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Six By Six: Lisa Shaw

The soulful house chanteuse's all-time top tunes

2016 Dec 05     
2 Bit Thugs

An eclectic selection that ranges from Billie Holliday to Little Dragon, The Knife and Warpaint, via Prince, Sade and The Human League

Lisa Shaw will need no introduction to anyone with even a passing interest in the more soulful side of house music - she's been one of the best-loved and most in-demand voices on the scene since the late 90s.

Born in Ontario, Canada to Jamaican parents, Lisa grew up hearing artists like Sade, Billie Holiday, Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks, augmented by the disco records her older sisters would play. In the early 90s she moved to New York and began to work as a session singer, but her career really blossomed in the late 90s when she joined forces with Jay Denes' Naked Music NYC, the loose collective of artists that would later birth the west coast's legendary Naked Music label.

Lisa's voice has graced countless recordings on Naked and other west coast labels such as Transport and Salted - most famously those by Miguel Migs with whom she's worked closely for many years. She has also released two solo albums under her own name, 2005's Cherry (Naked) and 2009's Free (Salted Music). Her latest single is Mannix ft Lisa Shaw's So Much Time.


William Onyeabor - Body And Soul (Wilfilms Records, 1980)
"Funky and slow retro... music that's present but doesn’t take over."


Sister S - Living Ecstasy [Norinton Remix] (Boots R Us, 2011)
"Such a simple bassline that carries into a soulful melody hook, but the bassline carries the hook, not the vocal! All the other instruments come in and it's super-funky, but the bassline still holds everything. Classic!"


Blackbyrds - Rock Creek Park (Fantasy, 1975)
"This is Soul Kitchen in NYC back in the day."

Out Of The Basement - Take Me With You (Sleazy Beats Records, 2013)
"Soothing, cool but just easy and retro. Is this today or is it the past?"


Rim & Kasa - Love Me For Real [Guynamukat Edit] (Guynamukat, 2010)
"Old school funk and soul that reminds me of the Savannah Band."


Sunburst Band – Everydub (Z Records, 2009)
"Psychedelic soul. Once again, it reminds me of Mondays at Soul Kitchen in NYC."


Little Dragon - Twice (Peacefrog, 2007)
"Mellow and moody, and such a sweet melody as usual coming from Little Dragon."


Washed Out - Feel It All Around (Transparent, 2009)
"This feels like an afterhours anthem, but almost has to come at the beginning or the end of the night."


Warpaint - Ashes To Ashes (Manimal Vinyl, 2010)
"This David Bowie cover reminds of Stereolab... it's kind of retro kitsch."


Poolside - Harvest Moon (Poolside Music, 2012)
"A seductive and sexy cover of Neil Young."


Kindness - Swinging Party (Moshi Moshi, 2009)
"A super moody, close-your-eyes kinda record."


Mayer Hawthorne - Green Eyed Love [Classixx Remix] (Stones Throw, 2009)
"This is just a super-sweet tune!"


Blondie - Heart Of Glass (Chrysalis, 1978)
"This was the first record I ever bought. I thought Debbie Harry was the coolest chick ever!"


Sade - The Sweetest Taboo (Epic, 1985)
"I fell in love with the simpleness and the delicate strength of her voice. It’s really hard to sing without vibrato, which is actually a weakness in the vocal chords."


Bonnie Tyler - Total Eclipse Of The Heart (Columbia, 1983)
"I performed this at our high school assembly with a live band, and got my first standing ovation. I guess that was a bit of affirmation about wanting to be a singer."


Billie Holiday - Good Morning Heartache (Decca, 1946)
"I would dig deep emotionally with Billy for some reason, and she became a huge part of my repertoire whenever I was performing covers or auditioning for anything."


Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights (EMI, 1978)
"I was pretty obsessed with Kate and everything she did, but it wasn't until I was reading the book in high school that I discovered she was singing about the story of Wuthering Heights."


Diana Ross - Diana LP (Motown, 1980)
"This is another album that I played like every day, obsessively. Besides that fact, I would practise to her on the radio years before this album became one of my anthems!"


Lykke Li - I Follow Rivers (Atlantic, 2006)
"I love the storyline and the video of this song, when he finally stops running and breaks down. And the end gets me every time!"


Phantogram - Fall In love (Republic Records, 2014)
"Besides the fact that she is super-rad, this is one of those tunes I could hear whenever, wherever!"


The Knife - Pass This On (Rabid Records, 2003)
"The Knife have a such a unique sound, but this tune reminds me of the 80s, and the steel drum hook really makes it. This is the tune I find myself dancing solo, in a room full of people... kinda like the video!"


Hercules & Love Affair - Blind [Frankie Knuckles Remix] (DFA, 2007)
"They remind me of a modern Bronski Beat! Disco dancing meets great songwriting."


Justice - Randy (Ed Banger, 2016)
"I really love the musical arrangement and the cool changes in this song, and you can’t help but sing along with the chorus."


Little Dragon - Ritual Union (Peacefrog, 2011)
"Another song I will never be tired of."


Kraak & Smaak - Seb's Party (Razor N Tape Reserve, 2015)
"You really can’t go wrong with this, and what would the night be without hearing it?"


Black Science Orchestra - New Jersey Deep (Junior Boys Own, 1996)
"This is a timeless, funky tune that can fit anywhere in a mix."


The Detroit Experiment - Think Twice (Ropeadope, 2002)
"Acid jazzy and cool. Gotta dance! This feels like a long time ago now."


Rayko - Getting Down (Editorial, 2011)
"Super-funky soul and a perfect way to start the night off. It has a bit of an SOS Band vibe!"


Odyssey - Hang Together [Keep Schtum Re-edit] (Keep Schtum, 2013)
"This is a remix by Michael McKenna, but the original is beautiful, too."


Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchestra - Too Much Information [Laolu Remix] (Innervisions, 2015)
"This has an awesome intro and a cool Afro/tech vibe, and I love the slow build."


Michael Jackson - Off The Wall LP (Epic, 1979)
"Everything about this record is amazing. It was the first album I bought. I told my mother I was going to marry him when it first came out, but he married the wrong Lisa Marie!"


Prince - Purple Rain LP (Warner Bros, 1984)
"I had a band in high school called DMSR, which is how much I loved this man and everything about him and his music. I was gifted with all his albums for my birthday the following year and that was the beginning of my obsession!"


The Human League - Dare LP (Virgin, 1981)
"My sister had this album and I would sneak in and play it, like, every day. 80s pop at its best!"


Lil' Louis And The World - Journey With The Lonely LP (Epic, 1992)
"The first time I heard this, was the first time I decided that this was the type of house music I wanted to do. The album was brilliant and will always be timeless to me."


The Art Of Noise - Who's Afraid Of The Art Of Noise? LP (ZTT, 1984)
"This was the centrepiece and the Bible of electronic music for me. Moments In Love in particular: watching Le Ballet Jazz do their dance warm-up to that song made me absolutely crazy!"


Fleetwood Mac - Greatest Hits LP (Warner Bros, 1988)
"When I was younger I wanted to sing and dance like Stevie Nicks, and that’s never really gone away! I think I felt her songwriting, vibe and voice the most - and always have done consistently since I first heard her."


So Much Time by Mannix feat Lisa Shaw is out now on Favouritizm

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Tags: Lisa Shaw, Naked Music, Mannix, Favouritizm, Jay Denes