chicago, New Orleans, Brussels, Zurich, San Francisco and Amsterdam. She also made television appearances on the OUTtv/Pink TV television series the House of Venus Show and has been featured in the New York City festival Wigstock. In 2005 Kier was the featured artist on the podcast Ron-Kat-Delic Show, where she premiered her solo work for the first time, namely a song entitled "Hot Wax." In 2006, she toured Australia with the Good Vibrations Festival.