Titles are often given to people who have made a name for themselves in their chosen industries. They’ve thrived, earned their stripes, and paid their dues. Giving herself the identity of “King”, Christine Marie Borda a.k.a. King Marie has definitely proven that she continues to rise and make her mark in a challenging and primarily male-dominated industry, music. Sitting as one of the hottest and top DJs in Chicagoland, getting to where she is now was certainly no easy feat.

King Marie was a first-generation Filipinx-American who was exposed to the laborious music lifestyle at an early age. Her mother immigrated from the Philippines, pursuing a successful music career as she traveled around the country before finally choosing to settle down in Chicago and starting her own restaurant and lounge. Growing up in a family who are musically inclined and have forged their way into the industry, it made her aware of what day-to-day life is like for a musician, especially when you’re a female trying to break into the scene. All the ups and downs--she has seen it all. Alongside her brothers (who are also professional DJs), she understood that she needed to set out a path for herself in order to break through the industry.

Following her mother’s footsteps, this multi-hyphenated artist traveled and accomplished living in different coasts of the country. She experienced the busy life of New York City shortly after obtaining her BA degree. In the midst of her move to New York City, she fully became immersed with the idea of being a DJ. Though, just like other locals living in the big apple, she had her fair share of hustle and bustle when she started her career. She had to juggle between commitments by going to different gigs, working on a full-time job, getting her feet through the door in the music industry through an internship, and so much more. King Marie found herself a busy life but she didn’t stop there.

Soon after, she found herself wanting to further explore the path of becoming a DJ full time. With the determination to hone her craft and challenge her own abilities, she then moved across the country and found herself in Los Angeles. The West Coast became home to her for a while as she doubled down on gigs to get her name across the scene. She built connections from scratch and worked hard in order for people to remember her name. Surrounded by so many creatives that inspire her work, and despite some challenges, King Marie had a bright life on the West Coast. As she continued to grow, she found herself venturing back home to Chicago.

They say that when you move, you start over from scratch but having been born in Chicago, it wasn’t really a complete do-over but more of a refresh. King Marie soon found herself being inspired by the culture, the life, and the scene of Chicago. She was also able to draw inspiration from her heritage of being a Filipino. She started making waves and found herself participating in community engagements such as becoming the Chicago ambassador for DJ Jasmine Solano's women's empowerment campaign Unity in Color, Nike Women’s Air Society campaign, 'This Is What Asian Looks Like' campaign, Art for Social Justice Project, and even pioneered her own independent project called For Da Kids sneaker drive. Her passion for the creative collaborative community, female empowerment, Asian representation continues to shine through her work. Truly, she is an #AsianWhoCAN rise and inspire others to never be afraid of pursuing one’s dreams no matter what the odds are.

May 27, 2021

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