Monalisa Murray is best known as a promoter and supporter of quality music and events in Los Angeles, the United States, and around the world. She worked for 15 years doing marketing and promotion in the music business before making her transition to the turntables in 2006.
Since beginning her career as a DJ and selector, Monalisa has gained respect and support from key influencers in the music & DJ industry, namely Pete Rock, Peanut Butter Wolf, DāM-FunK, Garth Trinidad, and the World Famous Beat Junkies. She’s done sets for favorable crowds at well known Los Angeles-based events such as Kiss N Grind, Wonder-Full, SoulSlam, The Do-Over, Blazing 45s, Paid Dues and many more.
Monalisa is a member of Los Angeles’ own Umoja HiFi Soundsystem, as well as KPL All-Stars and Spinderella’s Backspin DJ Crew. She can usually be found working behind the scenes at Amoeba Music in Hollywood, digging for classics and discovering new music. Her key DJ influences include Larry Levan, Jaycee, Spinderella, Beat Junkies, Pirate DJs, Rich Medina, Sake One and Spinna.
Here are Monalisa’s five picks.
1. Hiatus Kaiyote – “Nakamarra”
I listen to this album a few times a week, but this one song gets played about 20 times a day… it’s just such a sweet loving soulful song, but with a funky jazz knock to it. It’s a great reason to fall in love — you can sing this to your boo all day long and they won’t get sick of it, I promise …
2. Robert Glasper Experience – “Porter Chops Glasper”
I’ve pretty much worn out both Robert Glasper Experience albums, Black Radio and Black Radio 2, but this new release by Denaun Porter gives Robert’s productions a whole new life with a little extra boom bap underneath various pieces.
3. Sandra St. Victor – “Fate’s Laugh”
“Fate will laugh at you … trying to keep it all intact. Go ahead and just be you …” (c) Sandra. Mark De Clive-Lowe produced this track, and there’s this infectious “ha ha ha” throughout the song that got me from the first time I heard it. It makes me laugh out loud now when things fall apart … ha ha ha!
4. Thundercat – “Oh Sheit It’s X”
Stephen Bruner is my friend and he is so much fun … he wrote this feel-good song while he was feeling very good… I’ll leave it at that, but you can figure it out by listening. It’s hard to stand still and listen to it — you’re either gonna tap your toe, nod your head, or shake your entire a– …
5. 7 Days Of Funk – “Faden Away”
This song reminds me of home. it’s very “L.A.” … somethin’ smooth to ride to in great weather. Snoop Dogg and Dam Funk are excellent representatives of that sound, vibe and feeling. I didn’t mention this because I’m in the video, in case you were wondering. *wink*
-tj armour / @tjarmour