*Angela Jollivette made a name for herself over the years as one of the hottest DJs in Los Angeles, the country, as DJ Moonbaby. She has also made strides in the music industry as a Grammy executive, an award winning music supervisor, and host/producer on digital formats. She continues to see herself as a major force in music especially by paving the way for emerging and independent music artists.
First, let us get this out of the way. What exactly is a DJ Moonbaby?
“A Moonbaby is a cancer moon sign, and a baby is a chick, and there you have it DJ Moonbaby,” Jollivette told the EUR’s Lee Bailey in a recent phone interview. “Moonbaby for me, in general, is that I just play how I feel. I’m connected to music emotionally. Depending on what type of mood I’m in that’s the kind of playlist you’re gonna get for me.”
Jollivette added, “I’m at a point in my life where music is very important and special for me. I’m not going to play what you hear on the radio. I’m not going to play what is not in my heart.”
While slowing down a bit spinning records, Jollivette’s talent is taking her to many different places.
“I’ve evolved into other things,” she said. “Whether it’s having my radio show or on camera interviews, I’m very big on curating a certain sound with music that builds more of a discovery infrastructure. I’m looking to break artists and give independent artists a platform along with our existing legacy artists.”
While growing up in Compton, California, Jollivette was the go-to person for the hottest music while in high school. However, when it came to college, she went in a very different direction.
“I went to college as a pre-dental major,” she said. “I thought I wanted to be an orthodontist on some level and studied social anthropology and musicology. I was able to take my education to put me out in the forces of the world and in the United States but I wanted more than that. I wanted to be in the music business.”
Eventually after graduating from college, Jollivette, started working with Magic Johnson Enterprises as an executive assistant and real estate development coordinator. She worked on projects involving singers Avant and Lloyd and on the 2002 film, “Brown Sugar.” She also had the opportunity to work on franchises Johnson acquired at that time such as 24 Hour Fitness and Starbucks.
“I got to see a lot working with Magic Johnson on the business and entertainment sides. He had his hands in everything.”
In 2007, she earned a senior project manager role at The Recording Academy where she oversaw the Grammy screening and qualifying process for Gospel/Contemporary Christian music and TV/Film music. Working there was a dream come true.
“When you’re a kid growing up, you see the Grammy’s, all glitz, gold and glamour,” she said. “I’m seeing Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, and Quincy Jones as a little girl watching TV and it just looked so amazing. I wanted a piece of that and that dream came true. Bucket list checked off.”
She continued, “I didn’t think I was going to stay there for 10 years but it was necessary. I built that corporate brand/name for myself and that foundation (is what) I needed to be able to leave and do my own thing, Moonbaby Media, my own company.”
Moonbaby Media is working out quite well. The music maven’s music supervising chops earned her a spot working on the soundtrack for the second season of the OWN network’s “Greenleaf” television series. Her hard work paid off by nabbing an NAACP Image Award for “Best Gospel Album” and a Stellar Award for “Special Event CD of the Year.”
“Six months after I left the Grammy’s, in June 2017, by January, I was winning awards for ‘Best Gospel Album,’” she said. “I was up against every major Grammy winning artist – Tasha Cobbs, CeCe Winans, Marvin Sapp, and Travis Green and won that award. I’m at a place where I’m being rewarded for my obedience, strength and continuing on the path that was in front of me.”
One of the songs Jollivette selected for “Greenleaf” was Le’Andria Johnson’s “Better Days,” in which Johnson received a Grammy nomination for “Best Gospel Performance/Song.” Jollivette wrote Johnson into the final episode of the show to perform on-camera. The recognition was a full circle moment for Jollivette after awarding Gospel artists in that category for the last decade. With such great success so soon, Jollivette sees her career trajectory as only getting bigger and better.
“I’m a mogul in the making,” she said. “So, you’re getting this on record right now. A lot of the people I look up to are (music executives) Sylvia Rhone, Sean Combs, LA Reid. Those are the people I want to emulate in today’s world. So, I’m on my own journey. Of course I’m not them but my path and journey is going in that direction.”
Angela Jollivette AKA DJ Moonbaby is definitely on her way. She is now a talent producer for a new TMZ lifestyle series airing on BET later this year. You can also catch her as the host/producer of “UnRestricted” here.
She also curates live music talent for the concert series at The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, which is in the center of black Los Angeles. For more information on Jollivette, go here.
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LISTEN below to Jollivette as she speaks on cultivating newer artists and giving back: