When asked about her stage name, DJ Miss Lisa says, “I used to be a go-go dancer, and when I was at Taxi in La Jolla [a club popular in the ’90s, gone but not forgotten], the deejay said, ‘Give it up for the lovely Miss Lisa!’ It just stuck.”
Miss Lisa started deejaying nine years ago, working on her scratches and blends at the Belly Up Tavern, focusing on old-skool hip-hop and disco. Now she’s in top demand as a deejay and finds herself spending less time in San Diego and more time booking gigs in places like Colorado Springs, Thailand, Greece, Guam, the Playboy Mansion — all over the world. How did she become a jet-setter?
“My manager sets up my gigs,” she says. “Promoters usually know about me through the Internet or word-of-mouth. I play in so many places, but I play a lot in Denver. Denver still has full-blown raves.”
Although she has played places like Serbia and El Salvador, “I won’t go to a country if it’s scary. They tried to book me in Lebanon, and I was, like, ‘No way!’ It’s not that important to me. Safety is first.”
How is music different in other countries? “House music is so much more the norm in other countries. There are radio stations playing electronic music all hours of the day. San Diego doesn’t play house on one radio station. It’s pretty sad.”
Her latest CD, Girl on Top, was released in August.
FIRST FOREIGN GIG?
“The first foreign country I played at was Singapore for a New Year’s Eve party. It was so fun, and I was hooked on international shows ever since.”
TOP FIVE FAVORITE COUNTRIES?
1. The Dominican Republic. “Because of the amazing crowd and doing a show with Vin Diesel [see below].”
2. Ibiza. “The ultimate party island!”
3. Seoul, Korea. “That’s where I was born, and it was my first time ever going back there.”
4. South Africa. “Immediately after [the gig], I flew to Tanzania and did a full-blown African safari through the Serengeti.”
5. Manila. “Of all the countries I’ve been to, I feel the people there are the most friendly — and the shopping is great!”
TOP FIVE SONGS IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?
“I change my mind [weekly] on songs. It happens very rapidly. I choose them just because I love the beat and/or the lyrics and can’t help dancing when I hear them.”
1. “Breathe” by Kaz James
2.“Jungle Boogie” by Souldiers of Fortune
3. “I Am Not a Whore” by LMFAO
4. “In the Ayer” by Flo Rida
5. “Sushi” by Trent Cantrelle
TOP THREE WORST JOBS?
1. “Del Mar Fair. It sucked…I was pretty much a carnie for three weeks out of the year.”
2. “Typing messages for alpha-numeric pagers.”
3. “Working in a bagel shop — just an overall crappy job, and I couldn’t go to a Social Distortion concert because of it. I still remember that.”
1. “Watching reality shows like America’s Next Top Model and Hell’s Kitchen.”
2. “Eating crappy food late at night, like bean-and-cheese burritos.”
3. “Even after all these years, I still love to party till the sun comes up.”
“One of my best gigs was when I was playing in the Dominican Republic with DJ Diamond. We had met Vin Diesel at the hotel before our show. He was super cool, and we invited him to our gig, which was, like, 40 minutes away from the hotel on the beach. Not only were there 6000 people partying on the beach, but Vin actually showed up and got on the mike.”
“Eventvibe.com is a great nightlife site, newly revamped.”
BEST DEAD CELEB?
BEST THING EVER DONE WHILE DRUNK…
“Glad you didn’t ask the worst things done when drunk. Surprisingly, I’ve played some of my best sets drunk.”
BEST ADVICE EVER GIVEN?
“To be old and wise, you first have to be young and stupid.”
BEST SAN DIEGO HANGOUT?
“I love to hang out at On Broadway for nightclubs, Firehouse in PB for a fun beachy spot, Harney Sushi for the best sushi ever, and I love Intervention at the Hard Rock on Sundays.”
“The best quote was when I met Samuel L. Jackson when I was deejaying the Bob Hope Classic Golf Tournament after-party in Palm Springs. I met him before I played, and I told him I was one of the deejays and asked if he had any requests, and he said, ‘No, I always trust the deejay.’ ”
IF YOU COULD HAVE LUNCH WITH ANYONE…
“I would have lunch with Prince because he seems like such a unique, mysterious, and creative person. I’d like to pick his brain to see where he gets his inspiration.”
EARLIEST CHILDHOOD MEMORY?
“Choking on a grape. It sounds pretty boring, but it was a near-death experience, man.”