ICBRKR EXTRAORDINAIRES: Meet Cristina Lazic, Mother, Googler and DJ
Welcome to our ICBRKR Extraordinaires Series, where we periodically highlight one extraordinary ICBRKR. Our community is our backbone, and we’re proud to bring together such a passionate and engaging group of people. ICBRKR: MEET YOUR GLOBAL COMMUNITY. ⚡️
This week, we introduce you to Music Lover and Urban Explorer, Cristina Lazic. As Product Marketing Manager for Safety, Brand and Reputation Marketing at Google, Cristina’s work is both complex and essential. But that’s just one part of this ICBRKR Extraordinaire’s story. Ask her to describe herself and she will tell you her life is split in three: “I am a mother, a Googler, and a DJ.” Get to know her below and connect with her in the ICBRKR app!
Hey Cristina! You fill a very important need in today’s digital world. Can you please tell us more about it?
I currently work for Google, where I cover a role in Marketing, in Google’s Brand and Reputation team. In a nutshell, I educate people about how to surf the Internet wisely in an effort to make the web a safer place. I am leading “Be Internet Awesome,” an amazing program to teach kids and their families how to become responsible digital citizens.
Prior to this, I worked in the world of hardware products for a long time: I started at Apple, then joined Nest, which then became part of Google Hardware. My favorite job (and most demanding but rewarding of all!): I am the mother of Sofia, a 3-year old toddler. She already speaks three languages, as I am Italian, her father is Serbian, and we speak English at home as we lived in London for a long time before moving to Milan.
Aww, a future citizen of the world! We know music is a big part of your life. How did it become that way?
Music is such a big passion of mine! So much so that in the last two years, it has started to become a proper occupation.
I have always loved electronic music and music in general, having played the piano since I was very small, always by ear. My grandmother used to be a piano teacher, and I remember spending days and days playing with her when I was a child. She used to sing the notes instead of teaching me how to read the scores, and I would just replicate them, by ear, and transpose them into different keys. I also wrote three songs, for which I composed the melody and lyrics, which I recorded on a little EP when I was 14.
Growing up, people would always casually call me “the DJ.” I would make CDs for all my friends as a hobby, preparing the ideal playlists for any occasion, and I would be the one providing the music for parties or hangouts. I still have friends contacting me saying they found some “old CD you made” in their house. So funny!
Two and a half years ago, when I was on maternity leave, I decided to start something new to busy my mind and get some “me” time. It started with a DJ course in London. I asked three of my best friends to babysit my daughter, who at the time was 9 months old, as I went to my first lesson. I was quickly hooked and decided to buy proper equipment to practice at home. Within a few months, I had the chance to perform at a couple of house parties, a warehouse party, a design event -- and that’s where it all started! I am very proud of having gotten to where I am now in just 2 years. I’ve played across several countries in Europe, at some famous clubs including Armani Privé in Milan, The Cuckoo Club in London and Raspoutine in Rome. And I have a quite nice pipeline of events coming up!
I have to admit, it’s not easy to manage it all, considering I have a demanding job and a daughter. But my husband is fully supportive of this passion, and he attends all my gigs. I love electronic music so much, I dedicate every free second I have to sourcing new music, practicing on the decks, preparing mixes and, of course, performing at gigs. What I love most is that while at work, you need to wait for performance reviews to understand how your are performing, with music it’s immediate. If you do well, people dance; the vibe is great; everyone has a great time.
Wow, that is so impressive! Kudos to you for following your passion! So, what’s your favorite song?
My favorite song is “My Eyes” by Scottish rock band Travis. It was written by Travis’s lead Fran Healy when he discovered his wife was pregnant. I remember listening to it and getting emotional when I was pregnant myself! Travis is my favorite band; not many people know them, but I am a real fan and I’ve followed them at more than 10 concerts around Europe. They used to big in the 90s with their hits “Sing” and “Why Does It Always Rain on Me” and they belong to that Brit Rock music genre that includes Oasis, Blur, The Verve and Radiohead. They played again at Glastonbury this year.
You're also an Urban Explorer and you’ve clearly traveled a lot. What’s your favorite city?
I travel very often, for personal and work reasons, and I don’t ever want to stop exploring new countries and cultures! I have visited almost 45 countries, and love to explore new cities and experience how people live in urban centers. I lived in London for almost 10 years, and also in Miami. But my heart lies with Mediterranean cities, starting with Athens, with its magic Acropolis view, all the way to Madrid and its happy, Spanish vibes, and Rome, the capital of my beautiful country of origin, Italy, which is a real open-air museum. Above all, my favorite city is my hometown: Milan! It offers the best compromise between the hectic lives of cities like London and New York, and the relaxed, chilled lives you find in Southern Europe. Together with the great things Italy offers: food, style, weather ;)
Saluti! Now that we’ve covered what kind of ICBRKR you are, what do you like most about ICBRKR?
I love the concept of ICBRKR as I think that, even if we are very lucky to live in a world where technology makes almost any information available (and this is really Google’s mantra, that’s why I believe it in so much), it is still difficult to find people that you can REALLY connect with, especially in a quick way as we are required to do nowadays, since change is always round the corner.
The world is now moving so fast, people are traveling, moving homes and countries and changing jobs more than ever before. With that, having to re-build a network of friends with similar interests and passions to yours can be demanding. I am experiencing this exactly now: I have just moved back to Milan and feel I need to start it all from scratch, even if Milan is my hometown, my family lives here, and I have plenty of friends. But what if I was moving to a different city? Or what if my long time friends had not developed the same passions I did during my years abroad? I like that ICBRKR simplifies people’s lives by offering a great community of individuals based on similar interests.
Yes! Your situation epitomizes what we are trying to do. OK, last question: what is your guilty pleasure?
As an Italian, I am pretty demanding when it comes to food, and I definitely consider myself lucky to come from a country with such a great variety of food. I particularly love Italian sweets, and Tiramisu is definitely my favorite. I just love it, and if I see it on a menu, I won’t leave the restaurant without trying it. ;)
Amazing. Thanks for being so open with us, Cristina! We look forward to catching you at one of your upcoming gigs, lighting up the dance floor.
Use ICBRKR to connect with Cristina and other extraordinaires in LA, New York, London, and around the world. If you think you, or a fellow ICBRKR friend, make for the perfect feature, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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