If you're a regular shopper at Amoeba Music Hollywood, you may have already had the pleasure of crossing paths with the ever knowledgeable Monalisa. Maybe she helped you track down a rare hip-hop record or locate some soul CD you've been seeking for a while. Perhaps you sought her advice at the vast SoCal store's information desk and she ended up turning you on to some music or artist that you had never heard of but are now a converted fan of. Amoebite Monalisa has been an amazing asset to the Hollywood store since she began working there sixteen months ago. She's brought with her a vast knowledge of music -- from classic soul & golden era hip-hop up to contemporary hip-hop, to rock, jazz, funk, and more -- all accumulated over two intense decades of being deeply embedded in the music world as diehard fan/collector, DJ, and putting in countless hours working behind the scenes at important hip-hop record labels such as Loud, Delicious Vinyl, and Wild Pitch during their 1990's heyday.
While taking a break from work at Amoeba one day recently I caught up with Monalisa to ask her about her music history, about working with the Wu-Tang Clan in their formative days, what some of her all time favorite records are, and what she likes about working at Amoeba Music, among other things. "The first thing, of course, that I like about working at Amoeba is the music -- the musical atmosphere and all aspects of it," she said. "I like interacting with people and finding out what music they are into and helping them find the music that they are looking for." As for her history in the music industry, she informed me that she worked in the music biz "for about fifteen years. I worked at a lot of record labels over the years -- Loud, Wild Pitch, Delicious Vinyl, PMP [a subsidary of Loud Records], A&M, to name a few, and I held several positions, from local retail manager to street team coordinator. I also did national college and commercial/mixshow promotion and national street team accounts for corporations, clothing companies and entertainment firms." This included setting up her own independent promotions and marketing business to facilitate music and sports related "lifestyle marketing" projects, she said.