Maia Lee has come a long way since her Idol days over a decade ago. First appearing onscreen as a tat-clad wild child, she is now a grounded cool mom and an actress in her own right.
Her young celeb daughter, Julka “Kaka” Phoenix, may only be 9 years old, but she has already built an impressive resume consisting of modelling, acting, singing, dancing and hosting. The ambitious little star most recently ventured into fashion design and she now aspires to start her own clothing line.
This power duo has thoroughly won us over with their down-to-earth vibes and sweet mother-daughter relationship. We had a chat about everything from their favourite kind of work to their fashion choices.
[To Maia] What’s it like to be a celebrity, a mother of three, and having one of your kids as a child star? Which role do you like best?
Maia: I tell everyone that my full-time job is that of a mother. To be honest, I’ve never seen myself as a celebrity; it’s just my work to put food on the table. To me, Kaka being a child star is just her growing up phase and favourite pastime – of which I see potential in and I’m helping her pave a path for herself.
My favourite role is to be a mother. Knowing that I’m able to love unconditionally and they love me as well makes the occasional lousy days seem shorter.
[To Maia] What do you love most about being a mother?
Maia: The journey to the betterment of myself, being taught through my own children from the very first day I conceived each of them. I never stopped learning and discovering new things about myself and being a mother helped me in the healing process of my deepest and oldest wounds. My children are my motivation and they contribute a lot to my happiness.
[To Maia] What’s your choice of fashion style?
Maia: I’m not someone who keeps up with trends and I like anything that’s comfy. Since young, I’ve always had an adventurous and outdoor streak in me so unless I’m working, I’m always in a tank or tee, sports shorts and flat-soled shoes. 15 long years of child-rearing have required me to run around quite a lot.
Oh, and I prefer solid colours to prints and patterns.
[To Kaka] What do you love most about your career as a child star?
Kaka: I get to meet many people and go to places that people don’t usually get to go. Sometimes, I get to work up close with animals like seals, penguins, rhinoceros and snakes. It’s different every time and this classroom is fun.
[To Kaka] You want to be the youngest fashion designer. How would you describe your style?
Kaka: Pop culture and girly. And I love shimmery stuff.
[To Kaka] What kind of impact do you want to make with your future fashion label?
Kaka: I want to inspire other children to be expressive and confident of themselves. My clothing line will reflect how we feel and make us feel good when we wear them.
[To both] What’s your favourite mother-daughter bonding time?
Maia: Braiding Kaka’s hair and watching comedy together.
Kaka: Going to the beach with Mommy. Actually, anything as long as Mommy is with me.
[To both] Do you guys like your matching pairs of Anothersole?
Maia: I love it! Wish I knew about this brand sooner! They complete our outfits – we could be wearing different clothes but with the matching shoes on, we ARE in matching outfits. Feeling like Sister Act yawww…
Kaka: I love it very much! I’ve always liked wearing matching stuff with my mom. Then I can say “Hey, we’re matching ok…”
[To both] What kind of clothes do you like to pair your Anothersole with?
Maia: I like to pair it with a long-sleeved blouse and shorts. Or a sundress.
Kaka: I like to pair it with shorts and a blouse or tee.
[To both] Say to each other one thing you would like to thank her for.
Maia: Thank you for being my daughter.
Kaka: Thank you for taking care of me.
Awww… #motherdaughtergoals indeed! Get behind their latest work on Instagram @maialeeofficial and @julkaphoenix. Also, catch Kaka in the girl band @thelovettes.
*Shop Anothersole here.