For most Americans, when one thinks of the former Soviet union satellite country located in Central Asia, our nation’s ongoing War on Terror is usually the first thing that pops into the average American mind.
Literally translated as “land of wanderers” Kazakhstan is a proverbial melting pot of 131 different cultures consisting of Russians, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, Germans, Tatars and Uyghurs interwoven into it’s population of 18.1 million. Thanks to sharing borders with China, Russia, Krygyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan is considered a trans-continental country, thanks to it’s location northern Central Asia and Eastern Europe.
From being a part of the Mongol Empire, to the Russians, Soviet rule and finally achieving independence as the last Soviet satellite to break away in 1990, Kazakhstan has a colorful and dangerous past all it’s own.
While not known for much in the West except for it’s horrid record on human rights, Kazakhstan has produced some notable athletes such as current WBC, IBF, WBA Super Middleweight and IBO champion, Gennady “Triple G” Golovkin, NHL stars such as former All-Star, Nik Antropov and Evgeni Nabokov and fashion models such as the late Ruslana Korshunova and Aloyna Subbotina.
Can fashion model and recording artist/pop star Kristina Menissova become the latest Kazakhstani to make it big in America? Currently signed to the Drew Right Studio record label, the Almaty-born Menissova has come the States with goals of conquering Western fashion and the American record charts.
Daughter of an Ethiopian father and Kazakhstani mother, the 5’9 stunner speaks English, Russian, Italian her native Kazakh and Ukrainian. Blessed with a r&b/trance pop kinda-sound, Menissova–who is also a trained opera singer, who studied in Rome at Porto di Viareggio–has the kind of beat that can translate across genres.
Thanks walking the catwalk for prominent fashion shows such as Los Angeles Fashion Week, Metropolitan Fashion Week, Style Fashion Week, Rome Fashion Week, Dubai Fashion Week, Moscow Fashion Week, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and in high-end fashion publications such as Ellements Magazine and Viva Glam Magazine, Menissova could very well be Kazakhstan’s hottest export since crude oil.
It is a 7,026 mile journey from Almaty to Tinseltown. Clearly, the multi-talented Menissova is not deterred by neither distance, as she is ready for her American close up.
Below is my Q and A with Kristina as we talk, music, multiculturalism, fashion, how to look good this summer and her extensive iPod playlist.
Name: Kristina Menissova
Birthplace: Almaty, Kazakhstan
Modeling Agency: Independent agent! , I am a recording artist at “Drew Right Studio”
Social Media Links: Instagram | @kristina_menissova
Robert D. Cobb: What kind of model do you consider yourself (IG, fashion, swimsuit):
Kristina Messinova: “Fashion and print model”
Robert D. Cobb: As a pop singer, what is your opinion of today’s music industry?
Kristina Messinova: “It is a lot of competition, it means quality is getting better”
Robert D. Cobb: Fave artist?
Kristina Messinova: “Beyoncé”
Robert D. Cobb: What songs are currently on your IPhone playlist?
Kristina Messinova: “It depends on the mood starting from Mozart to Despacito”
Robert D. Cobb: Since you’re in the industry, do you watch/follow Empire?
Kristina Messinova: “Oh yes, I admire Taraji P Henson from the show, “Person of Interest” she is my inspiration to keep going and continue to sing being a single mother, so I watch everything with her!”
Robert D. Cobb: How would you describe your sound?
Kristina Messinova: “Relaxing”
Robert D. Cobb: Any big plans to drop a track soon?
Kristina Messinova: “Big plans to drop an EP, we are planning to do a big explosion!”
Robert D. Cobb: What is the difference between the music scene in the States and your native country?
Kristina Messinova: “It is more opportunities for talent.”
Robert D. Cobb: If there was a singer you could tour with, who would it be?
Kristina Messinova: “Ariana Grande”
Robert D. Cobb: Britney or Christina?
Kristina Messinova: “Christina”
Robert D. Cobb: Taylor or Katy?
Kristina Messinova: “Katy”
Robert D. Cobb: What brands have you modeled for? Which one do you enjoy modeling for the most?
Kristina Messinova: “I can’t count all the brands that I’m modeled for, let me name latest ones, Louis Vuitton, La Perla, Jovani Fashions, Stello, Michael NGO, Siwy Denim, Wilfredo Geraldo, Arzamendi Poolside Collections, Mario De La Torre, Bijan Andre, David Tupaz, Rocky Gathercole Charles and Ron every one of them is the art and I’m happy to participate in it, so I enjoy all of them, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it!”
Robert D. Cobb: Where has been your favorite place to shoot?
Kristina Messinova: “When it’s amazing nature usually it’s super uncomfortable to shoot over there, so I like studio shooting, it’s not that breathtaking but more comfy”
Robert D. Cobb: Who was your inspiration to get into singing?
Kristina Messinova: “I guess myself, I graduated from my high school as a piano player and later decided that it’s not enough for me, I must be at the front of the stage”
Robert D. Cobb: What is the most exciting aspect of modeling and performing?
Kristina Messinova: “Attention”
Robert D. Cobb: With summer now here, what fashion and style tips and trends do you have for looking good when the temperature rises?
Kristina Messinova: “Beach body and less clothes”
Athleisure? Fashion or fitness fad?
Kristina Messinova: “Victoria’s Secret’s Angels fad”
Robert D. Cobb: What swimwear trends do you see being big this summer?
Kristina Messinova: “Two-piece swimsuits”
Robert D. Cobb: What is your go-to swimwear style that you MUST have.
Kristina Messinova: “Ultra colorful two-piece swimsuit”
Robert D. Cobb: Within the industry, who is your modeling inspiration?
Kristina Messinova: “I love The Black Panther, Naomi Campbell and her famous catwalk! She is an inspiration for all aspiring models”
Robert D. Cobb: As someone who is mixed and bi-racial, do you consider yourself more African, European, or multi-cultural?
Kristina Messinova: “Multi-cultural!”
Robert D. Cobb: What is your secret to staying in shape?
Kristina Messinova: “Good genes”
Robert D. Cobb: What is your workout and fitness secret to staying in shape?
Kristina Messinova: “Boxing!”
Robert D. Cobb: What is your opinion of the whole “shaming” issue that seems to permeate across social media and how have you handled it, if any haters tried to call you out?
Kristina Messinova: “Yes, like every other celebrity, unfortunately I do have haters, but I’m grateful to my fans because they always support me. Thanks God the majority of my followers love me, that’s why I’m always busy with giving them my attention and don’t have time for haters.”
Robert D. Cobb: What would you say is your best feature?
Kristina Messinova: “Making people around me happy”
Robert D. Cobb: Any beaches you plan on hitting up this summer?
Kristina Messinova: “I’m planning to attend Miami Swim Week, so Miami beaches, get ready for me!”
Robert D. Cobb: Outside of modeling, what are your hobbies?
Kristina Messinova: “As a single mother of a 15-month-old son Kane Richard, all my free time I spend with him. And also I like reading and watching movies.”
Robert D. Cobb: Sports question: Who are your favorite teams and clubs?
Kristina Messinova: “During my study and work in Europe, I liked the atmosphere of watching soccer games, especially Barcelona’s soccer team (F. C. Barcelona). Since then, they have become my favorite team.”
Robert D. Cobb: What are your favorite cities to travel to?
Kristina Messinova: “I love to visit a new places, because my most favorite place to travel became my home”
Robert D. Cobb: What advice would you give to women aspiring to get into modeling and singing?
Kristina Messinova: “Never give up and hard work”
Special thanks to Ms. Kristina Messinova for her time and assistance during the Q and A interview process. All images are used with permission and are the rightful property of their owners.