Rare Air is a product of its time and space, not adhering to any specific genre but rather whatever the wind blows into DJ Lady C’s consciousness. Roots reggae & dub records, classical cassettes, avant-garde electronic CDs, ambient and new age experimental media – Rare Air is a mixed bag made possible by the human experience of living in the 21st century in the City of Angels, surrounded by inspiration, noise, the constant hustle, and countless record stores full of treasure and good people.
This episode featured guest Moniquea!
Moniquea was born in Gary, Indiana and raised in Pasadena, California. She vividly recalls watching her mother rehearse as a lead singer alongside other relatives and friends in the Pasadena-branded group The Roses. As a youth, she was exposed to countless volumes of 70’s soul, as well as the electrified musical production of the 80’s, thus shaping her own sound immeasurably. In particular, the synthesized, dance-friendly aesthetics of new wave and funk-laden R&B (later to be categorized as “boogie”) made a lasting impression on her, which she seeks to distill and reinterpret in the music she creates today.
No stranger to the spotlight, Moniquea solidified her local presence by singing at Pasadena’s world-famous Rose Bowl at only 15 years old. Quickly moving past hometown boundaries, she went on to open for Westside Connection during the height of their success, and has since performed at nearly every reputable venue in LA – The Whisky, The Roxy, Viper Room, Cinespace, The Echo, and more. She has also twice performed at the annual Taste of Soul festival, and the Kingfest at Leimert Park, both drawing crowds in the thousands; and has been a highlighted performer at Modern Funk Fests in San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Moniquea and her music has also been featured in a number of music articles, magazines, websites and blogs, including: AllMusic, Do Androids Dance, Impose, Noisey Music by VICE, Okayplayer; and in Los Angeles’ biggest music publication, LA Record, where she landed on the front cover in 2015.
After independently releasing her self-titled debut in 2011, Moniquea partnered with producer XL Middleton and released the album Yes No Maybe in 2014, followed up by Blackwavefunk in 2017. It is through these records and her current and future musical endeavors that she delivers modern funk, as refracted through the lens of her early influences. What Moniquea creates is not ‘pastiche’ nor ‘retro,’ but a faithful reinterpretation of sounds that came from the dawn of the synth, perfectly balanced with one eye focused squarely on the future.
Check her out on soundcloud!
1. Herbie Hancock – Spiraling Prism
2. Inc. Desert Rose (War Prayer)
3. Heatwave – Star of the Story
4. Elegant Borzoi – Deregulate
5. Rejoicer – Cloud of Me
6. Moniquea – All The Time
8. Moniquea – His Lady
9. Moniquea – Break No Hearts
10. DaiN ft. Moniquea – Gave It A Try
11. Michele Manzo – Movin’ On (Wanna Go)?
12. Adam Chini – Stay With You
13. The Pendletons – Gotta Get Out (Mat/Matix Remix)
14. XL Middleton – We Gotta Go
15. MDSGN – Searchin I (4 The Familiar Feeling)
16. MNDGN – Searcin II (Sumthn New)
17. Quincy Jones – Somethin’ Special
18. Cal Tjader – Cubano Chant
19. Malo – Entrance to Paradise
20. Inc. – The Place
21. Mat/Matix – Bay Breeze
22. Moniquea – Cassanova