KCRW’s Freeform Fridays features mixes from special guests and KCRW DJs. This week, Los Angeles producer, Jennifer Lee, better known as TOKiMONSTA joins KCRW to do what she does best — take you on a journey through sound. TOKiMONSTA has created a mix for you to groove and melt to, and it works on the dancefloor just as well as isolation walks.
We asked her a few questions in anticipation of her set. Read on for her insights on selecting tracks for our times, her love for Patrice Rushen, and how her own music, coincidentally, feels relevant to the current state of the world.
TOKiMONSTA’s MOOD BOARD SELECTS:
The general vibe of this playlist is a little dancey, but not over the top. I included a lot of songs that carry merit from pretty distinguished musicians. However, I intentionally chose tracks that don’t take themselves too seriously. I wanted the mix to be fun and smart, but not overtly intellectual.
Overall, I really just wanted to create a mix I would like to listen to while hanging out at home. So in a sense, I made this mix for myself in the hope that everyone else listening is in a similar mood.
A SONG FOR CURRENT TIMES:
I suppose one stand-out song is a track from me called “Renter’s Anthem.” It just seems to be more relevant now considering the state the world is in. Essentially, the lyrics are “Are you hanging on?” It was meant to be an anthem for all those people renting their living spaces, skirting by, not sure if they’ll ever own a home — the plight of millennials, gen z, and beyond. Now, the question “Are you hanging on?” really applies to all of us. It’s a question asked to see if we’re doing okay. The song is upbeat and uplifting — my way of saying: “Everything will be alright.”
TOKiMONSTA-APPROVED DANCEFLOOR BANGER:
“Alan Fitzpatrick vs. Patrice Rushen — Haven’t You Heard” is my current obsession. It’s a house track that samples Patrice Rushen. The thing is, since I LOVE Patrice Rushen, this song is the perfect balance of her boogie soul and heavy house beat. Whether you’re into soul, beats, disco, or dance music this song has some element that will draw them in.
PAIRS WELL WITH ISOLATION:
This is something you could have playing while preparing dinner or just roaming around your neighborhood when you need some fresh air from quarantine.