Mojokiss Official Bio 2011
Mojokiss is a stage name used by Matthew K Mayes from St Petersburg, FL, born April 29th, 1976. Matthew is proficient in music and photography and has a number of additional interests and endeavors. From the age of 12, Matthew was playing in his own bluegrass band singing and playing banjo and fiddle with 2 of his young friends around the Tampa Bay area for various events and with his middle and high school orchestras.At 14 he joined a bluegrass band while living in St Louis, MO and also placed high in several banjo contests, while starting to work as a studio musician. At the age of 18 he attended St Petersburg Jr College and studied music theory I and II as well as studied under the late and world famous innovator Frank Mullen on classical and jazz guitar. Matthew was awarded a full scholarship to tour with a promotional band for a private college and completed 14 months of residence. He was asked to open for country music legend Ricky Skaggs and did so to a standing ovation while arranging all the music for the special act. Ricky’s fiddle player, Bobby Hicks offered warm encouragement to Matt after the show. Matt later performed in regular weekend gigs and such in the hospitality industry at hotels and dinner clubs with various agencies and entertainers for a few years on and off, and finally backed away from this realm to pursue more individualistic elements of music and performance. All the while, Matt has recorded his own music in private and composed many pieces of music of several genres including experimental music.
Around 2005 Matt created “Mojokiss” and mojokiss.com as a way to focus and publicize his creative arts. At first it was only music but then photography kicked in somehow, with a spark of interest. At first, it was a fashion influenced drive which was given to him from an undisclosed source whom taught him about the models and photographers in the fashion world. After a year or two, Matt studied the basics of exposure and developing film. Soon after, he shot his first amateur model, and quickly built his first portfolio. Mojokiss became celebrated and accepted by the alternative community and was printed in a few publications. Matthew decided that he didn’t want to go only in the direction of alternative culture and began to pull away and discipline himself anew with more puristic classic techniques. He became dedicated to color medium format and 35mm format film portraits for a time and eventually acquired a Nikon F5 and Hasselblad CM. He refused to shoot many who requested his services and continues now to pursue excellence in medium format fashion and portraiture primarily under the name “Matthew K Mayes”.
The lighting style of Mojokiss and Matthew K Mayes can vary greatly but is primarily a mixed lighting with a combination of back lighting and front key lighting. More and more, Matt has gotten away from only shooting artificial key light to using more natural light, and eventually is finding a balance of artificial and natural light as needed to express subtle detail as desired.
Professionally Matt is geared towards working with art directors for commercial projects such as small format product, and fashion, as well as hair and beauty.
To reach Matthew follow the link at mojokiss.com